The Blessings of Temple Attendance

What is a Temple?
A temple is a place dedicated and set apart as the house of the Lord. It is characterized not only as the place where God reveals himself to man, but also as the house where prescribed sacred ordinances of the priesthood are solemnized, and covenants are made to bring the individual once again at one with God (reconciled back to god).

Temples During the Law of Moses:

When Moses was called to reveal a new dispensation of the Gospel to the people part of the gospel he revealed included the construction, and use of a tabernacle, or sanctuary where he could reveal himself to them.
The temple set the people apart as God Chosen people. God would dwell among them and thus required a house
Exodus 25:8
And let them make me a sanctuary; that I may dwell among them.

The Tabernacle of Moses and the Temple of Solomon
The temple had a variety of walls/boundaries of separation that blocked access to specific areas of the temple.  These boundaries blocked access to certain areas of the temple based upon proscriptions given by God in the law of Moses.

First there is the outer wall - this wall had a 4 1/2 foot railing on top of it that warned Gentiles to not enter on pain of death.
This creates the court of the Gentiles or outer court.

Then there was the court of the Women - only Jews could enter here both men and women.

Then there was the Court of Israel where the Men could enter and interact with the Priests and Levites.

Then there is the Court of the Priests.  This was the area where the Priests/Levite would perform the sacrifices/gifts as described in the Law of Moses for the people.

Then there was the Holy Place, and the Most Holy Place.  The most holy place was to be entered only once per year by the high priest and that only after Sacrificing and purifying himself. Each of these walls were there to keep people in their proper place, based upon their worthiness to be there.

The Priesthood - related to the Temple
With the establishment of the Temple men were set apart to sacred offices of the priesthood to officiate in the ordinances of the temple.
Moses was the great high priest in Israel standing at the head.
Aaron and his four sons, Nadab, Abihu, Eleazer, and Ithamar were set apart as priests. Leviticus 8:5-8 Moses takes Aaron and his sons and washes them and places upon them symbolic clothing preparatory to them officiating in the ordinances of the priesthood.

The Levites were also set apart as servants to the Lord and his house. Numbers 1:47-53

Thus there were set apart two orders of the Aaronic priesthood - namely the Sons of Aaron(Priests) and the Levites.
Thus we see that an essential part of having a temple was the setting apart of the priesthood to perform ordinances and sacrifices for and in behalf of the people. Thus the priest was a mediator between the people and God, performing for them what they could not do for themselves.

Ministrations of the priesthood prescribed and the order of worship was established, whereby the people should be reminded that among them dwelt Jehovah, and before whom they should set no other Gods. Exodus 28

What were the blessings of temple attendance during the Law of Moses? A Remission of sins

An individual could through the sacrifices performed in the temple be justified according to the law.  An individual  would come to the temple purchase his/her sacrifice and then move into the area of the temple that they were worthy to enter as described above.  The priest would act as a mediator between the person and God.  He would perform an animal sacrifice killing the animal in a symbolic representation of the sacrifice of Jesus Christ which was to come.  These sacrifices were performed in a manner that pointed to and symbolized the great and eternal sacrifice of the Redeemer of the world Jesus Christ.

Through obedience to the laws, commandments, ordinances, and sacrifices given to them. They would purge their conscience of their sins. (Heb 10:1-2, Heb 9:1-28,Isa 1:16-20,Jonah 3:5-10, Ezek 18:19-31, etc.). However, they continually had to do these sacrifices year by year. Because, in reality the Law of Moses did not justify the people perfectly. (Rom 3:20,Gal 3:19-24,Eph 2:14-16,Heb 7:11-19,Heb 9:7-14)  It was required that an atonement be made to perfectly save them.

To whom was the sacrifice for? For the individual attending the Temple - there was no proxy ordinances in the Law of Moses for another.  Rather the priest performed the ordinances in behalf of the petitioner.

What happened in the temple at the time of the atonement?  The temple veil was rent.  This has a powerful symbolic meaning.  In the past there was only one person, at one time of the year (the day of atonement) who was able to enter into the Holy of Hollies, or in other words the presence of God, the House of the Lord.  With the death of Jesus Christ and the completion of the atonement the barrier was removed, the law was fulfilled and now the way was made open for all mankind who are worthy to enter into the presence of the Lord.  The presence of the lord is in his Temple - The House of the Lord!  What an amazing symbolic and powerful thing - The veil was rent never to be placed again!

