Monday, July 16, 2018
22 JUN 2018
I'm sure everyone has had an experience that becomes embedded in his or her memory. Maybe it came through some action or something that was said.
One of my memories comes from the dedication of the Mexico City Mexico Temple Dec. 2-3, 1983. President Gordon B. Hinckley, then second counselor in the First Presidency, conducted and addressed some of the sessions to dedicate the temple, which was the first in Mexico and the 26th worldwide.
As he began his address in one of the sessions, President Hinckley spoke with a quivering voice as he testified that souls “from the other side of the veil” were present. “All rooms (of the temple) are filled with faithful Latter-day Saints,” he said, “but I am convinced there is a larger, unseen congregation participating with us.”
President Hinckley then named specifically individuals who had key roles in establishing the Church in Mexico, beginning with Brigham Young, who sent missionaries to the country. He stated the names of several of the missionaries and the first mission president. He named the first Mexican who was baptized, and pronounced the names of several others who had occupied a place in the history of the Church in Mexico.
President Hinckley then proceeded to give the talk he had prepared.
I suppose most of us have been in congregations when the person conducting the meeting has acknowledged certain people, such as a member of the stake presidency or other visitor and, later, has said something to the effect, “There is another person I failed to introduce.” Something like that happened during the dedication of the temple in Mexico City.
President Hinckley had been speaking several minutes. He paused and explained that there was another person from the other side of the veil he had not mentioned. In a strong voice filled with emotion and joy, President Hinckley exclaimed, “Welcome, Father Lehi! Oh, how your heart must rejoice!”
I was seated on one of the front rows in the celestial room. I wanted to turn around and look in the direction where “a late comer” might have entered the room. The moment seemed so real that I felt, surely, I could see what Father Lehi looked like.
I didn’t see that great Book of Mormon prophet, and I can’t affirm that President Hinckley saw him with physical eyes, but I’ve no doubt that the Spirit let President Hinckley know that Father Lehi, indeed, was present that day in that temple.
President Hinckley spoke of other temples as a fulfillment of prophecy regarding Lehi’s descendants. “Six new temples have been dedicated this year,” he said. “These were unplanned in terms of particular prophecy but most of these temples have been built to serve descendants of Lehi. … I believe the Lord has touched His prophet (then President Spencer W. Kimball) to bring into play those processes by which He is remembering ancient covenants concerning descendants of Lehi.”
In one session, President Hinckley said he had watched the choir director. “I’m confident from her appearance there is in her veins the blood of Father Lehi and Mother Sariah. I’ve seen shining in her eyes the light of the gospel of Jesus Christ and I see it in your eyes. What wonderful people you are — people of capacity, faith and devotion,” he told the congregation.
I spent several hours that weekend on the grounds of the new temple. Hundreds of members stood in line before each of the eight sessions over two days waiting for their turn to enter the temple. They came from many parts of Mexico and Guatemala, and from many walks of life. The poor and the rich, the young and old — all stood together, anticipating what was to transpire.
With few exceptions, mainly returned missionaries and former mission presidents and their families, I knew they were children of Lehi. All had come, with that ancient prophet, to a sacred place for a holy occasion. I was privileged to be there with them.
Sunday, May 27, 2018
A Two-Way Street: How “Temple Angels” Can Help Us
By Anne Hinton Pratt · February 18, 2018
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Temples are associated with angels. It’s one of their defining characteristics. Those who attend the temple often feel angels and some even see them. They are allowed to help us in many ways. Are we aware of the privileges that can be ours as we do this great work?
Angels Can Have Charge Over Us
In the Doctrine and Covenants, the Lord has described some of the blessings that come to those who attend the temple and live worthy of the covenants made there. In the Kirtland temple dedicatory prayer, it says: “And we ask thee, Holy Father, that thy servants may go forth from this house armed with thy power, and that thy name may be upon them, and thy glory be round about them, and thine angels have charge over them;” (D&C 109:22).
One way to be armed with power and glory is to have angels help us in our lives.
