A divine mountain in the Arizona desert

 

One of the three temples in the Valley of the Sun
The Phoenix Arizona Temple (LDS Media Library)

 

This morning, my wife and I (and the Utah friends with whom we’ve come) participated in an endowment session in the Phoenix Arizona Temple.

 

I’ve always loved the temple.  Some of my earliest and most pivotal spiritual experiences came in connection with temples, and — along with several others that I know — I consider temples and temple worship among the greatest evidences of divine revelation to Joseph Smith.

 

“The temple is a point of intersection between heaven and earth. In this sacred place, holy work will be performed through selfless service and love. The temple reminds me of all that is good and beautiful in the world.”  (Elder David A. Bednar)

 

“The Church is not fully organized, in its proper order, and cannot be, until the Temple is completed, where places will be provided for the administration of the ordinances of the Priesthood.”  (Joseph Smith, April 1842)

 

“What was the object of gathering the … people of God in any age of the world? … The main object was to build unto the Lord a house whereby He could reveal unto His people the ordinances of His house and the glories of His kingdom, and teach the people the way of salvation; for there are certain ordinances and principles that, when they are taught and practiced, must be done in a place or house built for that purpose.”  (Joseph Smith, March 1844)

 

This two-minute video is well worth watching:

 

“Ministry of Joseph Smith: Temples”

 

 

I was privileged this morning to act on behalf of a Norwegian man bearing the same last name that I do, who, the record said, was born on 3 June 1851.  Since my grandmother was Norwegian, and since I have a particular affinity and affection for that beautiful country, the ordinance today bore special meaning for me.

 

But I’ve always loved the idea of vicarious work for the dead.  I would imagine that this man has been dead for — at least — the better part of a century.  It’s very probable that virtually nobody has thought of him or even spoken his name for a couple of generations or more.  But I thought of him today, and his name was spoken several times today, by several people.  This is, to me, representative of the much larger fact that, in the perspective of God, no one is forgotten.  All are remembered.  All are loved.

 

While waiting in the chapel of the temple for the session to begin, I read and re-read and thought about two of my favorite scriptural verses:

 

“One thing have I desired of the Lord, that will I seek after; that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the Lord, and to inquirein his temple.”  (Psalm 27:4)

 

“Consider on the blessed and happy state of those that keep the commandments of God. For behold, they are blessed in all things, both temporal and spiritual; and if they hold out faithful to the end they are received into heaven, that thereby they may dwell with God in a state of never-ending happiness. O remember, remember that these things are true; for the Lord God hath spoken it.”  (Mosiah 2:41)

 

***

 

Don’t forget about the Interpreter Radio Show, tomorrow night at 7 PM, Utah time.

 

Posted from Phoenix, Arizona

 

 

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