After all that talk about missionary work, we have a chapter about the temple- Gordon B. Hinckley Chapter 23: The Blessings of the Holy Temple. As President Hinckley says, it is the "crowning blessings of the gospel"- the perfect next focus for new converts and those returning to the church as well as the old timers.
I miss the temple right now. I can't handle a long car ride currently but as soon as I'm well enough between my cycle of treatments I've got a plan to go. I have flexible temple buddy with transportation and names to do (that's half the battle, right?). I'm so excited. Sometimes we need those reminders of not being able to go to appreciate it all that much more (right Houston people?).
I love that we jumped into the construction of mini temples in the first part of this chapter. What an amazing blessing to so many of us. While we are not currently undergoing construction of temples at that same pace as President Hinckley, the number of temples is still consistently increasing. Remember when it was feasible to actually attend all the temples? Ha! Don't you love that that goal is much harder to obtain now? What a great testimony to the world of our active faith.
VIDEO AT THE BOTTOM!
Questions to Ponder
Some of these questions are from the manual, others are ones that I thought of- use them in your preparation, lesson, or to help you think of your own.
- What are some of the blessings you have received through temple ordinances? How has your family been blessed as a result of your ordinances and attendance?
- According to your experiences, why do temples stir such deep feelings?
- How can parents and youth work together in temple service?
- What can you do to make time to serve and worship in the temple?
- In what ways can your service in the temple influence your life outside the temple?
- How has going to the temple blessed you?
- How would your life be different without the promised blessings of the temple?
- In what ways is the temple an expression of your testimony?
- Why do you think it is important to have a temple recommend even if you are not near a temple?
- How has President Hinckley's announcement of mini temples impacted your life?
- How can you instill the importance of the temple in your family's life?
- What makes the temple important or special to you?
- How can you make the temple a symbol of your life?
- What can you do to benefit more fully from the blessings available in the temple?
- What is the temple to you?
Here are some articles to study as you continue to prepare for your lesson. They should NOT replace the manual but rather help answer questions and strengthen your own testimony so that it is easy to teach with confidence and answer questions that arise during your lesson.
Why Latter-day Saints Build Temples- Article on LDS.org
"See Yourself in the Temple" by Elder Quentin L. Cook- You could take his mirror idea into your classroom.
"The Power of Godliness" by Elder Kent F. Richards
"Blessings of the Temple" by President Thomas S. Monson
"Shipshape and Bristol Fashion: Be Temple Worthy- in Good Times and Bad Times" by Elder Quentin L. Cook- Another great one to create imagery in your lesson.
"The Holy Temple- a Beacon to the World" by President Thomas S. Monson
"Enhancing Our Temple Experience" by L. Lionel Kendrick
DESERET BOOKSHELF PLUS RECOMMENDATIONS
Remember, as a Deseret Bookshelf PLUS member, you can access as many of these eBooks or audiobooks anytime. Find out more about Deseret Bookshelf PLUS.
"Look to the Temple" by Ed J. Pinegar and Richard J. Allen
"House of Glory" by S. Michael Wilcox
"The Holy Temple" by President Boyd K. Packer
There are, of course, a whole lot more if you search around.
Ministry of Gordon B. Hinckley: Temple Building (about 2 minutes)- The construction of temples across the world
Worldwide Access to Temples (about 1 minute)- Clip from President Hinckley
Temples Reflect the Savior's Love for Us (about 3 minutes)- President Henry B. Eyring's testimony of temples
Temples (about 16 minutes)- A Conversation about temples with a Church Leader. It's a good place to start especially if you have a lot of new people. There is also this Temples clip that is shorter at about 6 minutes.
Check out the category Temples in the Media Center. There are several videos to choose from including cultural celebrations, Jesus cleansing the temple, and testimonies.
These are my ideas. My hope is that reading my thoughts will be a springboard to finding the right plans for your class.
- Use my handout (or photos of the real temples) to put up the number of temples there were in the world when President Hinckley became the President of the Church. Then have your class put up the rest of the temple photos to show how many temples were announced by the end of his presidency. Discuss why it was so important to him (and us) to have temples so accessible.
- The announcement of mini temples is also a great time to discuss the Lord's time table versus ours. President Hinckley had the idea much earlier but it was not ready to be presented until later. Remember Elder Dallin H. Oaks talk in October 2017 about the Family Proclamation (see section 4 in his talk). Again it was years in the work. It's a great reminder that even when something is right, it may take years before it comes to fruition and we need to practice patience, trust, and faith.
- Begin more light hearted by asking people what is their wallet, leading up to the question, "What is the most valuable thing in your wallet?" You may answer the question speaking for yourself as your temple recommend then ask the question again without taking answers.
- One of the best things you could do before teaching this lesson is to go to the temple yourself. Even better- try to do one of your ancestor's names in the temple starting with baptism through their sealing.
- See if there is an upcoming Relief Society, Ward or Stake temple trip you can mention during your lesson.
- Gather a list of babysitters to pass around to help encourage parents to go OR pass around a sign up for those that would be willing to swap babysitting or who would like to carpool.
- Look up your temple's dedicatory prayer to share during your lesson (please note that not all are available but you can search on LDS.org).
- Last year I shared a Temple Thoughts journal idea. If you haven't done it yet, it would be great for this lesson too (scroll down to the Teaching Ideas section in the post).
- Study the temple more fully with this Study of the Temple Scripture Journal. It includes posters, scriptures, and talks to study about the temple as well as questions to get your pondering and making goals. You may copy a page or two for your whole class to do as well but no more please. You may also want to read President Boyd K. Packer's book, The Holy Temple.
- A musical number would be beautiful with this lesson, especially Primary children singing, "I Love to See the Temple."
- Get some help organizing your lesson with this lesson kit from My Computer Is My Canvas. There are posters, title strips, and even a treat idea.
- Put a picture of your local temple on the wall where everyone can see it. Have them envision going on a journey to the temple. What do you need to do in order to get there? What problems might pop up, how you can solve them? Try to think of real answers if possible. For example, one of mine is a lack of transportation. I'd love to know who would like company on their trips so I could go more often. See if you can solve some of those simpler obstacles in your classroom right away. Then discuss the journey back home. What good things might come to you on your journey home again? How will your family and home be blessed as a result of your journey? This is a great time to remind everyone of the Temple Patron Fund as well to help others make it to the temple. There is a video about a longer trek to the temple that you could show as well- Sealed Together: The Manaus Temple Caravan (about 14 minutes- you could probably cut it down though).
- See if you can find someone that was directly blessed by the construction of mini temples and ask them to share their testimony during class.
- Video is here, however, there are some parts that are frozen. You can still hear me for the most part so I didn't redo it. Because of the freezing, it is not on You Tube this time, only Facebook. I mentioned these coloring pages from Pace Paintings and Clever Cucumber in my video.
See the hymns listed under the topic of "Genealogy and Temple Work."