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As I've been pondering how the temple is the symbol of our membership, it brought me back to my childhood. Even when we didn't go to church, I had a picture of the Salt Lake Temple hanging in my room. I asked if I could have it when I discovered it because it was beautiful and I knew it symbolized something of importance. Even as little children, we can understand that the temple symbolizes so much more than a building we enter.
The temple is where we connect our present moments to the eternities- both in the past and in the future. The temple is where things last forever. It's the place where we can leave all our cares at the door completely and fully turn to the Lord. It's the one place where we let our guards down long enough to feel of the God's love more completely and the peace that can be apart of our lives always if we let it.
Click the image above to print the Temple Thoughts covers
How do we make the temple a continual symbol of our personal membership in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints? We work at it. We go to the temple as often as circumstances allow us. We hang a photo of the temple up in our homes. We study the covenants we make and the other symbols of the temple found throughout the building. We prepare ourselves before we go the first time and every time there after. We remember that now is part of eternity and do our best to keep on the strait and narrow. We share the message of the temples. We live our lives so we may always enter the holy temples.
- Print the Temple Thoughts covers for your handout this week. One of the ways that we make the temple a bigger symbol of our membership is by making the temple a bigger part of our lives. Each time you go to the temple, take time to open these notebooks and write a few of your thoughts. As you study about the temple and prepare to go, record your thoughts in here. You can give out the covers and encourage others to make their own journal or buy a bunch of these 3x5 notebooks and attach the covers to the front. Click the image above to print these out. I printed mine out using photo paper to capture more of the color and to have a sturdy cover- just be careful not to smudge the images when they first come out as the ink will still be wet. The temples pictured are Provo City Center, Salt Lake City, and Denver.
- Start your lesson by discussing symbols in general. What do they mean? Do symbols change over time or does simply of our view of them change over time? Then dive into how the temple should be an ever constant symbol of our membership- from childhood on up.
Click the image to print these temple images (zip file)
- This lesson definitely needs a visual of a temple. If you don't have any you can use mine or you can head to LDS.org and print out some photos of the temple there. Be sure to check the copyrights for them as it can differ per photo. President Hunter stated, "Keep a picture of a temple in your home that your children may see it." Why does having this visual matter? You can compare it in a sense to having a vision board. We need to have clear goal in mind if we want to get there. NOTE: The file for the temple images above also includes the temple quote featured further down as well as a gold outline of the Salt Lake Temple.
- Spend time discussing what being worthy of a temple recommend means to you. Don't spend time on arguing what worthiness means as it's clearly laid out in the chapter. Instead talk about how being temple worthy affects you. How does it help you? How can bless your family?
- One of the lines I loved in the chapter in talking about temple blessings is, "Then I can see more clearly my place amidst the things of the universe." The temple helps us keep that eternal perspective and remember what matters. What choices are going to turn your hinges towards eternal life? The choice we make to go to the temple. the covenants we make therein, and our willingness to keep our covenants thereafter.
- You can find this chapter's video on Facebook. One book that I mentioned in my video was Sacred Walls: Learning from the Temple Symbols.
- Think about all the other things and places that use the symbol of the temple- our bodies, our homes. Why do we use this symbol? What does it immediately imply?
- Discuss some of the obstacles that get in our way as we strive to attend the temple more frequently. How can these be overcome? 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.
- 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.
- I love the thought of "holiness to the Lord" found on each of the temples. What does holy mean? How do you live a holy life? Sister Wendy Watson Nelson has talked a lot about becoming holy. She talks about a 3 day challenge she issued in her book, What Would a Holy Woman Do?
Questions to Ponder
- How can you make the temple a symbol of your membership?
- Why is the temple an appropriate symbol for our church?
- How has living temple worthy been a blessing for you and your family?
- Why is it a requirement to be "clean and free from the sins of the world" as you enter the temple?
- How have you been blessed as you've attended the temple? How has your family been blessed through your temple attendance?
- How can you benefit more fully from the blessings available through the temple?
- What experiences have you had while in the temple that have strengthened you or provided you with the direction you needed?
- How can/do you prepare yourself to attend the temple?
- Why do you want to go to the temple?
- How can you help children and youth develop a love for the temple?
- How can you encourage others to be married in the temple?
- Why is it important to you to go to the temple as frequently as you can?
- Why do you want the temple to be your symbol?
- How do you make time for the temple?
Suggested Study Schedule
Remember to come join our private Facebook Group for more discussion and ideas on this chapter.
Watch Ministry of Howard W. Hunter: Love for the Temple (about 2 minutes)
Watch Teachings of Howard W. Hunter: Every Member Temple-Worthy (about 1 1/2 minutes)
Watch Unto All the World: Amalia Rivas' Story (about 4 minutes)
"See Yourself in the Temple" by Elder Quentin L. Cook
"Shipshape and Bristol Fashion: Be Temple Worthy- in Good Times and Bad Times" by Elder Quentin L. Cook
"The Holy Temple- a Beacon to the World" by President Thomas S. Monson
"Personal Preparation for Temple Blessings" by President Russell M. Nelson
"The Holy Temple" by President Boyd K. Packer
"Behold, the Mountain of the Lord"- Hymn #54
"Families Can Be Together Forever"- Hymn #300
"God Is in His Holy Temple"- Hymn #132
"Holy Temples on Mount Zion"- Hymn #289
"How Beautiful Thy Temples, Lord"- Hymn #288
"Rejoice, Ye Saints of Latter Days"- Hymn #290
"Rise, Ye Saints, and Temples Enter"- Hymn #287
"The Day Dawn Is Breaking"- Hymn #52
"We Love Thy House, O God"- Hymn #247