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Ross Baron

This Is a Place of Light

Thank you for that music. It’s such a privilege to be here, brothers and sisters. I’m grateful for the invitation. Years ago, I was asked by the Church in Southern California to do a tour of a group of adult students at the University of Judaism. The University of Judaism had asked if they could do a tour at the LA Temple. They wanted to know more about the temples of the Church, so they asked if they could do a tour.

I’m a convert to the Church from Judaism; I joined the Church when I was 18. So the director of public affairs in Southern California asked if I would do this tour. So, there were about 35–40 people, and we were going around the temple. I tried to be very careful with them of being appropriate in terms of what we were teaching about the temple, and also as far as not wanting to offend them for the fact that I had been a Jewish convert. That could be a little bit of a sensitive topic.

So, it had gone on for hours. They had asked amazing questions; there were great comments. We were having a fun time, and at the end of the tour they were getting back onto this bus. They had taken a bus up to the temple spot in LA. There was a woman who was the oldest woman in the group, and she was a Holocaust survivor. I forget exactly which concentration camp it was, but she had survived the Holocaust. And so, they were all getting on the bus, and she pulled me aside and said, “I know your secret.”

I didn’t quite know what that meant. I had tried to be really careful to not say I was a Jewish convert. She said, “You have a Jewish keppe; you have a Jewish head.” I still wasn’t totally sure what was going on. And then she looked me right in the eyes, and she said, “I’ve been in dark places.” And then she kind of turned me to the temple. This is an older, older Jewish woman. And she said, “I’ve been in dark places,” and then looking at the temple, she said, “This is a place of light. So don’t you worry, young man. This is a place of light.” And with that, she got on the bus.

I’ve often thought to myself, in effect this was a person not of our faith who was bearing witness of the spirit and the light that comes from the holy temple. “I’ve been in places of dark, but this is a place of light.” I invite the Holy Ghost to be with us as we talk and discuss this day about temples as beacons of light, as places where we can go in our mortal journeys to be able to get back to our Heavenly Father and understand the nature of God.

I believe the temples are some of the greatest evidences of number one, the restoration of the gospel, and number two, of the nature of God. Let me explain what I mean by that.

Jesus said—of course you know—in John 3:5, “Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.” Jesus also told his disciples at the end of Matthew—do you remember this? He gathers the eleven apostles, and he says, “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.”[1] And I believe that those eleven apostles thought, “That will be awesome. We’ll go to all nations and baptize Jewish people. That will be great. We’ll find Jews all over the world.” In other words, their cultural biases probably skewed them into thinking that.

In a very important, critical juncture in the New Testament, of course, in Acts 10 Cornelius has a vision and Saul in Acts 9 where the gospel now, through the president of the Church, is going to be shifted so that it’s not just Jews, it’s all nations—Gentiles. But then I think the vision expands, and I think this is something we need to understand—the vision expands to more than just Jewish people or Gentiles or people living, but to people on both sides of the veil. So, Isaiah saw our day when he says in Isaiah 2, “In the last days . . . the mountain of the Lord . . . shall be established in the top of the mountains, . . . and all nations shall flow unto it.”[2] And I think sometimes we narrow that prophecy to mean “all nations shall flow unto it” as if it just meant mortals. And I think that’s true. So, all nations do flow unto the house of the Lord from all countries all over the world. But brothers and sisters, all nations flow unto it from both sides of the veil. So, our vision gets expanded to understand that this work is about more than just the slice of humanity that is alive or the slice of a particular chosen people at a particular time. But in God’s wisdom as He unfolds His plan, and as a stone that is cut out of a mountain rolls and fills the whole earth,[3] the gospel is blessing people on both sides of the veil and all of humanity. And that is my point about what the temple teaches us about the nature of God.

The scriptures teach us He is no respecter of persons,[4] but it is in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints that that doctrine is actually fully developed and practiced. I do not mean to denigrate any of our great Christian friends or Muslim friends or from any other religion. But it is found most manifest in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and in its temples, and in the doctrine of temple work where we find God’s love, God’s mercy, God’s longsuffering toward all mankind.

I love a scripture in 2 Peter where Peter says, “The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness.”[5] Isn’t that interesting? Some people are thinking, “Oh, I wish the Lord would come,” or, “I wish this would happen faster.” “The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should [repent].”[6] That is beautiful and powerful doctrine. And so, the idea of temples as beacons of light is the theme of what I would like to discuss.

