Is it Time to Reboard?

The allegory of a refueling stop in Gander

Christ Teaching Doctors

Years ago, I flew from Prestwick, Scotland to New York. Because of high headwinds we stopped in Gander, Newfoundland for refueling. The air terminal there was an old Canadian Air Force base which was not very attractive and had few amenities. After the plane was refueled, all passengers were invited to reboard the plane to complete the journey to New York. Everyone did.

Airplane wing

Over the past two years we have been substantially grounded by the pandemic. However, during this period the commandments to attend sacrament meeting and the temple were only temporarily suspended – they had not been rescinded. Doctrine and Covenants 59:9 is certainly clear. 'And that thou mayest more fully keep thyself unspotted from the world, thou shalt go to the house of prayer and offer up thy sacraments upon my holy day.'

Returning to sacrament meeting simply requires activating the well-known advice of President Spencer W. Kimball to simply 'Do It.'

Montreal Temple
Montreal, Quebec Temple

Return to the temple

The expectation for us to attend the temple does not enjoy the same scriptural emphasis. However, the recent statement of President Russell M. Nelson is absolutely clear. 'Building and maintaining temples may not change your life, but spending your time in the temple surely will. To those who have long been absent from the temple, I encourage you to prepare and return as soon as possible. Then I invite you to worship in the temple and pray to feel deeply the Savior’s infinite love for you, that each of you may gain your own testimony that He directs this sacred and ageless work' (Russell M. Nelson, “Becoming Exemplary Latter-day Saints,” Ensign, November 2018).

Regina Temple
Regina, Saskatchewan Temple

For some, returning to the temple seems to require more effort than it does to attend sacrament meeting. Temple attendance has long been an additional responsibility and opportunity practiced by many, but not all, members. Regular attendance is not always considered to be an obligation. President Nelson seems to disagree with this too-popular point of view.

For those who require additional motivation to either go to the temple for the first time or return, contemplation of the purposes of the endowment presented by Elder James E. Talmage is useful (James E. Talmage, The House of the Lord [1971]).

Christ calling fishermen

It is noteworthy, however, that among Church authors and leaders, very little discussion of the sacred meaning of the endowment is undertaken. Brother S. Michael Wilcox, among others, suggests that the reason for this may be that every aspect of the temple, that which is seen, heard or otherwise experienced, is sacred and symbolic in nature. All of it relates to the atonement of Jesus Christ. The ordinances include commitments to follow His eternal laws, the prerequisite to attaining exaltation, the ultimate reward for every faithful person. The endowment is only understood by communication with the Holy Ghost. To each person is revealed the meaning that is relevant to him/her at that specific time. The message is personalized by deity. These individualized meanings are perceived by personal revelation whenever we worthily enter His holy house (Michael S. Wilcox, House of Glory,” [1995] chapter one).

Edmonton Temple
Edmonton, Alberta Temple

Returning to the temple will become a delight to us and others

When a person begins to understand the eternal significance, he or she will be more motivated to attend and participate in every temple ordinance. Furthermore, when a temple patron understands that the ordinances he/she is performing will enable the person for whom the work is being done to enter the covenant path, performing the ordinances will become a delight.

Elder Uchtdorf

For the first time that person will secure an opportunity to become a candidate for entrance into the celestial kingdom. Your temple service for a proxy will be his/her first visit to the temple, bringing that person all the joy that you experienced when you first realized the full significance of your own endowment. We can only imagine the rejoicing we and they will experience when we meet them beyond the veil.Is it not time to reboard the 'train' that will keep us and our departed loved ones firmly on the covenant path?

Is it not time to reboard the 'train' that will keep us and our departed loved ones firmly on the covenant path?