GCBC Week 3: “The Holy Temple—a Beacon to the World” by President Thomas S. Monson

Welcome back, and thanks for your great participation so far.  This week we will look at the talk by our prophet, Thomas S. Monson.  In last week’s talk, Elder Holland testified of President Monson’s calling and divine leadership, and specifically of the prophetic love and warning in his messages.  As we study our talk this week, let’s try to pay attention to his expressions of both love and warning, and try to determine what our prophet is asking us to do.

“The Holy Temple—a Beacon to the World”

by President Thomas S. Monson

What are your thoughts, impressions and insights as you read this talk?  Feel free to join in the discussion in the comments, even if you’re new to General Conference Book Club.


27 thoughts on “GCBC Week 3: “The Holy Temple—a Beacon to the World” by President Thomas S. Monson

  1. I am going o try & listen to these talks as I prpare for church. So far, so good. 🙂
    Anyway, I was struck by how he said that the very existance of our temples is a testimony that there is life beyond the veil. I love that, andit’s a good misionary tool.
    I am often struck while @ the temple & as I listened to this that the temple does so much good for both those that aredead, as well as for me, & those who visit it now. It truly is a “multi-tool”. Thanks for doing this!

    • Ooooh–Hilary! The missionary aspect of it hadn’t struck me as strongly until you said that, and then I went back and listened again. Great point. Thanks for sharing!

  2. I just found your blog and I love it!! Thank you for all you share.

    Thank you for sharing this message from Thomas S Monson. It’s a nice reminder of how we should live and the importance of the Temple in our lives.

  3. The things that stood out to me the most reading the talk this evening was near the end:
    “Each of our temples is an expression of our testimony that life beyond the grave is as real and as certain as is our life here on earth.”

    I am so grateful to know that this life is not all there is. I am grateful to know these blessed family relationships with my husband, children, parents, siblings, and extended family can be eternal. In the last week my oldest has been asking deep questions on many topics. As her father and I try to answer her it humbles me to see the pure, simple faith she shows in our answers. She does not doubt. The temple and the truth that our family can be forever, while such a foreign idea to some people, is understood by my children so easily. “Of course.” they tell me. “Of course we’ll be a family after we die. God loves us and gave you to be our family. He won’t take that away forever just because we die. When we are resurrected and have our bodies again we will be families again.”

    Oh for faith like a child!

  4. 1. I enjoyed this talk the first time around but rereading it was like hearing President Monson firmly repeat again and again, “Sacrifice, Sacrifice, Sacrifice!!!”

    I loved these words from President Monson, “no sacrifice is too great, no price too heavy, no struggle too difficult in order to receive those blessings. There are never too many miles to travel, too many obstacles to overcome, or too much discomfort to endure.”

    Basically it rang out loud and clear that none of the excuses that I make for not making it to the temple often enough are good enough reason to not go. I need to better align my priorities and make the necessary sacrifices to attend the temple more regularly.

    2. I found this to be such an awesome visual to me that, “Eighty-five percent of the membership of the Church now live within 200 miles (320 km) of a temple” That is amazing and will only get better!

    3. Lastly, I loved how he said as we go to the temple AND remember the covenants we make there we will be “more able to bear every trial and to overcome each temptation.” What a great blessing that is.

    GOALS: First step, become more consistent in attending the temple by prioritizing my time and making small sacrifices. Second, make a more conscious effort to remember (and ponder and live and study about) the covenants that I make there.

    • I totally agree. My excuses are just that…excuses and none of them are good enough reasons not to go to the temple. My goals are the same as yours…no more excuses, make temple attendance a priority and then remember the covenants that I made!

      Thanks you, you stated this very well! 🙂

  5. I feel a lot like the commenter above me; this talk made me remember and realize that I need to re-evaluate and reorganize my life to make it possible to attend the temple on a more regular basis. I remember growing up and knowing that the temple was important because my parents did everything they could to attend often. I want my children to have that understanding and testimony as well.

    I love that President Monson acknowledged that attending the temple is a sacrifice, but then assures us that the blessings are well worth it and are blessings we can’t get any other way. I know that my husband and I feel the difference in our home when we attend regularly, and this talk has recommitted us to attending more regularly.

    • Stacy–I love this thought–that you grew up knowing it was important because your parents attended often. Sometimes I wonder, since we have to take our kids with us when we go and then find things to do with them while we swap sessions, if they’ll remember the temple as a total drag, or as a blessing. You give me hope that it will strengthen their testimonies of it! 🙂

      • We also don’t live close to a temple, so it is hard to go often (especially now with a nursing baby in tow!). I am grateful for the reminder that it is still important and hope I can go again soon! I want my kids to know it is important as well.

  6. Like Becoming LDS and Stacy above, the idea of sacrifice really came through to me in this talk from our prophet. He really emphasized that we need to have a “renewed thankfulness for temples” , and a reminder that “every temple requires sacrifice.” He then called on us (me!) to make a sacrifice by “setting aside time in [my] busy [life] to attend the temple regularly” and to QUALIFY (he really emphasized that word) to be there.

