Elder J. Kimo Esplin, General Authority Seventy, spoke during the Sunday afternoon session of October 2023 general conference. Elder Esplin talked about the blessings of the temple and how covenants bind Saints to the Savior. The following is a summary of what he said.
Elder Esplin’s talk summary
Through blessings of the temple, “the Savior heals individuals, families and nations — even those that once stood as bitter enemies.” One example is a sister from Okinawa, Japan.
In 1945, more than 240,000 people died amid the Battle of Okinawa. “In a desperate attempt to escape the onslaught, this Okinawan woman and her husband and their two small children sought refuge in a mountain cave. They endured unspeakable misery through the ensuing weeks and months.”
After the war, this woman sought answers about God. Two sister missionaries from the Church of Jesus Christ came to her house one day and taught about the spirit world.
“She was captivated by the teaching that her parents could choose to follow Jesus Christ after death and accept baptism performed on their behalf in holy places called temples.” The Okinawan Latter-day Saint and her family were baptized.
Later, as a widow, she traveled 10,000 miles to the Laie Hawaii Temple. “She shed tears of joy as she acted as a proxy for her mother’s baptism and was sealed to her deceased husband.”
Temple covenants bind individuals and families to the Savior. “This is the Savior’s work, and temples are His holy house.”
“Temple covenants are gifts from our Heavenly Father to the faithful followers of His Son, Jesus Christ. Through the temple, our Heavenly Father binds individuals and families to the Savior and to each other.”
“Through temple blessings, the Savior heals individuals, families and nations — even those that once stood as bitter enemies.”
“I am grateful to witness the ongoing fulfillment of the Lord’s promise that ‘the time shall come when the knowledge of a Savior shall spread throughout every nation, kindred, tongue and people’ (<a href="https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/study/scriptures/bofm/mosiah/3?lang=eng&id=p20#p20">Mosiah 3:20</a>), including to those ‘upon the isles of the sea’ (<a href="https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/study/scriptures/bofm/2-ne/29?lang=eng&id=p7#p7">2 Nephi 29:7</a>).”
Who is Elder Esplin?
- Elder J. Kimo Esplin was sustained as a General Authority Seventy on April 1 and is the second counselor in the Asia North Area presidency. He has served as a mission president in both the Japan Tokyo North and Japan Tokyo South missions and as a full-time missionary in the Japan Kobe Mission.
- He is a former executive vice president and chief financial officer for Huntsman Corp.
- While on a study abroad to the BYU Jerusalem Center, he met Kaye Davis. They were married in the Salt Lake Temple on Dec. 13, 1985, and have eight children.
Read more in the Church News about temple blessings and covenants:
- On the Church News podcast, Elder David A. Bednar explained the “power of godliness” that comes through temple covenants and ordinances.
- Columbus, Ohio, youth literally built a “covenant path” that leads to the temple.
- In September, as a first in Church history, three temples were dedicated on the same day.
- Learn more about the histories of Latter-day Saint temples.