Thursday, February 17, 2011

First Time Visiting the Temple

For over a year now I have looked to the temples of the Lord with a sense of reverence and awe.  I feel so fortunate to live in a time when the Lord has commissioned the erection of hundreds of temples all over the world.  And now that I live in Logan, I have the fortune of seeing one of those awe-inspiring structures almost daily.  Seeing its beauty and its spirit never fails to brighten my day.  It is truly a magnificent structure, and when I think of the things that go on inside of it, its magnificence is only further intensified.  Because this temple and many others like it exist, hundreds of thousands of individuals who never knew the gospel have a chance to embrace it and receive their saving ordinances that they would have had they known more about them in life.

Well, today, after procrastinating far too long, I was able to attend the temple and assist several of these passed-on spirits in receiving their salvation by receiving baptisms and confirmations for them.  It was a beautiful experience.  Because of the restoration of the gospel in this age, and specifically the restoration of saving ordinances for the dead, scores of people anxiously waiting on the other side of the veil for a chance to be baptized into the gospel of Jesus Christ can now receive that and other ordinances.  And, through God's grace, we saints now living can aid them in that process.  It is something that draws several generations of people together in love.  Now, we not only aid the living in gaining their salvation through missionary work, but can aid those who didn't have access to missionaries or who didn't know enough about the gospel.  I love this doctrine.

One of the special moments was, while I was being baptized I noticed several of the people for whom I was baptized had the same last name.  I deduced they were the males of a family.  Along with their names I noticed that they were all from England and lived during the early 19th century.  It was so cool to realize that I assisted an entire family in attaining their salvation, and I imagined them rejoicing together because now they have the potential to be a family for eternity in the resurrection.  I am grateful to participate in this special moment, and hope to go to the temple often now that I have finally been for the first time.

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