Friday, July 8, 2011

Filled, Built, and Sanctified

The other day, while reading President Thomas S. Monson's general conference address concerning LDS temples, I was struck by the evidence of a pattern that is consistent, in my opinion, between those literal temples and us, as "temples" in which the spirit of God can dwell.

Referring to the actual temples, President Monson said,
"My brothers and sisters, 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."
 My attention first went to the verbs he chose: filled, built, and sanctified. It wasn't too hard to think of scriptural language wherein these verbs are used in reference to us:

  • Filled
    • Acts 2: 4 - And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.
    • Mosiah 4: 3 - And it came to pass that after they had spoken these words the Spirit of the Lord came upon them, and they were filled with joy, having received a remission of their sins, and having peace of conscience, because of the exceeding faith which they had in Jesus Christ who should come, according to the words which king Benjamin had spoken unto them.
    • Helaman 3: 35 - Nevertheless they did fast and pray oft, and did wax stronger and stronger in their humility, and firmer and firmer in the faith of Christ, unto the filling their souls with joy and consolation, yea, even to the purifying and the sanctification of their hearts, which sanctification cometh because of their yielding their hearts unto God.
  • Built (or Edified)
    • 1 Thessalonians 5: 11 - Wherefore comfort yourselves together, and edify one another, even as also ye do.
    • Doctrine and Covenants 50: 22 - Wherefore, he that preacheth and he that receiveth, understand one another, and both are edified and rejoice together.
    • Helaman 5: 12 - And now, my sons, remember, remember that it is upon the rock of our Redeemer, who is Christ, the Son of God, that ye must build your foundation; that when the devil shall send forth his mighty winds, yea, his shafts in the whirlwind, yea, when all his hail and his mighty storm shall beat upon you, it shall have no power over you to drag you down to the gulf of misery and endless wo, because of the rock upon which ye are built, which is a sure foundation, a foundation whereon if men build they cannot fall.
  • Sanctified
    • John 17: 19 - And for their sakes I sanctify myself, that they also might be sanctified through the truth.
    • 1 Samuel 16: 5 - And he said, Peaceably: I am come to sacrifice unto the Lord: sanctify yourselves, and come with me to the sacrifice. And he sanctified Jesse and his sons, and called them to the sacrifice.
    • Leviticus 8:10 - And Moses took the anointing oil, and anointed the tabernacle and all that was therein, and sanctified them.
    • Hebrews 13: 12 - Wherefore Jesus also, that he might sanctify the people with his own blood, suffered without the gate.
    • Moses 6: 60 - For by the water ye keep the commandment; by the Spirit ye are justified, and by the blood ye are sanctified;
    • Exodus 40: 13 - And thou shalt put upon Aaron the holy garments, and anoint him, and sanctify him; that he may minister unto me in the priest’s office.
    • Doctrine and Covenants 88: 34 - And again, verily I say unto you, that which is governed by law is also preserved by law and perfected and sanctified by the same.
I was also impressed by his choice of words that bring about those three things: faith, fasting, trials, testimonies, sacrifice, and service. Those activities, in sum, seem to me to constitute "the good life." Can any of us say that those who elect to fill their lives with those things are not happy? The pattern seems applicable to us, and I submit it to you as very sound advice.

It's my witness and experience that those who believe and have faith in Jesus Christ and his restored Gospel, and especially those who reverently worship and serve in His holy temples, are filled with joy and spiritual enthusiasm, are built up into men and women of admirable character, and are sanctified and prepared to return home to God. They're happy.

I know that the temples of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints are literally the houses of the Lord. They are known by their fruits, and their fruits are those who regularly attend and worship therein.
  • Mosiah 2: 41 - And moreover, I would desire that ye should consider on the blessed and happy state of those that keep the commandments of God. For behold, they are blessed in all things, both temporal and spiritual; and if they hold out faithful to the end they are received into heaven, that thereby they may dwell with God in a state of never-ending happiness. O remember, remember that these things are true; for the Lord God hath spoken it.

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