Work in a holy temple — a sacred hall where patrons can gain a witness of the Atonement of Jesus Christ — is the crown jewel of all the work in the Church, Latter-day Saint leaders said during the 2017 Seminar for New Temple Presidents and Matrons on Oct. 9-12.
“In these sacred houses, you presidents and matrons will be leading the sons and daughters of God, along with their kindred dead, in their preparation to come into the presence of the Lord and dwell with Him in glory forever,” said President Henry B. Eyring, first counselor in the First Presidency.
During the seminar, 36 new temple presidents and matrons gathered in the Salt Lake Temple and other locations and Church headquarters to receive training, counsel and direction before beginning their service.
The Church currently has 157 temples, with 12 under construction and another 13 that have been announced. Temple presidents serve for three years, with new groups starting their service each fall.
President Eyring promised the temple presidents and matrons that the patrons who attend their temple will grow in confidence each time they enter the House of the Lord.
“The Spirit will need to witness that the covenants they make are with a living God,” he said. “Patrons will need to know the promises they receive are sure because they have a witness of the Atonement of the Lord Jesus Christ.”
President Dieter F. Uchtdorf, second counselor in the First Presidency, said he often thinks about the many Latter-day Saints who serve in the Church’s temples worldwide. “They give so generously of their time, means and talents to make the temple experience so unforgettable, sacred and sweet,” he said. “Today, we are privileged to live in a time when the light of the temples of the Most High shines brightly in many nations. Millions of members of the Church have entered their sacred halls.”
All of our efforts to proclaim the gospel, perfect the Saints, and redeem the dead, lead to the holy temple, President Russell M. Nelson told the temple presidents and matrons.
“As you serve countless patrons — young and not-so-young — you will come to realize that temple service is the crown jewel of all of our work in the Church,” said President Nelson, president of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. “Indeed, the temple is the object of every activity and every advancement in the Church.”
Elder Quentin L. Cook of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles explained to the new leaders that one of the blessings of the temple is the ordinances of exaltation. “The gospel is about exaltation,” he said. “This requires making and keeping sacred covenants with God.”
Since the First Presidency has authorized and built temples across the world, the number of adult temple-worthy members are “increasing in a dramatic fashion,” he noted. “This is one of the reasons why we can declare with confidence, the Church has never been stronger.”
In his remarks, Elder Dale G. Renlund of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles referenced experiences shared earlier in the week. “The Lord frequently accomplishes many things, with one singular action.”
Teaching in the temple should be “accompanied by the Spirit of the Lord,” with the “kindness and graciousness that He would expect in His home.”
Quoting a temple matron, he told the group, “‘Go and be the answer to someone’s prayer.’ Go ‘bring hope to a desolate heart.’ (“Redeemer of Israel,” verse 5).”