Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Temple Trip to Johannesburg South Africa LDS Temple & What That is All About

[From Sister Reber of the South Africa MTC]:

We had a wonderful day at the Temple yesterday.  11 missionaries were able to receive their endowments.  They loved the Temple.  Comments I heard:  "I don't want to leave."  "I can't believe I am in God's House." "I feel such peace."  "I'm so happy, I can't explain it."

I'm blessed to be a part of it.

Sister Janet Reber

[Editor's note:  What is the Temple?  Endowment?  Why is it important?  Those answers below the photos.]

A quick overview about Temples:

What is an endowment? -- note that D&C references the book of scripture known as the Doctrine and Covenants.  It may be read and referenced here:

The D&C is a collection of revelations received from God while the Church was being restored upon the earth.  It is answers to the questions asked throughout the process of the restoration, which is how the Prophet Joseph Smith knew how to re-establish the Lord's Church upon the earth after receiving the commandment to do so.

When Joseph Smith prayed at age 14 to know what Church was true, trying to determine which Church to join, as they all claimed to be the true Church, he took the words from James 1:5 to heart and decided to ask of God.  Initially he was overcome by darkness while attempting to pray, then received what is now referred to as the First Vision.  Here is a quick 2 1/2 minute video that explains this experience: 

The Church of Jesus Christ had been taken away from the earth during the Great Apostasy (after the death of Christ and then his apostles) due to the lack of faithfulness on the earth at the time.  More about that here:

Through Joseph Smith's faithfulness in following the divine guidance he received from the Lord, he received many instructions over the next several years to restore The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to the earth.  This included unearthing and translating the plates now known as the Book of Mormon, which were written in a foreign language and had been buried thousands of years prior in the Hill Cummorah.

Buried with the plates was the Urim and Thummim, special interpreter that he used while interpreting the Book of Mormon into the English language.  LDS reference for the Urim and Thummim:  The use of a Urim and Thummim to receive revelation dates back to Israel, before the scattering of the 12 tribes.  Here is a Jewish reference for a Urim and Thummim:

The Urim and Thummin was only useful in translating and receiving revelation when commandments were being kept.  Also found buried with the Plates, was the Liahona, a compass which guided Nephi, his father Lehi, and their family from Jerusalem to the American continent in about 600 BC, part of the scattering of the tribes of Israel.

Lehi is a descendant of Jacob who was sold as a slave in Egypt.  Lehi is a Hebrew Prophet.  As wickedness spread throughout the land, Lehi was commanded to take his family and leave everything they had behind, fleeing into the wilderness and go to a promised land, which we know as America.  Lehi's family was wealthy and left all they had to follow the commandment of God.  A little more about Lehi is found here:  

Their experience is recorded in the 1st book of Nephi:

The Book of Mormon is the record of the descendants of Jacob on the American continent, and the Bible is the record of the happenings in the Old World.  After Christ was resurrected, he appeared to the descendants on the American continent.

This is why the Mormons read the Book of Mormon as well as the Bible, to have a full understanding of Christ and what was happening throughout the world rather than just the record from one continent.

Alma, a Prophet that follows Lehi, testifies that Christ will come to the earth.  Korihor, an anti-Christ who asks for a sign from God is struck dumb and left a beggar:

Christ comes to the Americas:

At the end of the 3rd Nephi, we are commanded to repent and come unto Christ and be numbered with the house of Israel:

Through further revelation received in D&C, during the restoration of the Lord's Church and after keys of the Priesthood were restored to the earth, we learn the importance of building and visiting Temples to receive the endowment (for ourselves and for those that died without the opportunity to do so).  This is where the person going through the endowment learns further light and knowledge for returning to God's presence through Jesus Christ:

Many people wait a very long time to receive their endowment after becoming a member of the Church, because temples are far away from them and it is difficult to travel or have money to visit.  This is why the Church is building Temples as quickly as possible throughout the world, to make it possible for those that want to attend to be able to do so.

Members are encouraged to visit often to remember the covenants they have made and the blessings that are promised to them.  By visiting often, they also bless the lives of others who have died, as they go through in proxy each time for someone that passed away without receiving their own ordinances for salvation.

The ordinances received at the Temple, and through the Temple sealing to their companion, one can gain exaltation in the Celestial Kingdom and be with their faithful companion or family forever after we die.

If you have questions or would like to learn more about the LDS Church, fill in the form located here: and you will be visited by missionaries serving in your area, just like Brandon is doing in Africa.

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