How do we receive a remission of our sins today - how is this different than the Law of Moses?

D&C 76:51-53, Article of Faith #4
51 They are they who received the testimony of Jesus, and believed on his name and were baptized after the manner of his burial, being buried in the water in his name, and this according to the commandment which he has given—
52 That by keeping the commandments they might be washed and cleansed from all their sins, and receive the Holy Spirit by the laying on of the hands of him who is ordained and sealed unto this power;
53 And who overcome by faith, and are sealed by the Holy Spirit of promise, which the Father sheds forth upon all those who are just and true.

Comparison between temple attendance in the Law of Moses and now:
The Covenant is different the ordinances were different, the way in which the ordinances were performed was different - and yet the underlying purpose was similar.  It was to empower the individual and provide salvation to the individual attending the Temple.  It was to point all mankind to the atonement of Jesus Christ.  It was to recognize the fact that it is through him that we are saved - and there is no other way nor means provided for our salvation.

What Blessings can we obtain through temple attendance?
The temple, or the house of the Lord, is the place where we go to prepare for exaltation in the celestial kingdom. There we learn more about Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. We make covenants with Them, and They promise wonderful blessings to 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. Some of these blessings are described in section 109, which is the prayer offered at the dedication of the Kirtland Temple. The words of this prayer were given to Joseph Smith by revelation.
Doctrine and Covenants 109:8–12, 22–23, 59, 67, 72, 75. Contain specific blessings mentioned by the Lord in this revelation.

President Howard W. Hunter said: “Has there ever been a people with such stirring and wonderful promises! No wonder the Lord desires that His followers point themselves toward His example and toward His temples” (Ensign, Oct. 1994, 5).

The Lord also made promises connected with temples in Doctrine and Covenants 97:15–21.

What are those blessings?

A house of prayerA house of fastingA house of faith
A house of learningA house of gloryA house of order
A house of godIncommings in Name of LordOutgoings in Name of Lord
A place of covenantsA sacred/holy placeThe House of God

That we might be found worthyTo secure a fulfillment of the promises receivedThat God's Glory may rest upon his people
That his presence may in itThat we may feel his powerThat his servants may be armed with power
That his name be upon themThat his angels will help themThat the gospel may be preached to the earth
Pure in heart shall see GodThat we may become a Zion peopleZion the pure in heart shall be established

"Each temple is a house of learning. There we are taught in the Master’s way. His way differs from modes of others. His way is ancient and rich with symbolism. We can learn much by pondering the reality for which each symbol stands. Teachings of the temple are beautifully simple and simply beautiful. They are understood by the humble, yet they can excite the intellect of the brightest minds.
With each ordinance is a covenant—a promise. A covenant made with God is not restrictive, but protective. Such a concept is not new. For example, if our water supply is not clean, we filter the water to screen out harmful ingredients. Divine covenants help us to filter out of our minds impurities that could harm us. When we choose to deny ourselves of all ungodliness, we lose nothing of value and gain the glory of eternal life. Covenants do not hold us down; they elevate us beyond the limits of our own power and perspective.
...The temple endowment was given by revelation. Thus, it is best understood by revelation, prayerfully sought with a sincere heart. President Brigham Young said, “Your endowment is, to receive all those ordinances in the house of the Lord, which are necessary for you, after you have departed this life, to enable you to walk back to the presence of the Father, … and gain your eternal exaltation.” April 2001 Ensign, Russel M. Nelson

Drawing upon the powers of heaven.

D&C 121:36-37
36 That the rights of the priesthood are inseparably connected with the powers of heaven, and that the powers of heaven cannot be controlled nor handled only upon the principles of righteousness.
37 That they may be conferred upon us, it is true; but when we undertake to cover our sins, or to gratify our pride, our vain ambition, or to exercise control or dominion or compulsion upon the souls of the children of men, in any degree of unrighteousness, behold, the heavens withdraw themselves; the Spirit of the Lord is grieved; and when it is withdrawn, Amen to the priesthood or the authority of that man.

