02 03 The Rhineheart Roost: Stake Conference Talk 04 05 15 16 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 31 32 33

Stake Conference Talk

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For those of you who weren't able to make it, here is my talk. The whole session was so wonderful. I was truly blessed to be able to be a participant.
Good morning, brothers and sisters! I am truly humbled by the opportunity to speak to you today. I have been asked to speak on the blessings of regular temple attendance, and it is my prayer that the Spirit will help me convey what is in my heart and that we will all be edified together.
One of the first and most obvious blessings given to us by way of the temple is my parents’ sealing. It’s wonderful to know the covenants they made to each other and to God, and it’s a pattern for how I would like to live my life when the day comes that I am sealed to my eternal companion. Being able to be with my family forever is an indescribable blessing to me. I can’t imagine not being with them forever, and I know that if I am to receive those blessings, I must live every day worthily. Thus, by reading the scriptures daily and praying earnestly, I am doing my best to remain close to my Heavenly Father and be able to enter His house.
            Throughout my life, the temple has been central in my family. We’ve been privileged enough to attend several temple open houses, in addition to some dedications. Each time we’ve walked the halls of a new, soon-to-be dedicated temple, I have been reminded of the love Heavenly Father has for us, and the quiet beauty of the temple is a testament to that. My favorite part about going through a temple open house has got to be the celestial room.
When I turned twelve years old, my family and I took a trip to my Dad’s hometown in order for me to do baptisms in the Colonia Juarez, Mexico temple. It was an exciting experience, and the night before we were to do baptisms, my dad, my grandparents and I went to the local family history center to look up some names. We found a good number of them, and the next morning I was able to be baptized for my great-great grandmother. Doing family names has always been such a special experience for me, because I know that I am serving my own relatives, and that makes doing the work much more meaningful to me. I like knowing that even though I’ve never had the chance to meet them, I’ve been able to help them somehow. The temple is all about families, and being able to let spirit children of the Lord secure their own is a special blessing. In the October 2006 session of general conference, Elder Richard H. Winkel states: “When you come to the temple you will love your family with a deeper love than you have ever felt before. The temple is about families. As my wife, Karen, and I have increased our temple service, our love for each other and for our children has increased. And it doesn’t stop there. It extends to parents, brothers and sisters, aunts, uncles, cousins, forebears, and especially our grandchildren! This is the Spirit of Elijah, which is the spirit of family history work; and when inspired by the Holy Ghost, it prompts the turning of the hearts of the fathers to the children and the hearts of the children to the fathers. Because of the priesthood, husbands and wives are sealed together, children are sealed to their parents for eternity so the family is eternal and will not be separated at death.”
            In May of 2010, my family was able to be present for my Dad’s youngest brother, my Uncle Timmy’s baptism. Due to severe physical and mental disabilities, this was an ordinance Timmy was not able to perform himself. After his passing in 2006, we eagerly awaited the day we would be able to enter the temple and begin his ordinances. I remember clearly the Spirit felt that beautiful day. As one of my uncles entered the font and was baptized by my grandfather, we could all feel Timmy’s presence with us. How grateful I am to have been able to be there for that sacred event. I look forward to seeing Timmy again, this time as a perfected being. What a beautiful day that will be! I am also excited for the day I will get to meet others who were able to be blessed through the temple, even while they were on the other side of the veil. How comforting it is to know that the blessings of the temple are not just temporal, but spiritual, and eternal.
            In this month’s issue of the New Era, there is an article all about going through the temple for the first time, and how to prepare.  In the article, I read a quote which says: If your endowment “is to be the great blessing in your mission and life that it is intended to be, then it must be more than just another item on a checklist of things to do before you enter the mission field” or marry in the temple. President Gordon B. Hinckley said that each temple ordinance “is not just a ritual to go through, it is an act of solemn promising.”  I had never thought about the endowment like that! Knowing the importance of those temple ordinances will help us appreciate them when we receive them. One of the best ways I can think of to prepare for the blessings of the temple endowments is to continue to be worthy to enter His house, and to attend the temple for baptisms as often as possible.
            I remember going to do baptisms after a long period of not attending the temple. I remember feeling a little guilty about coming back. I hadn’t been there in what seemed like a long time. Would anyone be able to notice that I hadn’t been here in a while? Would I be welcome? With these worries in my head, I entered the temple and was instantly enveloped in a beautiful feeling not unlike coming home after a long and stressful trip. I felt God welcoming me back into His house with open arms, and my heart was filled with peace. The whole time I was there I couldn’t help but smile, and the Spirit I felt was so, so strong. Since that day I have attended the temple much more often, and each time I have felt that same peace. Whether I am with my friends, or by myself, it feels the same. I feel good knowing that I am blessing not only my life, but the lives of those precious spirits I am doing this service for. That’s what I love about the temple: Heavenly Father didn’t have these temples built for just Him. He built them for YOU, and others who can’t receive these blessings by themselves. The blessings of the temple are easily within our reach, but we have to reach out first.
            As I have made an effort to attend the temple more often, I have noticed a change in how I feel both at home, at church, and in seminary. I know of a surety that my faith has been strengthened by attending the temple. I have felt so much closer to my Father in Heaven this way. I truly am a daughter of God, and my faith is strengthened when I treat myself, and others, as such. Together, we all can achieve celestial glory.

            I have a testimony of the temple. I have been in His holy house, and I know without a doubt that when I am doing work in the temple, I am doing His work. We are all His hands on earth, and none of this could be completed without our willingness to serve Him. I’m grateful for the experiences I have had in the temple, and I am grateful for the love I feel when I am making an effort to be closer to my Father in Heaven. I challenge each of you to strive to be worthy of God’s blessings, and I say these things in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

~Haeley

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