Speaking of the Church’s two newest temples in Utah, Elder Ronald A. Rasband of the Presidency of the Seventy asked his BYU devotional audience on Feb. 10 to consider how the focus and emphasis on temple building applies to them.
“I would recommend to you today that temple worship is an important pattern for each of you to set, individually and as families, as you consider your own areas of focus and attention, as you put in place firm foundations in your life,” said Elder Rasband.
As a member of the Presidency of the Seventy, Elder Rasband supervises the Church’s Utah North, Utah Salt Lake City and Utah South areas and is closely involved with this year’s cultural events, open houses and dedications of the Draper Utah and Oquirrh Mountain Utah temples.
The Draper Utah Temple — the 12th temple in Utah and the Church’s 129th overall — is in the middle of its eight-week open house, with more than 1 million tickets having been requested and distributed to date prior to its March 20-22 dedication.
Elder Rasband spoke of guiding media representatives, interfaith groups and government officials during the open house.
“As I have taken guests through the spacious baptistry, beautiful ordinance rooms, the holy celestial room and sacred sealing rooms, I can tell you without any reservation the Spirit of the Lord is already in this temple and leaves a deep and wonderful impression on all who visit,” he said.
He encouraged listeners to visit the Draper Utah Temple during its open house as well as the Oquirrh Mountain Utah Temple during its eight-week open house beginning June 1, before its Aug. 14-16 dedication.
Elder Rasband quoted latter-day prophets Brigham Young, Ezra Taft Benson and Gordon B. Hinckley on the prophecies and need of spreading temples across the globe. In President Hinckley’s tenure of nearly 13 years as president of the Church, 77 temples were built and dedicated.
Underscoring the importance of temple and family history work, Elder Rasband read from Malachi 4:5-6, Doctrine and Covenants 2:1-3 and Doctrine and Covenants 110:13-16 — which speak of Malachi’s promise in 400 B.C. of the coming of Elijah to “turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers,” of Moroni’s visits to Joseph Smith echoing the same promise and of the recorded visit of Elijah to Joseph Smith at the Kirtland Temple to provide the priesthood keys and to fulfill the promise of nearly 2,200 years previous.
“Since that remarkable day in 1836, through a continuation of the priesthood authority given to the Prophet Joseph, that power has been on the earth through prophets, seers and revelators of the Church,” Elder Rasband said. “We are so privileged to have President Thomas S. Monson as our prophet today. He holds that same priesthood authority which was given by Elijah, to the Prophet Joseph, in 1836. This is known as the sealing authority of God, by which we perform the sacred work in the temples today.”
Re-emphasizing the importance of establishing righteous patterns, Elder Rasband reiterated admonition from Church leaders to receive temple endowments and to attend the temple regularly.
He also cited promises of blessings from President Hinckley, President James E. Faust and President Monson for those who frequent the temple. Those blessings include less contention and selfishness and a greater measure of spirituality, love, obedience, righteous confidence and sanctification.
Elder Rasband also spoke on how temple worship helps provide an “assurance of protection and peace from the storm that is upon us in our day,” citing the latter-day storm cited in Alma 26:6.
“I bear my testimony, brothers and sisters, that one of the safest places that Heavenly Father has established for the gathering of His people is in the temples of the Lord,” he added, inviting listeners “to make temple worship a pattern in your life” and claim the blessings and protections as promised by latter-day prophets.