Teaching this lesson was especially sweet for me this week because I had a wonderful experience at the temple two weeks ago, and have had several thoughts relating to it wandering around in my head for a while, so it was nice to be able to get them out in a public forum.
The building of the Kirtland Temple happened during a period of extreme trial for the church. They were poor, few in number and half of them were in Missouri being tormented by mobs. Eliza Snow commented on the commandment to build the temple:
At that time, … the Saints were few in number, and most of them very poor; and, had it not been for the assurance that God had spoken, and had commanded that a house should be built to his name, of which he not only revealed the form, but also designated the dimensions, an attempt towards building that Temple, under the then existing circumstances, would have been, by all concerned, pronounced preposterous.But the incredible sacrifices they made were more than repaid. Eliza Snow said, regarding the dedication ceremony:
The ceremonies of that dedication may be rehearsed, but no mortal language can describe the heavenly manifestations of that memorable day. Angels appeared to some, while a sense of divine presence was realized by all present, and each heart was filled with ‘joy inexpressible and full of glory.’ ” After the dedicatory prayer, the entire congregation rose and, with uplifted hands, shouted hosannasIn a blog comment a few weeks ago someone made the point that in the 1800s the people had very little money and the Lord asked them to give to the temple building fund. Now we have lots of money and we are asked to give our time. When we sacrifice the commodity we have the least of the Lord will bless us.
Then we went through section 109, the dedicatory prayer for the Kirtland Temple, and listed some of the blessings that come through the temple, and the priesthood power associated with it. Rather than quote most of the section, I will show you the list that I made as I studied it:
- taught wisdom out of the best books
- receive a fullness of the Holy Ghost
- prepared to obtain every needful thing
- may speedily repent (have you ever thought of this as a blessing?)
- armed with power
- angels have charge over them
- His name be upon them
- establish a people in thy name
- enemies will not prosper (We are the only dispensation with this promise, the only one that will not end in apostasy)
- The Lord will fight our battles
- Gift of tongues
- Softening of hearts in all the nations of the earth
- Thy people not faint in the day of trouble
Yea, verily I say unto you, I gave unto you a commandment that you should build a house, in the which house I design to endow those whom I have chosen with power from on high;The more we give to attend the House of the Lord as much as we can, the more we will obtain each time we go there.