    I absolutely adore the temple. I felt so grateful, once again, as I listened to this talk, for a temple that is only an hour and a half away, and not 4 hours or 6 hours or 20 hours! It is such a tremendous blessing, and I really have a testimony of the power of these small temples. They are special. Even though they aren’t as big, or even as pretty, as our big temples, the Spirit in them is just as great.

    Thanks for week 2, Stephanie. This place is a blessing for me!!

  7. My thoughts have been similar to those above. I love the testimony that temples give of our beliefs about life after death.

    I also just get the feeling that as much as I love the temple, I don’t fully appreciate that it really is worth EVERY sacrifice. I want somehow to let that distill in my heart more. It’s easy to take temples for granted or just to have them be something I want to have in my schedule, but I want its meaning to be more in my soul.

    I also felt President Monson’s powerful mantle as a prophet when I read this talk.

    Lastly, I think we’ll make FHE about reviewing this talk and going to get them pictures of the temple for their rooms. We have them in our house, but not all of the children have their own temple pictures in their rooms.

  8. I appreciated the stories Pres. Monson told during this talk. They helped to put in perspective how very blessed I am to have a temple only 40 minutes away. I also found this quote powerful – “I plead with you to teach your children of the temple’s importance.” My children watch us attend the temple and watch their grandparents serve in the temple, but are we directly teaching them how critical the temple is? The use of the word ‘plead’ really caught my attention. Perhaps it is the understanding and testimony of the temple we give our children that will sustain them as they grow in this increasingly wicked world.

  9. What a wonderful and inspiring talk from our beloved prophet. I loved the stories told of the many sacrifices that others have made to have the opportunity to attend the temple, it reminds me that I need to make temple attendance a priority in my own life, while I have the temple so close. The thing that stuck with me the most was when President Monson said “I plead with you to teach your children of the temple’s importance.” The use of the word plead helped me realize how big of a job that we have to do to teach our children the importance of the blessing if the temple.

  10. Honestly, the story of Tihi and Tararaina Mou Tham was one of the most touching stories I have read regarding the temple. It was what touched me the most. I realized after listening, how good I have it living in Utah and it makes me want to count my blessings more and my so called “trials” less. That family had UNBELIEVABLE faith. That is what I learned from this. I also just absolutely adore our prophet and his unassuming way of speaking. I love how he sees the good in every thing. This gospel truly is good news and new temples being constructed all over the world so that families can be united eternally, is truly GREAT news!

  11. Pres. Monsons’ stories about the sacrifices we make to attend the temple reminded me of an experience my family had in Atlanta. A number of families in our ward were asked to host families from the Dominican Republic who were coming to go to the temple. (Steph–Did your ward do this?) Most had been saving for years and then sold everything they had to pay for their travel expenses. Once they got to Atlanta they spent a couple of days in the temple receiving their own ordinances. When they were getting ready to leave, my mom discovered that the family staying with us had NO money left for their expenses on their return trip home. My mom made sure they got some food for their trip and some cash to pay the cost to get back into their country. Most were going home to NOTHING and would have to start a household from scratch again. They knew this going into it but felt that the sacrifice to come to the temple–probably for the only time in their lives–was worth it. (The good news is that the Dominican Republic now has their own temple–we never would have guessed that back in the mid 1980s.)

    When I think about them, I feel grateful to have the temple(s) so close–and try to make sure I’m not slacking off in my attendance.

  12. I remembered this talk because of the special mention he made of the Italy Rome temple. I served my mission there over 10 years ago, and we all dreamed of the day a temple would be built there. The land had already been purchased and we met there for a song and a prayer for a zone conference (I think. . .district conference? some kind of conference.) It made me think of how our reckoning of time differs from God’s reckoning of time. The ten plus years it took to finally gain approval for the temple seemed like much longer. I sometimes wondered if it would ever come to pass. But that whole time, dedicated and diligent members continued to work, and pray, and make every effort to make it happen. It was a miracle, yet a miracle supported by years of effort and hard work. I thought then about how when I consider my efforts in the short term, I may not see my full potential. But if I continue to do my part, faithfully doing my best, that the Lord’s hand will bring to pass the greater miracle.

  13. I struggled with this one to begin with. I left the church many years ago and the journey back has been long and hard. When I read this I kept thinking, “I am not even baptised, the temple is far, far away in terms of my progression at the moment.”
    When I finally decided that I was ready to give 100% and needed to be serious about taking on those baptismal covenants again I felt like I was being attacked from all sides and I did not know how I was going to make it through. I was desperate for the Holy Ghost because I felt like I needed it to help me survive. I decided to focus on feeling the spirit every day and to live my life in such a way as to invite the spirit to be with me always. I no longer feel in desperate need and in fact could say I feel at peace. Two days ago, my bishop said that he would be putting in the paperwork and I could look at a date at the end of May. I couldn’t stop hugging people.
    So what does this have to do with the talk. I decided to reread it again this morning and it was wonderful. The thing that stuck out to me was that even though I can not attend the temple, I can “have the spirit of the temple in our hearts and in our homes”. So like the previous experience I just need to live as if I am already there.
    The other thing I struggled with was why people would sacrifice so much for the chance to take on those covenants. The spirit testified to me as I read it again that everything we are can be summed up by that one symbol. Our belief in life after death, not just a paradise but an eternal progression shapes everything we do. In fact that is the biggest difference between us and most other people out there. And it is also the perfect symbol of our devotion to a God who wants nothing more than for us to be like him: happy!

