image from mylifebygogogoff.com

I preface this article with this. I have been a temple worker and in the past 3 years since returning from my mission I have visited 65 different Temples and I have gone over 200 times, I love the Temple! What I am saying is 100% ok to talk about outside of the temple. Here are 4 things I wish I was told about the Temple before I was Endowed!

1st Go to the Temple again as soon you can.

When you receive your endowment often it is a big ordeal with friends and family coming together to go with you. In the hustle and bustle of the day often you miss the subtle things that happen, by going to the Temple again as soon as you can, it will give you the chance to better understand the ordinances you have just performed and the covenants you have entered into.

Don’t forget to do initiatories! Often members go back for an endowment session and completely forget about initiatories, my brother-in-law did not do any for over 5 years after he received his endowment. They only take about 30 minutes to do 5 vicarious initiatories, but they are jammed packed full of blessings!

“The supreme benefits of membership in the Church can only be realized only through the exalting ordinances of the temple. These blessings qualify us for “thrones, kingdoms, principalities, and powers” in the celestial kingdom.” – President Russell M. Nelson.

Read the full post on My Life, By Gogogoff.

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image via mormonnewsroom.com

America’s fifth largest city and birthplace now is home to the 152nd working temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The Mormon Newsroom reports:

“The Philadelphia Pennsylvania Temple was dedicated as the 152nd temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Sunday, September 18, 2016. It is the first temple in Philadelphia and in the state. President Henry B. Eyring, first Counselor in the First Presidency of the Church dedicated the temple in three sessions on Sunday and presided over the youth cultural celebration the night prior at Temple University. President Erying has a close bond to this particular temple since he was born and lived in New Jersey and was baptized in Philiadelphia as a boy.

“The 61,000-square-foot temple will serve more than 40,000 Church members in parts of Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Maryland and all of Delaware.”

President Uchtdorf Rome Temple Scaffolding
from official Facebook page of Pres Uchtdorf.

On Monday we found a particularly happy picture on President Dieter F. Uchtdorf’s Facebook page. He shared pictures of he and his wife at the Rome temple during his visit last week. He also shared a picture of him climbing up the scaffolding of the temple with a smile the size of Texas! President Uchtdorf is a living reminder to us that the Lord wants us to be happy. We found the reactions of those who shared this photo to be particularly happy:

Mindy shares:

“I don’t know if there is anything more hopeful than this smile! The sun will come out tomorrow!”

Kirby shared:

“President Uchtdorf is awesome!”

President Uchtdorf really is awesome Kirby. We agree!

He also shared a more personal story about when he and Harriett were sealed to their families and to each other in the Swiss temple. Read his story below or go and interact on the post here.

Just a few days ago, Harriet and I visited the Rome Italy Temple site. We have enjoyed visiting this temple site as it is being constructed and eagerly look forward to its dedication. As European Saints, we feel a connection to this beautiful temple.

Harriet and I were both sealed to our families in the Swiss Temple as youth. In the 1950s, we European members saw the Swiss Temple as our spiritual powerhouse. We remained in our own countries and sought to build the kingdom of God in Europe. Harriet and I were later married in the Swiss Temple, as were our children.

How wonderful it is that various temples dot Europe now, with two more in Paris and Rome coming soon. When I think of temples across the earth, I remember that temples are literally houses of the Lord. They are places where the Lord may come. They are the most holy of any places of worship on the earth. Only our homes can compare with temples in sacredness.

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Inside the Mormon Temple
image credit mormonnewsroom.org

The following is an excerpt from S. Michael Wilcox’s House of Glory: Finding Personal Meaning in the Temple, where he discusses how talking about the temple can bless others as long as we speak of it in the right time at the right place.

[When preparing to enter the temple,] we are told to pray for understanding. How often do we kneel before or after temple attendance and beseech the Lord to teach us some edifying truth from the endowment?

The Lord is willing to teach if we will ask. We must allow Him, however, to use His own wisdom about when and how to reveal a certain truth. Sometimes He will speak directly to our minds. Sometimes the answer will come in the scriptures. Insight might be presented to us by a spouse, a mother, or a father during a quiet conversation in the celestial room.

These conversations are completely appropriate and may be the means by which the Lord will answer our prayers for understanding. Occasionally we wonder what we can or cannot say about the ordinances of the temple.

Outside the temple, we must use extreme care, speaking only of those things that are in the scriptures or in the official publications of the Church. Even then, we must let this counsel be our guide: “Remember that that which cometh from above is sacred, and must be spoken with care, and by constraint of the Spirit; and in this there is no condemnation” (D&C 63:64).

Inside the temple, among those who are worthy of the ordinances, we may, again with the constraint of the Spirit, teach one another, particularly those in our own families.


Image from President Nelson's facebook page

On Facebook, President Nelson shared an incredible and powerful story of two little girls he operated on who visited him one night from beyond the veil.

