The ultimate end of Temple and Family History work is to vicariously provide the saving ordinances of the temple to all of our ancestors who have gone before us and who have prepared the way so that we can be where we are today. Our families need us, and we need them.
In this generation, the Lord expects each able young man to be worthy and prepare for missionary service. We know there are some who are honorably excused from service due to health or other reasons. To each of you that cannot serve in a full-time capacity, the Lord loves you as we do and we know that compensating blessings will be yours as you worthily serve the Lord in any capacity that fits your circumstances. The Lord also invites young women to serve, when they feel prompted. He knows that young women are equally capable of performing miracles in his name.
It was a very cold winter day, there had not been much snow that year in Idaho. I remember entering the Idaho Falls temple early that morning thinking, I am about to enter into a covenant with God and with the woman that I love and adore, which is eternal and that will bind us together forever.
One of the most compelling reasons to pay a full tithe is to invite God to prove Himself, to experience how He will “open the windows of heaven” on our behalf and “pour [us] out a blessing” that will exceed our capacity to receive. That is a promised blessing worth claiming from a loving Heavenly Father who also happens to be the creator and ruler of all things.
I still recall an event and a conversation that occurred shortly after my 12th birthday. It shaped the direction of my life. After Sacrament Meeting on the Sunday following my birthday, my family gathered in the Bishop’s office. The Bishop said a few words concerning the importance of the Aaronic Priesthood, and then invited me to sit on a chair while several men in the ward surrounded me and placed their hands on my head. My father, acting under the direction of the Bishop, conferred upon me the Aaronic Priesthood and ordained me to the office of Deacon.
As an Area Presidency, we too have strong feelings about the importance of the temple and of the great privilege of becoming worthy to receive a temple recommend. Elder Haynie counsels members of the church in the Philippines to make the necessary change and sacrifice to make themselves worthy of a temple recommend.
The Atonement of Jesus Christ is available to each of us. His Atonement is infinite. It applies to everyone, even you. It can clean, reclaim, and sanctify even you. That is what infinite means—total, complete, all, forever. Elder Bowen shares how the Atonement can make us clean again if we accept this gift that Jesus offers us.
In January 2016, the Philippines Area Presidency introduced the Philippines Area Plan. The Area Plan sets forth an inspired Vision Statement for all members of the Church: “By exercising faith in Jesus Christ and His Atonement, members will obey the commandments, make, honor and renew sacred covenants and more fully establish the Kingdom of God in the Philippines.”
The more we understand who Jesus Christ is, the greater will be our desire to keep His holy day sacred. He is the Lord of the Sabbath.
It is never too late to return and receive the blessings of the restored gospel. Through the atoning power of Jesus Christ, all wounds can be healed. However, it is of great importance that we hasten the work of the rescue.
The Lord has made it clear that every worthy young man is under priesthood obligation to serve a full-time mission and that sisters may choose to do likewise. Preparation, in its many facets, for this period of faithful service begins well before one’s eighteenth or nineteenth birthday.
We should desire the promised protection from the adversary that comes from our yielding to the influence of the Spirit of Elijah, which is the Holy Ghost’s ability to focus us on the eternal principles associated with the family and in turn family history work.