  14. As we listened to President Monson give this talk, and when he got to the part about having pictures of temples in our children’s bedrooms, my son piped up “I have pictures of 5 temples in MY room!” And I remembered how impressed I was when the very week that my mom heard that counsel from President Kimball she got us pictures of temples to hang in our bedrooms. (Mine was the Washington DC Temple and my sister’s was the Swiss Temple.) Her obedience to the prophet was actually the greater lesson. But having the temple “front and center” was something we wanted in our children’s lives as well. I’m glad that President Monson re-emphasized its importance.

    My favorite quote from the talk was this: “Temples are more than stone and mortar. They are filled with faith and fasting. They are built of trials and testimonies. They are sanctified by sacrifice and service.” This thought has motivated me to write down and share our own “family temple stories” with our kids. There are actually quite a few of them.

    We’re also going to focus on his counsel to the teenagers (we have two at home now) to always keep the temple in their sights. Those pictures on the wall, specific FHE discussions (using the Temple Prep lessons), trips to the temple, and every-day conversation are all part of the plan. The temple really is of supreme importance.

  15. Watched it this morning; I think it’s kinda nice to listen to the prophet in the middle of the week. (My baby smiled at the computer screen.) That talk was really good for me because it reminded me that temple attendance isn’t meant to be convenient. it’s meant to be a sacrifice. Ben and I are going this weekend and I’m excited!

  16. The statement that struck me was: “They are sanctified by sacrifice and service.” Do I sanctify my temple service by my own sacrifice? I definitely don’t sacrifice like the individuals President Monson writes about — what am I missing out on by not sacrificing more?

  17. This talk is a great reminder that we all need to make necessary sacrifices to go to the temple. I definitely need to be better at that. Our temple is the Ogden Temple, which was just recently closed and will be closed for 3 years while they do extensive renovations. It only takes us about 5 minutes to get to that temple, and I have to admit that there was a part of me that thought, “Going to the temple is going to be a lot harder now because we’ll either have to go 30 minutes to the Bountiful Temple or an hour to the Logan Temple.” I feel so guilty for having those thoughts when there are so many who have to travel hours and hours to get to the temple. It will take more effort to sacrifice my time to go, but I’m so grateful that I still have so many temples nearby, so many that I can chose which one to go to! After reading this talk I feel even more inspired to make the necessary sacrifices with my time to go to the temple more regularly.

  18. Wow, what a remarkable talk about the Temples. I am so very grateful for them, for the blessings they bring to our lives & for the knowledge that we obtain from attending them. I loved that he made us remember that “Temples are more that stone & mortar. They are filled with faith & fasting. They are built of trials & testimonies. They are sanctified by sacrifice & service.”

    I am grateful that he reminded me that there is no sacrifice so big to keep me from going more regularly to the Temple; “your sacrifice could be setting aside the time in your busy lives to visit the Temple regularly.” I live about 25 minutes away from the Mesa AZ Temple; my husband & I try to make it a “habit” to go at least once a month but we have been slacking on that lately so I am very grateful for this talk.

    I love how he talked to the youth, to “always have the Temples in your sights.” And for us that have young children, that we should “have in every bedroom in their house a picture of the Temple so their children from the time they are infants could look at the picture every day until it becomes part of their lives. When they reach the age that they need to make the very important decision concerning going to the Temple, it will have already been made.” Oh, how I love that quote! And am greateful for the reminder that we teach our children the Temple’s importance.

    “In the sacred sanctuary we will find peace; we will be renewed & fortified.” So very true..a peace unknown to so many..we will be renewed & fortified beyond measure, of that I also testify.

  19. I feel as many others do…that SACRIFICE was a main theme here. Where ever we are in our journey to temple attendance we need to make the sacrifice to make it a reality.

    I also liked the challenges of teaching our children the importance of temples, the youth always having the temple “in their sights” and having a picture of the temple in children’s rooms. I especially liked having a picture of the temple in children’s rooms as hubby and I had decided in January that one of the presents each of our children were getting for their birthday’s this year was a picture of the temple and a picture of the prophet for their room! 🙂

    Thanks again for doing this…I love it!

  20. I know I am a little slow on this one but this is the quote that stuck out to me

    “we will be more able to bear every trial and to overcome each temptation. In this sacred sanctuary we will find peace; we will be renewed and fortified.”

    This really reminded me of the wonderful experiences I have had at the temple. I haven’t been go about making it a priority lately but I hope that I can remember what a blessing it is when I go and how much it help to strengthen and uplift me.

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