"No obstacles are insurmountable when God commands and we obey"
- - Heber J. Grant
July 22, 2015
The Temple: A Place of Protection
by Kathryn Grant

Two halves of one blessing: that’s how President Howard W. Hunter memorably described the relationship between family history and temple worship.1 In recent columns we’ve been talking about the family history half of the blessing. But what about the temple half?

The vision of the apostle John on the Isle of Patmos points us to a particular blessing of temple worship, one that’s relevant to our day. John relates that he was given a “reed like unto a rod,” and then told by an angel to “rise, and measure the temple of God, and the altar, and them that worship therein” (Revelation 11:1). Why would John be asked to do this?

In his book Opening the Seven Seals: The Visions of John the Revelator, Richard Draper explains that in the scriptures the act of measuring is a symbol of God's protection.2 So John symbolically measures the temple and those who worship there to show that they will be safe within God's protecting power.

How is the temple a place of protection?

In the temple we can experience peace so real that it is almost tangible. In that peace, we can hear the voice of the Spirit more clearly, helping us grow in our ability to understand how the Spirit speaks to us. Thus we leave the temple better prepared to listen to promptings that warn us of danger and keep us on the safe path.

In the temple we find light and eternal truth which stand in stark contrast to the deceptions and distractions of the world. The temple helps us recognize these traps for what they truly are so that we can avoid them.

Our temple covenants are also a vital source of protection. Covenants confirm standards of behavior that keep us safe and happy, even when we can’t immediately see why deviating from those standards would ultimately bring us great sorrow.

Likewise, the temple garment offers much-needed protection. Elder Carlos E. Asay likened it to spiritual armor. “The piece of armor called the temple garment not only provides the comfort and warmth of a cloth covering, it also strengthens the wearer to resist temptation, fend off evil influences, and stand firmly for the right.”3

We also gain knowledge at the temple, both through the ceremonies and ordinances themselves and through the promptings of the Spirit. Knowledge of truth is a great protection. Error leads us into bondage, but the truth sets us free (John 8:32).

As Elder Boyd K. Packer taught,

No work is more of a protection to this Church than temple work and the family history research that supports it. No work is more spiritually refining. No work we do gives us more power. No work requires a higher standard of righteousness.

Our labors in the temple cover us with a shield and a protection, both individually and as a people.

So come to the temple — come and claim your blessings. It is a sacred work.4

1 Howard W. Hunter, “A Temple-Motivated People,” Ensign, February 1995.

2 See chapter 11.

3 Carlos E. Asay, “The Temple Garment: ‘An Outward Expression of an Inward Commitment,’” Ensign, August 1997.

4 Boyd K. Packer, “The Holy Temple,” Ensign, October 2010.

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About Kathryn Grant

Kathryn Grant is a user assistance professional with a passion for usability and process improvement. She also loves family history and enjoys the challenge and reward of building her family tree.

As a child, she lived outside the United States for four years because of her father's job. This experience fueled her natural love of words and language, and also taught her to appreciate other cultures.

Kathryn values gratitude, teaching, learning, differences, and unity. She loves looking at star-filled skies, reading mind-stretching books, listening to contemporary Christian music, attending the temple, and eating fresh raspberries.

Kathryn teaches Sunday family history classes at the BYU Family History Library, and presents frequently at family history events. For more information, visit her Family History Learning Resources page

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