Through your endowment you will be empowered with the powers of heaven however, these gifts, covenants and blessings are based upon your faithfulness.  If you act in a manner unworthy of them - you may loose them.... until you repent.  Those who worthily attend the temple will receive great blessings from the Lord, including the blessings of being a Zion people. We must do all that we can to become worthy of these blessings and to become pure in heart.

Where much is given much is expected - and much will be expected of you.  Embrace the opportunity to exercise the spiritual gifts you have been given. Work for and obtain additional gifts through Temple attendance, and fulfilling the covenants you have made. Accept and magnify the callings that you receive.  Sustain those that have been placed in stewardship over you. Become fully converted to the gospel of Jesus Christ and it will change you.  You will be empowered with abilities you never knew you could have. His revelations will distill upon you as the dews from heaven.  Great are the blessings of Temple attendance!

What is a power of heaven/spiritual gift - and how can they help us?

Here is some information from the teachings of the prophet Joseph Smith concerning spiritual gifts (TPJS p 73)

To fully understand this you need understand what a spiritual gift is and to what purpose they are given. D&C Section 46 is a great reference for these types of gifts - it initially starts with discussing the missionary labors of the church, and then it explains that missionaries will be sent forth in the power of the spirit.  Which means that they will be sent forth by revelation by those authorized to do so.  They will receive the gifts that they need and desire to succeed in the performance of their labors.  It then explains that an individual must be worthy to receive these gifts/endowments of the spirit - they must repent and be cleansed every whit from sin.

Then will the powers of heaven be engaged in their lives - as they go forth to preach the gospel.... So also can we in our lives be empowered by the gifts of the spirit obtained through regular temple attendance, and living the gospel of Jesus Christ.

We are commanded to seek for the best gifts!  - Have you chosen a gift you desire?

D&C 46:8-10
Wherefore, beware lest ye are deceived; and that ye may not be deceived seek ye earnestly the best gifts, always remembering for what they are given;
For verily I say unto you, they are given for the benefit of those who love me and keep all my commandments, and him that seeketh so to do; that all may be benefited that seek or that ask of me, that ask and not for a sign that they may consume it upon their lusts.
10 And again, verily I say unto you, I would that ye should always remember, and always retain in your minds what those gifts are, that are given unto the church.

Ephesians 4:7-8
But unto every one of us is given grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ.
Wherefore he saith, When he ascended up on high, he led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men.

What do you think it means to seek for a sign?
The difference between a sign and evidence of faith is the time in which the evidence is given. A sign is given before the individual has exercised faith and passed through his trial of faith - thus leading to his/her condemnation.  

Evidence of faith through the spirit occurs after the person has exercised faith used great patience, and diligence waiting for the truth to become manifest to their eyes. Then this evidence strengthens their faith in this thing so that their faith becomes dormant and they "Know" it is true.

What is the best gift? Here is a small list - there are many more... 
D&C 46:30-33
30 He that asketh in the Spirit asketh according to the will of God; wherefore it is done even as he asketh.
31 And again, I say unto you, all things must be done in the name of Christ, whatsoever you do in the Spirit;
32 And ye must give thanks unto God in the Spirit for whatsoever blessing ye are blessed with.
33 And ye must practice virtue and holiness before me continually. Even so. Amen.

1 Corin 12:1-20

To know that Jesus is the ChristTo believe on the testimony of anotherDifferences of administrationsDiversities of operations
The word of wisdomThe word of knowledgeFaith to be healedFaith to heal
Working of MiraclesThe power to prophesyThe discernment of spiritsTo speak with tongues
To interpret tonguesDiscernment of spiritsPower in a fightExorcism of evil
CompassionHappinessCharity - Love.... this list is not complete

Why are they given?

Do not discount a seemingly small spiritual gift - they all work together to strengthen the whole.  1 Cor 12:18-31 Not all individuals receive the same gifts, yet all do have a gift.  To each is given the gifts based upon the designs of God.

We are perfected to the degree that we are receiving spiritual gifts.  They provide us power and the ability to perform the tasks that God has placed before us.