But in connection with that theme of temples as beacons of light, I also want to discuss the idea of a process or an attitude that we bring to the temple that will bless our temple experience. So, what I want to do today is not just talk about how amazing temples are, or how they are witnesses of the Restoration, or witnesses of the nature of God, which they are. But I also want to talk about how powerfully they can be in your lives as you journey through life, and there is this great outpouring of love and light so that we can change the world.

I remember as a young man, thinking, “It would be great to be able to change the world.” And immediately you think, you know, you’re going to be Frodo or you’re going to be something like that, and you’re going to be on some hero’s quest. Which is cool and amazing, but really, we can change the world, and the Holy Ghost can change us—which will allow us to change the world. And that is really, I think, the purpose of temples and more the purpose of the Restoration of the gospel. So, I’d like to show you this quote. This is from Boyd K. Packer:

No work is more of a protection to this Church than temple work and the [genealogical] 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.[7]

I just want to highlight these words: protection, refining, and power. I don’t know what your temple experiences have been; I’m not sure, in terms of how you feel about those kinds of things. I recently was released as a stake president of a student stake at BYU—Idaho, where I interviewed I don’t know how many people, in terms of thousands, for temple recommends, for sealings, to go on missions. But sometimes somebody goes to the temple and they come out of the temple, their first experience, a little jarred. A little concerned. And I want to suggest to you that there is purpose in that. And I want to suggest to you a way that will bless us as we attend the temple, to be able to understand it more. But we have to get it firmly in our minds, this Boyd K. Packer witness of the protection, the refinement, and the power.

He further said, “Our labors in the temple cover us with a shield and a protection, both individually and as a people.”[8] Think about those phrases again. Labors in the temple cover us.

Now, Christ changes us through covenants. This is a quote by Brother Bob Matthews. He was a former dean of religious education at Brigham Young University in Provo. And Brother Matthews makes this interesting comment. He says:

The purpose of the gospel is to educate, perfect, and sanctify man, lifting him to the status of a god in celestial glory. A person cannot lift himself or herself by individual effort alone but must be lifted by the power of the atonement of Jesus Christ. . . .

The Lord requires certain duties of all members of his Church, but each must also struggle with his own nature and personality.[9]

Now this is an interesting phrase he says right here because I think all of us can relate:

Timid souls must learn to be brave; overzealous natures must develop patience; rebellious persons must learn to conform; the slothful must become diligent; the spiritually uncultured must be refined; and all must learn self-discipline.[10]

That is so fascinating—these couplets.

So, you meet somebody who is super zealous, super brave, super powerful, but they have their own challenges. And the person who is timid also has a challenge. And I think that part of this idea is that Christ, through covenants, can help us change our nature so that we can be that polished shaft,[11] that tool in His armament, to be able to use us to build His kingdom, to bless our lives and the lives of others.

Finally, Brother Matthews says: “The covenant relationship encourages us to deal with these personal weaknesses; every gospel covenant ties the individual closer to the Lord Jesus Christ, who has the power to help us turn weaknesses into strengths.”[12] That’s beautiful.

The temple of the Lord is a place of covenants. I think it’s of note, brothers and sisters, to realize that the First Vision—I believe the Lord in the First Vision is already hinting at and teaching Joseph Smith to prepare his mind for temple restoration. Let’s think about this.

This is from Joseph Smith—History 1:19: “The Personage who addressed me”—you all are familiar with this; this is when the Prophet, the boy, is in the grove. The Father and the Son have appeared. He said, “My object in going to inquire of the Lord was to know which of all the sects was right, that I might know which to join.”[13] And then this is a quote from Joseph Smith—History 1:19. “The Personage who addressed me said that all their creeds were an abomination in his sight; that those professors were all corrupt; that”—now, I want you to notice something; there is a quote here. It’s the only place in the entire Joseph Smith History where Joseph Smith inserted quote marks. Now that is fascinating to me.

I believe he is quoting it because I believe he doesn’t want us to think that this was a paraphrase or maybe his own words. But he put this in quotes to emphasize for us, “This is what the Savior told me.” Watch the quotes: “They draw near to me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me, they teach for doctrines the commandments of men, having a form of godliness, but they deny the power thereof.”[14]

Now, I know we are in this very formal setting, but my favorite setting is the classroom. Of course, we’re not going to have that kind of participation because it would be inappropriate. But I want you to see this slide—I’m going to suggest to you that what Joseph just learned from the Savior was to help us understand the difference between apostasy and restoration, and to prepare our minds for temple worship.