President Nelson told more of the story in October 2015 general conference:

“Fifty-eight years ago I was asked to operate upon a little girl, gravely ill from congenital heart disease. Her older brother had previously died of a similar condition. Her parents pleaded for help. I was not optimistic about the outcome but vowed to do all in my power to save her life. Despite my best efforts, the child died. Later, the same parents brought another daughter to me, then just 16 months old, also born with a malformed heart. Again, at their request, I performed an operation. This child also died. This third heartbreaking loss in one family literally undid me.

“I went home grief stricken. I threw myself upon our living room floor and cried all night long. Dantzel stayed by my side, listening as I repeatedly declared that I would never perform another heart operation. Then, around 5:00 in the morning, Dantzel looked at me and lovingly asked, ‘Are you finished crying? Then get dressed. Go back to the lab. Go to work! You need to learn more. If you quit now, others will have to painfully learn what you already know.’”

In the April 2016 Priesthood Session, President Nelson told the rest of the story—a beautiful ending for both him and the grieving family.

Here’s how he summarized it on facebook just recently:


Read the full account on his General Conference talk here.

Image via ldschurchtemples.com

Through the years, temples have had direct or close encounters with brush fires, sand storms, tsunamis, blizzards, tornadoes, hurricanes/typhoons, flooding, and lightning strikes.

For the most part, the temples dotting the earth have withstood these forces with very few consequences. This is partly the result of the high level of construction integrity utilized in all of the latter-day temples. Brigham Young established this incredibly high construction standard starting with the Salt Lake Temple: “When the Temple is built I want it to stand through the millennium, in connection with many others that will yet be built.”

Today, temple builders have faithfully perpetuated this tradition of construction excellence. To protect against earthquakes, temples are often built to far exceed local seismic building codes. For example, although the Sao Paulo Brazil Temple was built in a region with minimal seismic activity, the foundation was built strong enough to sustain another 13 stories, making the structure virtually earthquake proof. The Redlands California Temple was built in an area frequented by many seismic events. According to the temple’s construction missionary Elder Jerry Quinn, “The massive reinforced concrete foundation and walls create a building with a seismic rating designed to withstand two levels above the largest earthquake ever recorded in California. There has never been a recorded earthquake in California that would even touch this structure. Redlands’ City inspectors were so impressed with our building that they used photos and data from this building to show other contractors how they should build.” And while these temples are built sturdily, it doesn’t mean that others haven’t been damaged or affected by natural disasters. Here are some incredible stories from just a few.

IN THE PATH OF HURRICANES – Baton Rouge Louisiana Temple

In 2005, the Atlantic hurricane season proved to be the most active season in recorded history. Category 5 Hurricane Katrina was the costliest natural disaster in the history of the United States. President D. Gregory Brumfield and Sister Alicia Brumfield served as the temple’s first President and Matron (2000-2005). Hurricane Katrina proved to be the most dramatic experience of their five years of service and occurred only months prior to their release. Of the experience, Sister Brumfield related the following: “The President and I knew the storm was coming so we went to the temple to lock it up and make sure everything was secure. Before we left, we said a prayer… you know if there is something large in a river, the river goes around the object on both sides… that is exactly what happened at the temple. The hurricane went around the temple on both sides and we sustained very little damage.”

“After being closed for a couple of days we opened the temple. We only had a couple of temple workers but we knew we needed to be open for those who wanted to come to the temple. Our policy was, ‘The Lord will provide and He will take care of us. We just need to move forward.’ “

“As the temple matron, I watched my brothers and sisters come to the temple looking like zombies. Their home was gone, their neighbors were gone, their food storage is gone their genealogy is gone… they only had the clothes on their backs and nothing more. They had lost their facial expression. Think of someone who is disoriented but somehow knew where they needed to be. The temple was their refuge… As the matron, I would welcome them and give them a hug.”

Three years later, in 2008, category 4 Hurricane Gustav’s devastation also had an indirect impact on the temple. Immediately following the hurricane’s aftermath, thousands of member volunteers from the southern states descended upon the temple grounds to gather, pitch tents and prepare to serve the Baton Rouge community. The adjoining stake center served as a command center for the hurricane rescue and cleanup operation for the 2,000+ service requests. As volunteers pitched their tents on the temple property, they purposefully positioned their tent “door towards the temple” (See Mosiah 2:6).

The number of gathered volunteers necessitated that sacrament meeting be held outdoors on the temple grounds one Sabbath morning. Stake President Randall Bluth described the special experience, “It really was a remarkable event to look at the sea of yellow ‘Helping Hands’ t-shirts gathered on the hill around the temple. We didn’t have enough sacrament trays, so we used huge cookie sheets for the bread and water cups. Following the brief sacrament meeting, we all went out into the community and worked where needed.”

“It was powerful. It is hard to describe in words what kind of an event that was… it just felt like the heavens opened as we were there to serve people after a disaster… and then to look over at the temple and realize that there is an eternal purpose for all that we do. It was unforgettable.”

Read the full article at LDS Living.

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Image via Meridian Magazine

Ground was broken for the Durban South Africa Temple on Saturday, April 9, 2016, as hundreds of Mormons and other community members gathered to celebrate the event. The temple, announced by President Thomas S. Monson in 2011, will serve as South Africa’s second temple.