In this article, when I say, “Temple Angels,” I’m referring to those departed individuals, whose work we are doing in the Temple. There are several ways these angels may be permitted to have “charge” over us. I want to share five wonderful accounts which illustrate this principle.
“Temple Angels” Can Nurture us, and Let Their Will Be Known
Kirsten Arroyo shared this story with me:
“On October 4, 1972 in Ogden, Utah I had a wonderful experience with my Aunt Sigrid Hanson. When I was growing up in Copenhagen, Denmark, Aunt Sigrid and Uncle Volmer were very dear to me. Since they had not been able to have children of their own, I filled that void and they included me in their lives as if I was their daughter. When I was 11, my mother and I joined the Church and afterwards emigrated to America.”
“In March of 1970 my Aunt died, and I proceeded to get her name ready for Temple ordinances. For some reason, I bi-passed her baptism and confirmation but intended to do the rest of the work for her. I had no clue to which temple her name would show up for Baptism or when it would be done.”
“As I was doing the dishes on October 4, 1972, I had a feeling come over me and I knew my Aunt was near. I kept looking over my shoulders to see if I could see her. I thought, ‘This is strange! What is she trying to tell me?’ The feeling would not leave.”
“That same day, my husband, David was assigned to do Baptisms at the Ogden Temple. After performing two family names for a woman in the room, the next name on the Screen was my Auntie Sigrid. David stopped and said: ‘I know her! She is my wife’s aunt! We’re going to do this one a little slower.’ He was so excited to come home and tell me. As he entered the door of our home I said: ‘Guess what happened to me today?’ and he said, “Guess what happened to ME today?”
As we compared our experiences from the day, we were in awe at how close departed spirits are to us, and how aware they are of our doing, and in this case, did not want anyone else to do their baptism but a Family member!”
“Temple Angels” Can Help With Personal Issues
Solutions to our most pressing problems often are found in the temple, and angels can help us implement those solutions.
John A. Widtsoe wrote:
“I believe that the busy person on the farm, in the shop, in the office, or in the household, who has his worries and troubles, can solve his problems better and more quickly in the house of the Lord than anywhere else. If he will … [do] the temple work for himself and for his dead, he will confer a mighty blessing upon those who have gone before, and … a blessing will come to him, for at the most unexpected moments, in or out of the temple will come to him, as a revelation, the solution of the problems that vex his life. That is the gift that comes to those who enter the temple properly.” (“Temple Worship,” The Utah Genealogical and Historical Magazine, Apr. 1921, pp. 63-64)
For over a year Brandon Kappner and his family were living without steady income. He tried every angle he could think of to provide for his family, but they were sliding deep into debt to keep their home and had just enough for the bare necessities of life. They even used up all their food storage.
Here are some excerpts from Brandon’s journal, January 2015:
“Throughout the time we have had this last financial struggle, Shalice and I have been attending the Temple every week. One day as I was doing Initiatory names, I had one name that struck me as I listened to the blessings, and received a feeling of joy, acceptance, and excitement in having these blessings and ordinances completed for this particular individual. His name was Samuel Veasse.”
“As I thought about Samuel, I suddenly had the thought about what I needed. I asked him to help me. I asked him to minister to me about where to turn and how to find a way to provide for my family.”
“Once I realized that I was turning this situation into my own selfish needs, I felt ashamed. But, to my surprise I received another impression. This one was one that lifted me up. There weren’t words or any clear communication, I simply understood immediately by thought. The thought was, ‘Thank you. You have helped me deeply and I am grateful. Now let me help you. Let me prepare a way to help you through your time of need. I am honored to administer to your spirit and will do all I can to assist you through this.’ It was deeply moving and strong.”
Not long after, Brandon was given a great employment opportunity in January of 2016. “That job grew and was successful for me and led to another step. After all of this, we are now doing well and have almost paid off all of the debt we built up during that time.” Samuel, his “temple angel” was true to his word, and Brandon knew it.
He was Literally Given MEANS
Bill Boushka, a Radiologist from El Paso relates a difficult time recently where he had a major challenge in his life and fervently prayed for help as he went to the temple.