So, on the one hand, God said that “They draw near to me with their lips.” So lip service is one of the signs of apostasy. God doesn’t want just lips, he wants hearts. “They draw near to me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me.”

And then this statement: “They teach”—that is, basically, the world, the organizations of the world—“They teach for doctrines the commandments of men.” Think about that phrase. So they teach, they’re going to teach for doctrine the commandments of men, not the commandments of God. So, we have to be extremely careful that whatever we are putting forth as doctrine has to be that which God has declared through the mouth of His servants by the power of the Holy Ghost.

Now, I use an interesting litmus test, because sometimes people will say, “Oh, so does that mean I can’t study other good books, or read about other religions, or be part of some other cause?” That’s not what that means. But my litmus test for how I know when I am drifting from the doctrines of men and the doctrines of God is anything that takes away faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, anything that takes away my desire to repent fully, anything that takes away my desire or my commitment to receive all the ordinances, to have the gift of the Holy Ghost, or to endure to the end—doctrines of men. Those are doctrines of men. So, you can look at your own life.

That was the doctrine of Christ, right? Faith, repentance, baptism (ordinances), gift of the Holy Ghost, endure to the end.[15] Anything that lessens your commitment to any of those things is, in fact, a doctrine of men—a philosophy of men or a doctrine of the devil—and cannot bless our lives. So, that’s not to say we can’t embrace all truth and all good things in the world, but those things actually have to increase and inspire our faith in the Savior and our desire to keep our covenants. Then we are on a safe path.

So, here we are: apostasy—lips; restoration—hearts. Apostasy—“a form of godliness, but they deny the power thereof.”[16] Think about that. The Lord wants to restore through the Prophet Joseph Smith, in the Grove—I mean, can you imagine the overwhelming information that is coming at this young boy as the Lord is teaching him this profound doctrine. Remember, I told you these things were in quotes. “They draw near to me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me, they teach for doctrines the commandments of men, having a form of godliness, but they deny the power thereof.”[17]

I believe the prophets and apostles in this last general conference were trying to help us understand to not be “lips” and “form” but to be “hearts” and “power.” And so how do we do that? How do we change our natures? How do we start to have that experience so that that can go forward?

Well, in section 84 of the Doctrine and Covenants, verses 19 and 20, the Lord says this powerful statement: “This greater priesthood”—the Melchizedek priesthood—“administereth the gospel and holdeth the key of the mysteries of the kingdom, even the key of the knowledge of God.” Now here’s the verse, though: “Therefore, in the ordinances thereof”—thereof, the ordinances of the Melchizedek priesthood—“the power of godliness is manifest.”[18]

I have to have the power of godliness in my life to change my heart. We can’t do it on our own. So if I want to change the world, I have to have a Savior, the Holy Ghost, and I have to have prophets and apostles in my life so that my nature can change. Because in and of myself I can’t do it. I’m weak, I’m fallen. But “in the ordinances thereof, the power of godliness is manifest.”

Now, I’d like to show you this—this idea of the power of godliness. This representation that you see is a geometric representation of the revelation that Moses got to put the temple, the tabernacle in the wilderness. And it’s organized—by the way, this particular representation is organized as close as it can be in accordance with the revelations given in Exodus and Leviticus. And I believe if you look at that, we could talk a long time about that. There are very instructive ideas here.

The first part, you will notice there is an outer court and an inner court. You always move from the east going west, symbolically meaning that when Adam and Eve were kicked out of Garden, that terrestrial state, they went east. So, what does the Lord do? He sets up cherubim and a flaming sword to guard the way of the tree of life.[19] So, they have to come from the east, going back. So, you come from east, and you go back into the temple. That’s how the temple is oriented. And I think it’s fascinating that the Restoration of the gospel was in the East. And then what did the Saints do? They moved West. To me that is just interesting, these symbols. The sun rises out of the east, of course, and Christ will come from the east. The temple door is faced east; Moroni is faced east. All these things are to teach us that we are going to pass by these sentinels.

So, you come into the gates. Now, I don’t know if you can see this, but the gate to get into the outer court is 20 cubits. That is the gate. And then in the outer court, you have the center of the court, which is the altar of offering; and then the laver, which was ritual washings. Notice that “X.” In the center—literally in the center of the outer court—it focuses on the Lord Jesus Christ. That’s the altar of offering.

