He also represents the restoration of the Gospel in these the latter days. In him is often interpreted the angel in Revelations 14:1-6 who was seen to, "fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people, saying with a loud voice, Fear God, and give glory to him; for the hour of his judgment is come: and worship him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters."
The angel is calling out all of the House of Israel and an ensign to the nations to come together. Temples are gathering place where the work of the Lord can bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of His children. Those who enter are stepping inside holy ground where covenants are made and endowments bestowed between mortals and God. President Thomas S. Monson said, "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." Those who enter must do so with reverence for the holy and sacred.
After establishing the church, Joseph Smith was instructed by revelation to prepare to build a temple. He was told, "Organize yourselves; prepare every needful thing; and establish a house, even a house of prayer, a house of fasting, a house of faith, a house of learning, a house of glory, a house of order, a house of God; That your incomings may be in the name of the Lord; that your outgoings may be in the name of the Lord; that all your salutations may be in the name of the Lord, with uplifted hands unto the Most High." (D&C 88: 119-120.) All activity is centered on the Atonement and saving Grace of Jesus Christ who alone makes any work of use to salvation.
|Vancouver British Columbia Temple- Instruction Room|
|Kansas City Missouri Temple - Instruction Room|
In the temples, members of the Church who make themselves eligible can participate in the most exalted of the redeeming ordinances that have been revealed to mankind. There, in a sacred ceremony, an individual may be washed and anointed and instructed and endowed and sealed. And when we have received these blessings for ourselves, we may officiate for those who have died without having had the same opportunity. In the temples sacred ordinances are performed for the living and for the dead alike.He goes on to say:
Before going to the temple for the first time, or even after many times, it may help you to realize that the teaching in the temples is done in symbolic fashion. The Lord, the Master Teacher, gave much of His instruction in this way . . .
The temple is a great school. It is a house of learning. In the temples the atmosphere is maintained so that it is ideal for instruction on matters that are deeply spiritual . . .
If you will go to the temple and remember that the teaching is symbolic, you will never go in the proper spirit without coming away with your vision extended, feeling a little more exalted, with your knowledge increased as to things that are spiritual. The teaching plan is superb. It is inspired. The Lord Himself, the Master Teacher, taught His disciples constantly in parables—a verbal way to represent symbolically things that might otherwise be difficult to understand.
The temple itself becomes a symbol . . .of the power and the inspiration of the gospel of Jesus Christ standing as a beacon in a world that sinks ever further into spiritual darkness.Those who attend are once again taught what is called "The Plan of Salvation" with symbol and presentations. "In ordinance rooms an overview is given of God’s plan for His children. Latter-day Saints learn of their premortal and mortal lives, the creation of the world and the Fall of man, the central role of Jesus Christ as the Redeemer of all God’s children, and the blessings they can receive in the next life." ("Things Pertaining to This House", Ensign, Oct. 2010, 60–67.) The endowment received by temple ordinances is a gift given to those who covenant with the Lord in faith. Mormons first receive these ordinances when they are going on a proselytizing mission, getting married, or become an adult and feel prepared spiritually.
|San Salvador El Salvador Temple - Instruction Room|
Brigham Young once explained:
“Let me give you a definition in brief. 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, passing the angels who stand as sentinels, being enabled to give them the key words, the signs and tokens, pertaining to the holy Priesthood, and gain your eternal exaltation in spite of earth and hell.” (Discourses of Brigham Young [Deseret Book Co., 1941], p. 416.)Part III will continue with a discussion of the sacred and connection to the Holy.