Elder David A. Bednar: ‘Let This House Be Built Unto My Name’

Quorum of the Twelve Apostles

Notable quotes:

“The essence of the Lord’s work is changing, turning and purifying hearts through gospel covenants and priesthood ordinances.”
“We do not come to the temple to hide from or escape the evils of the world. Rather, we come to the temple to conquer the world of evil.”
“Everything that is learned and all that is done in the temple emphasizes the divinity of Jesus Christ and His role in Heavenly Father’s great plan of happiness.”

Summary points:

  • The restoration of the sealing authority by Elijah in 1836 was necessary to prepare the world for the Savior’s second coming and initiated a greatly increased and worldwide interest in family history research.
  • The covenants received and the ordinances performed in temples are essential to “the sanctifying of our hearts” and for the ultimate exaltation of God’s sons and daughters.
  • Latter-day Saints “stand all amazed” at the ever-accelerating pace of His work in the latter days — “And more temples are coming.”

Talk summary: 

Three years after the First Vision, Joseph Smith was visited by the Angel Moroni, who instructed Joseph about the coming forth of the Book of Mormon.

Then Moroni quoted from the book of Malachi in the Old Testament: “Behold, I will reveal unto you the Priesthood, by the hand of Elijah the prophet, before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord. … And he shall plant in the hearts of the children the promises made to the fathers, and the hearts of the children shall turn to their fathers. If it were not so, the whole earth would be utterly wasted at his coming” (Joseph Smith–History 1:38-39).

Moroni’s instruction to Joseph Smith about Elijah’s mission initiated temple and family history work in the latter days. The return of Elijah was important because the ancient prophet held the sealing power of the Melchizedek Priesthood.

“The restoration of the sealing authority by Elijah in 1836 was necessary to prepare the world for the Savior’s second coming and initiated a greatly increased and worldwide interest in family history research.”

The essence of the Lord’s work is changing, turning and purifying hearts through gospel covenants and priesthood ordinances. The most sacred covenants and priesthood ordinances are received only in a temple.

“We do not build or enter holy temples solely to have a memorable individual or family experience. Rather, the covenants received and the ordinances performed in temples are essential to the sanctifying of our hearts and for the ultimate exaltation of God’s sons and daughters.”

Covenants and priesthood ordinances are central in the ongoing process of spiritual rebirth and transformation — they are the means whereby the Lord works with people from the inside out.

“We do not come to the temple to hide from or escape the evils of the world. Rather, we come to the temple to conquer the world of evil.”

During a period of prolific temple building, the announcement of each new temple is a source of great joy. But one’s primary focus should be on the covenants and ordinances that “can change our hearts and deepen our devotion to the Savior” — not simply on the location or beauty of the building.

Joseph Smith taught that the building up of Zion brings about the renovation of earth and the salvation of the human.

“I witness that this latter-day work will destroy the powers of darkness and bring about the salvation of the human family.”

In the news:

About the speaker:

  • Elder David A. Bednar has been a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles for nearly 16 years. He was ordained and set apart on Oct. 7, 2004.
  • He served as a full-time missionary in Germany.
  • He and his wife, Sister Susan Bednar, were married in the Salt Lake Temple on March 20, 1975. They are the parents of three sons.
  • Elder Bednar currently serves as chairman of the Temple and Family History Executive Council. 

Recently on Social:

  • On March 20, Elder Bednar shared a message on Facebook about how faith in Jesus Christ drives fear away. Knowledge of the Lord allows people to “hush their fears,” he wrote, even amid situations like the COVID-19 pandemic.

In our daily lives, endless reports of COVID-19 occurrences and restrictions, criminal violence, famine, wars,…

Posted by David A. Bednar on Friday, March 20, 2020
  • He reiterated President Russell M. Nelson’s invitation to study Joseph Smith’s account of the First Vision in a Jan. 28 Instagram post, adding his testimony of the restored gospel.
View this post on Instagram

I have long been impressed with the simple and clear definition of truth found in the Book of Mormon: “The Spirit speaketh the truth and lieth not. Wherefore, it speaketh of things as they really are, and of things as they really will be” (Jacob 4:13). . The opposite of truth is falsehood—whether social, political, or spiritual—and it contributes to unrest, confusion, conflict, and even persecution. Falsehood is another tool the adversary uses to distract us from or inhibit our capacity to discern things as they really are. . The Savior has warned us repeatedly to beware of deception. Obedience to God, who is Eternal Truth, is an essential weapon upon which we must rely in the latter-day battle between good and evil. Safety from deception comes from being obedient, honoring sacred covenants, and striving to discern by the Holy Ghost things consistently as they really are. . As a young man, Joseph Smith was perplexed by the religious excitement and “scene of great confusion” (Joseph Smith—History 1:6) of his day. Even after careful and serious reflection, he felt it was impossible to determine who was right and who was wrong. Joseph read James 1:5 and came to the conclusion that he must either remain in darkness or do as James directed—ask of God. . So Joseph humbly asked. In answer to his prayer in the Sacred Grove, he was visited by God, the Eternal Father, and His Son, Jesus Christ. Joseph learned truth for himself and how to gain a knowledge of truth from God, line upon line and precept upon precept. We too can ask of God for greater knowledge and truth. . In this bicentennial year of 2020, I invite you to accept President @russellmnelson’s invitation to diligently study Joseph Smith’s account of the First Vision in the Pearl of Great Price and to learn for yourself the truth of his testimony.

A post shared by David A. Bednar (@davidabednar) on

  • On New Year’s Day, Elder Bednar posted a photo of himself and Sister Bednar, testifying that “Jesus Christ is the source of enduring joy.”

Susan and I wish you a happy and joyous new year!We are looking forward to 2020—with exciting possibilities and…

Posted by David A. Bednar on Wednesday, January 1, 2020
  • He posted on Instagram on Dec. 6, 2019, about how modern technology facilitates gospel study and family history work.