But the purpose of the outer court isn’t to stay in the outer court. The purpose of the outer court is to get to the inner court. The inner court is the temple proper. Do you all see that? That is the temple proper. That is Melchizedek priesthood. The outer court would be, symbolically in our lives, church. Who presides in sacrament meeting? The bishop. The bishop is the president of the Aaronic priesthood. Now, we know he has the Melchizedek priesthood because he is the presiding high priest of the ward. But he is the president of the Aaronic priesthood, and so what happens on Sunday in church is really, to a large degree, the outer court. Visitors welcome, right? Cheerios on the pews. Anybody can be there. That’s the outer court.

But to go in the inner court—you’ll notice now that the gate, if you can see this, is 10 cubits. So, you went from 20 cubits to get into the church—and anybody who has served a mission here knows that in the baptismal interview there are requirements. But if people are willing, we want them to come into the kingdom, right? We want them to be baptized. So, it’s 20 cubits. But now to get into the temple, it’s 10 cubits. Isn’t that interesting? So, we’ve got higher expectations, a different degree of worthiness, if you will.

And then inside the holy place and inside the Holy of Holies—to get into the Holy of Holies, it’s one person at a time. So, we went from 20 cubits to 10 cubits, to individual. Which should remind you of in 2 Nephi 9:41 where the Savior says that “the keeper of the gate is the Holy One of Israel; and he employeth no servant there.” Do you see this progress that is going on? Outer court is the Church. The inner court is the Melchizedek priesthood; it is the temple.

The temple is a Melchizedek priesthood house from top to bottom. Some of you are thinking, “But Brother Baron, we do baptisms in the temple—baptisms for the dead. Isn’t that Aaronic priesthood?” It is, but I think many of you understand that to perform baptisms in the temple, you can’t be a priest; you actually have to be an elder. You can’t even be just an elder; you have to be an endowed elder to perform baptisms. Baptisms for the dead all the way up to the sealing ordinance, the temple is a Melchizedek priesthood house.

It might be of interest to you to know that Melchizedek is a Hebrew word. It is a combination of two words. It’s malki tzedek, which means “a righteous king.” That’s what every young man who is ordained to be a Melchizedek priesthood holder, who is ordained to be an elder, is actually being ordained to be—a righteous king. And every woman who goes to the temple to be endowed is becoming a malki tzedeka, a righteous queen. And that is the power of what is going on in the temples. That is what’s happening in these temples. So, that is a short preview of the power that occurs in the temple.

Now, I’d like you to look at one other thing. If you look at that diagram, notice that the temple and then the gates, or the outer court and the gate around the entire temple—notice that there is massive space between the temple proper and what would be considered “the world.” And some architect might actually rightly say, “Gosh, that’s a lot of wasted space.” But I think, again, the Lord is teaching us symbolically. There is zero connection between the temple and the world. There is zero connection. It doesn’t even border. There’s not even a border. It’s separate, distinct from.

By the way, this is a hint at why I think sometimes, for some people, the temple becomes a jarring experience. Because it is so not of this world. The temple is literally a connection between heaven and this world. So, when we come from the outer court—Aaronic priesthood experience—and go to the Melchizedek priesthood experience, it should be jarring. Brothers and sisters, if it wasn’t jarring, I think there would be something wrong. Because what happens inside the temple all points to the Lord Jesus Christ at a higher level, a more symbolic level. But it’s Melchizedek priesthood as opposed to Aaronic priesthood.

So, notice this particular picture. This particular picture demonstrates how the temple was set up in ancient Israel. The idea is that the temple is at the center. On the outskirts, the temple is at the middle, the center of our lives. So, Brigham Young comes to Salt Lake City, sticks his cane into the ground and says, “This is the place where we will build a temple to our God,” which is right here, Salt Lake City, Temple Square. And then every street is oriented as it relates to how far you are from the temple. Have you realized that? So, if you are at 100 East 600 South, you are one block and six blocks in relation to the temple of God, which is to pattern our lives. No matter where we are in the world, our question should be, “Where am I in relation to God’s temple?” Which is really another way of saying, “Where am I in relation to the Lord Jesus Christ?” So again, here is the temple at the very center. At the very center. And that’s the way it should be in our lives.

Now, I’ve thought about the temple experience, and I want to suggest to you maybe an attitude as you attend the temple that could bless your lives. So, I want to share this experience that I have had. So, I want to go to the temple—I know some of you go to the temple, and you’re kind of in a rush. You want to get to a particular session, right? And you park your car, you’re walking, and you get to the temple recommend desk. And there is generally a very old man there. Very old. And he is very unrushed.

