Monday, February 18, 2013

Personal Revelation-- A Blessing of the Temple

Draper Utah Temple

One of the blessings that come with temple attendance is the gift of personal revelation. The Lord said, 

“And inasmuch as my people build a house unto me in the name of the Lord, and do not suffer any unclean thing to come into it, that it be not defiled, my glory shall rest upon it; Yea, and my presence shall be there, for I will come into it, and all the pure in heart that shall come into it shall see God” (Doctrine and Covenants 97:15-16).

In the temple, individuals with hearts that are open and minds that are clear, and who are ready to listen can readily receive personal revelation. When the Lord accepted the Kirtland Temple on April 3, 1836, He said, “For behold, I have accepted this house, and my name shall be here; and I will manifest myself to my people in mercy in this house” (Doctrine and Covenants 110:7). This manifestation most often comes in the form of personal revelation. Elder John A. Widstoe:

It is a great promise that to the temples God will come, and that in them man shall see God. What does this promised communion mean? Does it mean that once in a while God may come into the temples, and that once in a while the pure in heart may see God there; or does it mean the larger thing, that the pure in heart who go into the temples, may, there by the Spirit of God, always have a wonderfully rich communion with God? I think that is what it means to me and to you and to most of us. We have gone into these holy houses, with our minds freed from the ordinary earthly cares, and have literally felt the presence of God. In this way, the temples are always places where God manifests himself to man and increases his intelligence. A Temple is a place of revelation. (Elder John A. Widstoe, “Temple Worship,” October 12, 1920)

This precious gift from our loving Heavenly Father will bless our lives and guide us to Eternal Life. President Gordon B. Hinckley said,

“In this noisy, bustling, competitive world, what a privilege it is to have a sacred house where we may experience the sanctifying influence of the Spirit of the Lord. The element of selfishness crowds in upon us constantly. We need to overcome it, and there is no better way than to go to the house of the Lord and there serve in a vicarious relationship in behalf of those who are beyond the veil of death. What a remarkable thing this is. In most cases, we do not know those for whom we work. We expect no thanks. We have no assurance that they will accept that which we offer. But we go, and in that process we attain to a state that comes of no other effort. We literally become saviors on Mount Zion. What does this mean? Just as our Redeemer gave His life as a vicarious sacrifice for all men, and in so doing became our Savior, even so we, in a small measure, when we engage in proxy work in the temple, become as saviors to those on the other side who have no means of advancing unless something is done in their behalf by those on earth.” (Gordon B. Hinckley, “Closing Remarks,” Ensign, November 2004).

Temple service sanctifies us. As we become more saintly, then we are open to the influence of the Holy Spirit and can more readily receive inspiration and revelation.

President Ezra Taft Benson promised, “That, with increased attendance in the temples of our God, you shall receive increased personal revelation to bless your lives as you bless those who have died” (Ensign, May 1987, p. 85). It is true that we may receive inspiration and revelation without entering the temple, but President Benson’s promise is that we will receive more revelation as we enter and serve in the House of the Lord. As we give unselfish service, there is a corresponding increase in our ability to feel the Spirit and receive personal revelation.

The principle of receiving personal revelation as we serve was also taught by Elder David B. Haight who said, “Come to the temples worthily and regularly. Not only do you bless those who are deceased, but you may freely partake of the promised personal revelation that may bless your life with power, knowledge, light, beauty, and truth from on high, which will guide you and your posterity to eternal life. What person would not want these blessings…?” (David B. Haight, “Come to the House of the Lord,” Ensign, May 1992).

Elder John A. Widstoe made this powerful promise about giving temple service:

“I believe that the busy person on the farm, in the shop, in the office, or in the household, who has worries and troubles, can solve his problems better and more quickly in the house of the Lord than anywhere else. If he will leave his problems behind and in the temple work for himself and for his dead, he will confer a mighty blessing upon those who have gone before, and quite as large a blessing will come to him, for at the most unexpected moments, in or out of the temple will come to him, as a revelation, the solution of the problems that vex his life. That is the gift that comes to those who enter the temple properly, because it is a place where revelations may be expected.” (John A. Widstoe, “Temple Worship,” October 12, 1920)

I have experienced the blessing of revelation that comes from temple service. The Spirit I have felt in the temple has lifted me to a higher plane. I have felt my Heavenly Father’s love in the temple, which has strengthened me. In times of need, I have been comforted and felt peace. I have received answers to questions and found solutions to problems. His Spirit has taught me, given me new insights, and expanded my understanding of truth.

I love the temple. I am grateful to a loving Heavenly Father who has made these sacred houses available for His children.

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