Do you think these types of spiritual gifts would be of a benefit to your life? YES!!!!!!!  Thus the need for temple attendance and worship.  As one draws nearer to God he will draw nearer to you - and you will become more and more like him.  How?  Through the receipt of these gifts... we must seek them - with PATIENCE and with FAITH.  Often times you will not even know you have received the gift lol.  It will just be that you have that capacity - and knew it not.
3 Nephi 9:20
20 And ye shall offer for a sacrifice unto me a broken heart and a contrite spirit. And whoso cometh unto me with a broken heart and a contrite spirit, him will I baptize with fire and with the Holy Ghost, even as the Lamanites, because of their faith in me at the time of their conversion, were baptized with fire and with the Holy Ghost, and they knew it not.

Therefore continue in faith, fear not, doubt not and be believing.  Then when they manifest in your life don't be surprised, proud, or conceited by the receipt of the gift, but rather be glad, humble and use them for the benefit of others for that is what they are given for.

How then does one gain a spiritual gift?

“If any of us are imperfect, it is our duty to pray for the gift that will make us perfect. … No man ought to say, ‘Oh, I cannot help this; it is my nature.’ He is not justified in it, for the reason that God has promised to give strength to correct these things, and to give gifts that will eradicate them. If a man lack wisdom, it is his duty to ask God for wisdom. The same with everything else. That is the design of God concerning His Church. He wants His Saints to be perfected in the truth. For this purpose He gives these gifts, and bestows them upon those who seek after them, in order that they may be a perfect people upon the face of the earth” (Millennial Star, 23 Apr. 1894, 260). (Ensign Feb 2002)

  1. Attain to the receipt of the Gift of the Holy Ghost - Gifts of the spirit come through the Holy Ghost
    When an individual is confirmed he is told to "Receive the Holy Ghost" - Ensign Oct 2010 - Receive the Holy Ghost
    Desire to Receive it - you must have true intent - true desire
    Invite it into our lives  - think about it often - continuously
    Faithfully obey God's Commandments - You must be worthy - or amen to the gifts of the spirit (The spirit of the lord does not dwell in unholy Temples Mosiah 2:36–37Alma 34:35–36Hel. 4:24 )
  2. Select the gift you desire - remembering for what they are given
    Some Gifts are better than others
    Gifts I would recommend:
    Charity - the greatest of all the gifts of God 
    Prophecy - the testimony of Jesus Christ 
    Discernment - an understanding of what is around you - people, situations, intent of individuals, good, evil, truth falsehood
  3. Do it - Do the things that a person who has that gift would do
    If you desire Charity - be charitable - serve others, be kind to others, pray with whole soul to receive it - Moroni 7:44-48 - follow as a course of one's life vs 45
    If you desire the gift of Prophecy - Learn of Jesus Christ - Become his disciple - follow his words - testify what you have learned - continue  (D&C 93:1)
    If you desire the gift of Discernment - seek unto it - pray for it - listen to the Holy Ghost - feel his words - follow them - and progress in this - until you know...

"I bear testimony that God has given us the gifts of the Spirit to allow us to be drawn more closely into His circle of love. He desires that we should receive these gifts of the Spirit and magnify them and have them grow within us. We have to teach one another how to seek after them. As we do, our faith in Him will increase and our true destiny will be fulfilled, ultimately to return to His presence as His valiant sons and daughters. May we seek after and obtain these gifts, I humbly pray." (Ensign Feb 2002)

As we attend the Temple - and receive the Holy Ghost God it will empower us with the gifts of the spirit. Remember the council we find in D&C 121:36-37 Amen to your gifts if you do these things!  We will be able to draw upon the powers of heaven - he will endow us with his spirit, and the gifts of the spirit to perfect and strengthen us in our weakness.  Through this process - as we obtain and receive the attributes of God - he will in his own due time, and in his own way perfect us.

Moroni 10:32-33

32 Yea, come unto Christ, and be perfected in him, and deny yourselves of all ungodliness; and if ye shall deny yourselves of all ungodliness, and love God with all your might, mind and strength, then is his grace sufficient for you, that by his grace ye may be perfect in Christ; and if by the grace of God ye are perfect in Christ, ye can in nowise deny the power of God.

33 And again, if ye by the grace of God are perfect in Christ, and deny not his power, then are ye sanctified in Christ by the grace of God, through the shedding of the blood of Christ, which is in the covenant of the Father unto the remission of your sins, that ye become holy, without spot.