You get out your temple recommend, right? And you give him your temple recommend. And he seems relatively unconcerned with your pace. He kind of looks at the temple recommend, you know, and scans the barcode, and “Welcome, Brother Baron,” and gives you a smile. I call that Pause One.

And then you’re still kind of like, wow, came from the world. That guy who was very old just did that thing and paused you. Then you go to the dressing room. You take your Babylon clothes off and put them in the locker, put on white clothes. Pause Two.

Then, generally you’re going to go into some kind of chapel or a waiting area where you are going to listen to organ music. You’re going to listen to beautiful music, and you can ponder. You can pray. You can read your scriptures. Pause Three.

Then you’re going to be ushered into the instruction room. Generally, the instruction won’t start right away. But in perfect silence and in perfect order, you’ll wait. Pause Four.

I believe each one of those pauses, which we might think from a worldly perspective are annoying, are actually the Lord’s way of saying, “Now I can teach you.” So, I would ask or invite you that the next time you go to the temple and you feel a bit perturbed that it’s not going on your schedule that you would pause and think a minute that the Lord is actually trying to bless your life by allowing a series of pauses that occur so that the Savior, the Master Teacher, can teach you.

With that I will tell you a second thing: I love the story in Mark 5 with the woman with the issue of blood. You remember, the woman with the issue of blood for 12 years had spent all she had on physicians and was not healed. She then learned about Jesus and said in her mind, “If I but touch the hem of his garment, I can be healed.”[20] And then, not wanting to be known, not wanting to be seen—you remember this? Jesus is in a throng of people, a multitude. She sticks her hand out as He walks by, touches the hem of his garment, and instantly she is healed.

And Jesus stops—remember this? “Who touched me?” And it’s an interesting thing because the Apostles always are trying to kind of make Jesus look good. And they’re like, “Lord, how sayest thou, Who touched me? The throng presseth thee.”[21] And He says, “No, somebody touched me.” And then of course the woman reveals herself, and He says, “Daughter, thy faith hath made thee whole; go in peace.”[22]

When I teach this in my New Testament class, I always ask, “What did Jesus do to heal her?” And I get various answers. He didn’t lay His hands on her head. No. He never said a word to her. He didn’t raise His arm to the square. No. Jesus was just being Jesus. Think on that. It was her faith, initiated in pure faith, that drew the power—in fact, the scriptures in the Greek say the virtue (which is this moral power) drew it out of Him to bless her.

Now, think about that in terms of your temple attendance. You go to the temple like the woman with the issue of blood. You go to the temple thinking, “If I but touch the hem of Jesus’ garment today, I can be healed. I can be made whole.” And the Savior, in all probability, won’t lay His hands on your head or maybe won’t speak to you. But you, through your faith, with that kind of attitude, can—like the woman with the issue of blood—draw it out of the Master. And you can leave that temple that day cleansed, healed, whole—with a completely new perspective on everything.

Now, I’m a teacher, and your good president talked about how I love to teach. I like nothing more than to be in a class with great students, eager, and I seriously can’t think of anything better. And when I’m in a class with eager students, brothers and sisters, I will do anything. Now, there are some people in this congregation today who have taken classes from me. And I can get very excited when I teach. I do. I’m very passionate. I get very excited when I teach. But when I have students, I’m so excited that I want to have that Spirit there.

Now, sometimes we go to the temple, and if people are nodding off—as a teacher, if somebody is sleeping in my class, if somebody is texting, or somebody is buying something on Amazon, checking Facebook, if somebody is completely uninterested—then as a teacher, not only is it discouraging me, but it impedes the flow of the Holy Ghost. So now, you are in a temple—God’s house, the inner court, the Melchizedek priesthood ordinance—and you’re nodding off or thinking about something else. And then we can’t figure out why we’re not having amazing spiritual experiences.

Brothers and sisters, may I suggest to you that when you go to the temple, you be that eager 7-, 8-year-old in the CTR-8 class. You go eyes wide open, reverent, attentive, listening carefully, trying to make connections. And then God will teach you because the Master Teacher loves eager students. The Master Teacher wants to teach you. The temple is the Lord’s graduate school, and He is the teacher.

Have you noticed there’s no white board in the celestial room, where we all sit around and talk about the endowment? I think some of you want that, actually. But there is no white board in the celestial room where we talk about the endowment. That’s on purpose. That’s on purpose because it allows us to be taught by Him who is, in fact, the teacher. So, the endowment is customized and tailored to our particular needs at that particular time.

