The Spirit of Temple Worship
In his April 2015 conference talk President Monson concluded with the words, ‘May our Heavenly Father bless us that we may have the spirit of temple worship’ I have been pondering on just what is the spirit of temple worship. What is temple worship about?
Firstly, Temple worship is about learning. The temple is unique as a place of learning where so much is taught verbatim, the content being repeated the same in every act of worship and where so much is taught using symbols. It is the university of gospel learning.
Secondly, temple worship is about service. We come here to act as saviours for our families and others who we represent, perhaps the families of a sister we home teach.
But thirdly, more than anything else, Temple worship is also about communion with deity. We are guests in His house to be taught, comforted and guided by them. In President Monson’s talk he told the story of one young man who came to the temple and sat in the celestial room pleading for help. The help he received came from a stranger who was prompted to speak to him. For many, help comes in other ways, often simply to our minds and our hearts. For such help to be administered by Him to those silently pleading for it, the condition that must prevail in the temple is one of peace and by those around you, profound reverence.
President Monson described his feelings as he enters a temple,
‘As we attend the temple, there can come to us a dimension of spirituality and a feeling of peace which will transcend any other feeling which could come into the human heart. We will grasp the true meaning of the words of the Savior when He said: “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.”1
Such peace can permeate any heart—hearts that are troubled, hearts that are burdened down with grief, hearts that feel confusion, hearts that plead for help.’
More than anything else, the spirit of temple worship, is the spirit of peace President Monson spoke of.
One beautiful hymn asks the questions, I conclude with the verses out of there usual order.
Where can I turn for peace? Where is my solace
When other sources cease to make me whole?
When with a wounded heart, anger, or malice,
I draw myself apart, Searching my soul?
Where, when my aching grows, where, when I languish,
Where, in my need to know, where can I run?
Where is the quiet hand to calm my anguish?
Who, who can understand? He, only One.
He answers privately, reaches my reaching.
In my Gethsemane, Savior and Friend.
Gentle the peace he finds for my beseeching.
Constant he is and kind, Love without end.
Text by Emma Lou Thayne
Music by Joleen G Meredith
2 Renditions of
Where Can I Turn for Peace