“I had come to the Temple with a problem. My Radiology company was spending large amounts of my life’s savings because the new Eastside location was not very busy. The amount of money I was losing was pretty astounding! I was nearly worried sick! I was anxious that I did not have enough means to keep the DOI running until it was turning a profit.”
“At the Temple, when I saw the name of the person for whom I would be proxy, I almost laughed. The name was John Clifton MEANS. I said to myself, “Well that didn’t take long to get an answer!” As I walked towards the endowment room, a phrase from a scripture came into my mind, ‘provide means for us’. Here is the full quote: ‘And if it so be that the children of men keep the commandments of God he doth nourish them, and strengthen them, and provide means whereby they can accomplish the thing which he has commanded them; wherefore, he did provide means for us while we did sojourn in the wilderness.’” (1 Nephi 17:3)
“Four days later I discovered, after meeting with my stockbroker, that I have a lot more money than I knew. I was again reassured”
He knew angels had taken “charge” of his problem and rendered aid.
“Temple Angels” Can Give Us Specific Knowledge
A few years ago, Timmi Lynn Webster had a marvelous experience. Her daughter Kylie was attending college, but learning had always been difficult for her because she was handicapped and had special needs. Timmi Lynn recounts:
“That morning Kylie called and asked that I pray for her (because she was going to have a very difficult math mid-term exam). I told her I was going to the temple right then and would do so.
As I was getting out of the car, I remember looking at the temple card. The name of the person I was doing was Matilda. I literally talked aloud and said, ‘Matilda, I am going to do your work. I need a favor too. Can you help my daughter on her math test? If you aren’t good at math, could you find someone who is?”
“I have never had such a sacred experience in the temple or ever felt so close to the person I was doing work for.”
“When I got home, I got a call from Kylie. I was surprised because she was finished so quickly. She told me she couldn’t believe how easily the answers came to her and that she felt like she had done very well (which she did) She told me she felt as though someone was sitting next to her and helping her. I told her it was Matilda, and that one day I would tell her about it.”
“This was a turning point for me. It was the first time I believed that Kylie really could succeed in college because I literally understood then that she could access not only the quickening power of the Holy Ghost, but that she had angels beyond the veil who would aid her in ways I never imagined. I also learned that when we go to the temple it can be a two-way street. As we help those beyond the veil through temple work, there are those who can help us as well. I look so forward to one day meeting Matilda. I feel as though it will be like meeting an old friend.”
Blessings When We Return Often
Ezra Taft Benson stated: “Do we return to the temple often to receive the personal blessings that come from regular temple worship? Prayers are answered, revelation occurs, and instruction by the Spirit takes place in the holy temples of the Lord.” (Ezra Taft Benson, Ensign, May 1988, p. 85)
“Temple Angels” Can Dispatch Healing
A dear friend (who I won’t name), shared a miraculous story of healing from the temple. She had been diagnosed with stage 4 cancer. She was a woman of great faith and had resolved since her diagnosis to attend the temple every day she possibly could. She lived close to a temple and for several weeks she faithfully attended 4-5 times each week, always with healing on her mind.
One day as she was sitting in the initiatory room she had an extraordinary experience. She suddenly became aware that her spirit was transported outside her body and she witnessed what she was told were cancer cells that one by one were encircled with light, and then “zapped.” She was absolutely mesmerized by this amazing display, however her “out of body” point of view only lasted a few moments to inform her of what was happening in her body.
A few days later when she went to her doctor, she was told that the cancer was retreating at a rapid rate. Shortly thereafter she went into remission.
She felt strongly that this healing came from attending the temple so often.
She knew that she had received angelic aid.
Elder Jeffery Holland profoundly stated, “In the gospel of Jesus Christ you have help from both sides of the veil, and you must never forget that. When disappointment and discouragement strike—and they will—you remember and never forget that if our eyes could be opened we would see horses and chariots of fire as far as the eye can see riding at reckless speed to come to our protection. They will always be there, these armies of heaven, in defense of Abraham’s seed.” (BYU Devotional, 18 March 1980).