The temple is a blessing that cannot actually be overstated in terms of our mortal journey. But there is an attitude of learning, an attitude or process that we can take. Now, I just want to share with you from section 88 of the Doctrine and Covenants. I used to think that these verses from section 88, starting in verse 121, had to do generally with being a good person in life. But I’m going to suggest to you that perhaps this is the Lord teaching you how to get more out of your temple experience. They’re right in conjunction with the command to build the temple.

Therefore, cease from all your light speeches, from all laughter, from all your lustful desires, from all your pride and light-mindedness, and from all your wicked doings. . . .

See that ye love one another; cease to be covetous; learn to impart one to another as the gospel requires.

Cease to be idle; cease to be unclean. . . . [23]

And then this line, which is the hardest line for your age group:

Cease to sleep longer than is needful; retire to thy bed early, that ye may not be weary; arise early, that your bodies and your minds may be invigorated.[24]

I don’t think He’s saying that because He wants to torture you. I think He’s saying that because He wants to teach you. He wants to heal you.

And above all things, clothe yourselves with the bond of charity, as with a mantle, which is the bond of perfectness and peace.

Pray always, that ye may not faint, until I come.[25]

I believe, brothers and sisters, and I would ask you to contemplate going back and looking at some of these things in section 88 in terms of your temple experience. Are you following these guidelines? I’d like to testify to you that as you do, the Lord will be the teacher. He will teach you in that temple.

Now I come back full circle to that Holocaust survivor woman. She said, “I have been in dark places. But this—this is a place of light.” It is a place of light. It is a place of light, perhaps unlike any other light on earth. It is a connecting point between this place and our future.

Now, we live in dark times. I know that. We live in troublesome times. But I like to look at the First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve—full of faith, full of brightness, vibrant, not pessimistic, and not discouraging.

And so, I want to end with a quote from one of my favorite non-LDS people, and that is Winston Churchill. This quote is from a time when, in 1940, when England was being bombed, literally mercilessly, and England had no real defense against the Nazi bombers. Thousands of people were dying. The air raids occurred every single night. And the United States was not in the war, and England was essentially all alone against the darkness that was creeping the earth in the form of the Nazi regime.

So, then Hitler had been bombing, and Churchill decided to go to Harrow’s, which is where he went to school. And at Harrow’s he gave this amazing talk, and this is what he said. He said, “Do not let us speak of darker days; let us speak rather of sterner days. These are not dark days.” Now, he’s saying that while they’re getting bombed every single day, and they had really no way to repel it. “These are not dark days; these are great days—the greatest days our country has ever lived; and we must all thank God that we have been allowed, each of us according to our stations, to play a part in making these days memorable in the history of our race.”[26]

Brothers and sisters, these are perilous times. But let us not speak of dark days. These are great days. God has put you at LDS Business College at this time for a reason–so that you can change the world by carrying out your specific calling and your specific sphere as you gather light. As you gather light into your life—which is the Light of Christ, the gift of the Holy Ghost, and the power that comes through temple ordinances—you can literally change the days in which we live, so we can play a part in making these days memorable. It is my testimony and my witness—as I testify to you that God lives, and that Jesus Christ is the Son of God—that we are led by living prophets and apostles, in the sacred name of Jesus Christ, amen.


[1] Matthew 28:19.

[2] Isaiah 2:2.

[3] See Daniel 2:31–45; D&C 65:2.

[4] See Acts 10:34.

[5] 2 Peter 3:9.

[6] 2 Peter 3:9.

[7] Boyd K. Packer, “The Holy Temple,” Oct. 2010 General Conference.

[8] Packer, “The Holy Temple.”

[9] Robert Matthews, “Our Covenants with the Lord,” Ensign, Dec. 1980.

[10] Matthews, “Our Covenants with the Lord.”

[11] See Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, sel. Joseph Fielding Smith (1976), 304.

[12] Matthews, “Our Covenants with the Lord.”

[13] Joseph Smith—History 1:18.

[14] Joseph Smith—History 1:19.

[15] See 2 Nephi 31–32.

[16] Joseph Smith—History 1:19.

[17] Joseph Smith—History 1:19.

[18] D&C 84:19–20.

[19] See Genesis 3:24.

[20] See Mark 5:28.

[21] See Mark 5:31.

[22] Mark 5:34.

[23] D&C 88:121; 123–124.

[24] D&C 88:124.

[25] D&C 88:125–126.

[26] Winston Churchill, “Never Give In,” The International Churchill Society, Harrow School, Oct. 29, 1941.


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