Elder Carl B. Cook of the Seventy, and president of the Church’s Africa Southeast Area presided at the groundbreaking. He was joined by his wife Lynette. Elder Stanley G. Ellis and Elder Kevin S. Hamilton, also of the area presidency, and their wives Kathryn and Claudia, respectively, attended along with dignitaries and community leaders.

“Today the ceremonial shovels will turn the soil, and the construction of the temple will begin,” said Elder Cook.  “We can likewise begin building.  We can build our personal lives in preparation for the temple.  Today we can increase our faith, we can increase our obedience to God, and serve Him more fully.”

After the temple is completed, open house dates will be announced so the public can tour the temple before it is dedicated. A date for dedication will also be announced.

Read the full article at Meridian Magazine.

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Image via Daily Herald

An Unpleasant Call in the Middle of the Night

It’s seldom good news when the phone rings in the middle of the night. The call in the early morning hours of December 17, 2010 was no exception. I was sleeping soundly at home when around 3:00 a.m. I received a call from the Provo Police and Fire Dispatch Center informing me that the tabernacle was on fire. The Provo Tabernacle; no further description was needed.

The Provo Tabernacle had been a busy place over the past couple of days in preparation for the production of “Gloria,” a musical celebration of the birth of Christ.   A dress rehearsal was held until late Thursday night. But now a fire was racing through the attic of the building, consuming the wooden roof structure that was over 100 years old.

The dispatcher patched my call through to the on-duty Battalion Chief, Roger Gourley, who explained that the fire was well advanced on his arrival and his crews were not safely able to sustain an effective interior fire attack. He simply but effectively summed up the situation in two words, “it’s bad.”

A Landmark Devoured by Flame

When I arrived on the scene a short time later, I realized how bad it was. The fire had broken through the roof and it was impossible for the crews to deliver enough water to the locations where it would be most effective in slowing the flame spread. At approximately 4:30 a.m., the west end of the roof collapsed, and the open flames lit up the dark and cold winter sky.

 A feeling of hopelessness set in as the fire continued to race through the rest of the roof structure. A number of water streams were deployed at different angles to try to slow the spread but to no avail. The remainder of the roof structure collapsed around 6:00 am, pulling down a portion of the east gable. The entire contents of the tabernacle were now buried under the collapsed burning roof. A feeling of gloom and despair was felt by most everyone on scene that morning. In addition to the numbing effect of the freezing temperatures and snow, we were emotionally numb as we experienced the helpless feeling of the loss of this historic and sacred landmark.

Firefighters love to save lives and property, and fortunately there was no loss of life as a result of this fire. In fact, there was not even a serious injury. But this was a hard morning for the firefighters in Provo, as they had failed to save this important, historic structure, and the morale was very low. The fact that the fire was too far advanced when it was discovered, and the ceiling was beginning to fall on the first crew as they entered the building, was little consolation to a group of men and women who take pride in preserving buildings, especially one as important to the community as the Provo Tabernacle.

Read the full article at LDS Living.

Image via LDSLiving

Waving a white handkerchief and shouting “hosanna” may not be something many people expect to do at a temple dedication. But when we take the time to understand the deep historic and religious significance behind it, it becomes less unusual and more sacred.

What is the Hosanna Shout?

Though you may have heard of this unique Latter-day Saint ritual, it is not often discussed or explained. During the October 2000 general conference, as Church members prepared to dedicate the newly completed Conference Center, however, President Hinckley described it the following way:

“Now, my brothers and sisters, in a moment I shall offer the dedicatory prayer, in which all of you are invited to join. Immediately at the close of the dedicatory prayer, we invite each one of you who may wish to participate to stand and join with us in the Hosanna Shout. This sacred salute to the Father and the Son is given at the dedication of each of the temples. It has also been given on a few occasions of historic importance, such as the laying of the capstone on the Salt Lake Temple and the celebration of the centennial of the Church in the 1930 general conference.

“We feel it is appropriate to give the shout here, as we dedicate this great building, the likes of which we may never undertake again. Any mention of this by the media should recognize that for us this is a very sacred and personal thing. We request that it be treated with deference and respect.

“I will now demonstrate the shout. Each one takes a clean white handkerchief, holding it by one corner, and waves it while saying in unison, “Hosanna, Hosanna, Hosanna to God and the Lamb,” repeated three times, followed by “Amen, Amen, and Amen.”

Where does it come from?

For many Latter-day Saints, the most commonly talked about origin of the Hosanna Shout is from Christ’s triumphant entry into Jerusalem, when the people greeted Him with shouts of hosanna and waved palm branches and acknowledged him as the Messiah.

However, shouting hosanna can be traced even further back, to the Hebrew Feast of the Tabernacles. This feast, which began and ended on a Sabbath day, involved sleeping in temporary huts, erected in remembrance of the 40 years that the Israelites wandered in the wilderness. It also celebrated the gathering of nations and deliverance they received at the Lord’s hand. As part of the festivities, on the seventh day, which was sometimes called “the Great Hosanna,” a special meeting was held and shouts of hosanna were given while palm branches were waved. But why use the word “hosanna”?

Read the full article at LDS Living.