Young Men general leader: How ‘speaking’ of the temple can bless and prepare youth

Both the Young Women and Aaronic Priesthood quorum themes mention preparing for the temple. Young people repeat those words — but parents and adult leaders must put those words into action by teaching youth about the power of the temple.  

Speak of sacrifices associated with temples

Young people need to hear the true stories of people who made great sacrifices to participate in temple ordinances. The early Saints worked tirelessly in the Nauvoo Temple, even as they were persecuted and pressured to leave.

In 1992, members from Manaus, Brazil, embarked on a 3,000-mile journey by boat and bus to travel to the São Paulo Brazil Temple. They saved for months, even selling many of their possessions to make the trip. During the voyage, they ran out of drinkable water. After the stake president prayed, rain poured down and provided enough water until they reached the next city.

More recently, several temples in North America were given three days’ notice before suspending operations to help prevent spread of the COVID-19 virus. These temples stayed open around the clock for those three days, and workers scheduled ordinances every possible hour before the temples had to close.

Speak of power associated with temples

Brother David T. Lisonbee, Young Men general advisory council
Brother David T. Lisonbee, Young Men general advisory council Credit: Intellectual Reserve, Inc.

Why do people sacrifice so much to enjoy temple blessings?

They understand that making temple covenants bring spiritual power into their lives. The spiritual power available in the temple can help them resist temptation, receive personal revelation and have the Holy Ghost as their constant companion.

“And it came to pass that I, Nephi, beheld the power of the Lamb of God, that it descended upon the saints of the church of the Lamb, and upon the covenant people of the Lord, who were scattered upon all the face of the earth; and they were armed with righteousness and with the power of God in great glory” (1 Nephi 14:14).

Our youth desperately need spiritual power so they can be armed with righteousness to face the challenges of today’s world. 

President Russell M. Nelson said, “Every activity, every lesson, all we do in the Church, point to the Lord and His holy house. Our efforts to proclaim the gospel, perfect the Saints and redeem the dead all lead to the temple. Each holy temple stands as a symbol of our membership in the Church, as a sign of our faith in life after death, and as a sacred step toward eternal glory for us and our families.” 

Speak of your own experiences in the temple

As a 19-year-old missionary, I received my endowment in the Salt Lake Temple. I was in awe of the magnificence of the historic structure itself, but also of the spiritual lessons I had learned.

Later, we were ushered to the fourth floor to hear from President Harold B. Lee. He gave a magnificent talk about our purpose as missionaries, what temple ordinances mean and why we are here on the earth. 

More important than the words he shared were the feelings I felt. I knew the temple was the house of the Lord. I knew President Lee’s words were true. I knew he was a Prophet of God. I felt the power and sacredness of the temple. I recognized that through continued temple attendance, I would obtain the strength I needed to fulfill my mission and live a faithful life. Even though that was over 40 years ago, I continue to learn from my experiences of worshipping in the temple.

The Salt Lake Temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is seen in the morning light before the start of the 190th Annual General Conference in Salt Lake City on Saturday, April 4, 2020.
The Salt Lake Temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is seen in the morning light before the start of the 190th Annual General Conference in Salt Lake City on Saturday, April 4, 2020. Credit: Spenser Heaps, Deseret News

President Nelson said, “Talk about the temple with your family and friends. Because Jesus Christ is at the center of everything we do in the temple, as you think more about the temple you will be thinking more about Him. Study and pray to learn more about the power and knowledge with which you have been endowed — or with which you will yet be endowed.”

In each of the suggestions above there is one commonality — the word “speak.” There are some things about the temple of which we do not speak, but we must not let that stop us from speaking openly and often about other aspects of the temple. We are living at a time when many are unable to attend temples due to pandemic restrictions. However, those restrictions do not keep us from talking about the temple. 

As young men and women look to the temple and prepare to make covenants in the Lord’s house, they will feel the power of God in their lives, better understand their divine identities and become all that our Heavenly Father knows they can be.