Inside temples we can tap into this unseen power more than anywhere else.
Temples are associated with angels. As the scriptures say, angels are “armed with the power of God,” and often are given “charge” over us. Those who attend the temple often feel this power from the angelic realm. Serving in the temple can be a two-way street. We help them, and often they will help us. Are we aware of the privileges that can be ours as we do this great work?
Wednesday, May 16, 2018
"Anyone who stands at this pulpit to deliver a message feels the strength and support of members throughout the world. I’m grateful that that same support can come from a beloved companion on the other side of the veil. Thank you, Jeanene." Ensign May 2012
Friday, April 27, 2018
by LDS Living Staff | Feb. 27, 2018
“He was visited constantly by angels,” Elder George Q. Cannon said of Joseph Smith. “These various angels, the heads of dispensations, . . . ministered unto him. . . . He had vision after vision in order that his mind might be fully saturated with a knowledge of the things of God, and that he might comprehend the high and holy calling that God had bestowed upon him” (Journal of Discourses, 23:362). Historical records of early Latter-day Saints, Doctrine and Covenants, and early Church documents reveal that Joseph Smith's visions and visits by heavenly messengers are too numerous to count.
Here are are some of those heavenly messengers that helped teach Joseph Smith the truths of the gospel:
Father Adam appeared to the Prophet in a vision recorded in D&C 137, along with Abraham and Joseph's brother Alvin.
John Taylor taught that Joseph received visitations from numerous Biblical figures, including Seth, Enoch, Isaac, and Jacob.
8. Gabriel (Noah)
In D&C 128, the angels Raphael and Gabriel appeared to instruct the Prophet Joseph.
In 1836, Moses, Elias and Elijah appeared to Joseph and Oliver Cowdery in the Kirtland Temple to restore keys.
12. John the Baptist
15. John (and possibly other New Testament Apostles, according to John Taylor—JD, 21:94)
John the Baptist, Peter, James, and John all appeared to restore the priesthoods to Joseph.
16. Paul (perhaps, judging from Joseph Smith’s thorough description of him in Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, p. 180)
Orson Pratt commented that Joseph often received visits from Nephi and Mormon, among other scriptural figures.
19. Alma (perhaps, as well as other Book of Mormon prophets, according to George Q. Cannon—JD, 13:47)
20. The three Nephites (and possibly other Nephite Apostles, according to John Taylor—JD, 21:94)
22. Unnamed angels at a meeting on January 21, 1836
23. Many angels at the dedication of the Kirtland Temple, March 27, 1836
24. Many angels, not specifically identified, as noted in Doctrine and Covenants 128:20-21. That scripture notes the voices (meaning visits) of Moroni, Michael, and Peter, James, and John. It also speaks of “the voice of Gabriel, and of Raphael, and of divers angels, from Michael or Adam down to the present time, all declaring their dispensations, their rights, their keys, their honors, their majesty and glory, and the power of their priesthood; giving line upon line, precept upon precept; here a little and there a little.”
(Thanks to The Mormon Book of Lists for help in collecting these! Information from History of the Church, 1:39-41, 2:381, 428; D&C 27:12-13, 110:11-16, 128:20-21; JD, 13:47, 17:374, 21:94; and Andrus, Joseph Smith, the Man and the Seer, p. 95. Photo from iStock.)
Friday, April 20, 2018
Many living witnesses can testify to the literal fulfillment of these scriptural assurances of the resurrection. Many, including some in my own extended family, have seen a departed loved one in vision or personal appearance and have witnessed their restoration in “proper and perfect frame” in the prime of life. Whether these were manifestations of persons already resurrected or of righteous spirits awaiting an assured resurrection, the reality and nature of the resurrection of mortals is evident. What a comfort to know that all who have been disadvantaged in life from birth defects, from mortal injuries, from disease, or from the natural deterioration of old age will be resurrected in “proper and perfect frame.” Dallin H. Oaks Ensign May 2000