- 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.”
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:
- Elder Bednar became the first member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles to visit the Republic of Sudan during a trip Feb. 8-12. He met with religious and government leaders.
- In a worldwide broadcast for Church Educational System employees and their spouses on Feb. 7, Elder David A. Bednar emphasized the role of the Holy Ghost in teaching.
- Elder Bednar and his wife, Sister Susan Bednar, visited Central America from Nov. 8-17, 2019. They met with members, missionaries and government leaders in Guatemala, Nicaragua and Honduras.
- In October 2019, the Bednars traveled to England, where they visited the church in which his great-great-great-grandparents were married in 1851. During that trip, they spoke at RootsTech London.
- On Sept. 1, 2019, Elder Bednar dedicated the Port-au-Prince Haiti Temple — the island nation’s first temple.
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.
- 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.
- 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.”
- He posted on Instagram on Dec. 6, 2019, about how modern technology facilitates gospel study and family history work.