Category Archives: Mormon Temples

2012 Canada-wide Stake Conference

On Sunday, May 27, 2012 we had what appears to be a bi-annual Canada-wide Stake Conference. The Saturday portion of Stake Conference was still a local event, but the Sunday morning session was broadcast from one of the studios at the Conference Centre.

In the morning while still at home, my 9-year-old son offered our family prayer, and he prayed that the speakers at the conference wouldn’t be nervous speaking in front of a lot of people. Cool!

Elder William R Walker conducted and President Boyd K Packer presided. They were accompanied by D Todd Christofferson and Sister Carole M Stephens.

A couple of days before the conference I asked my wife which of Elder Ballard or President Monson would be speaking. She said Elder Ballard for sure, but thought both of them would be there, seeing as they have such a connection to Canada. Well, neither of them was there.

Apparently there was something like 47 stakes and 3 districts participating in the conference.

The opening and closing of the conference were done locally.

Here are my notes from the meeting:

Elder William R Walker

  • We need to point our children to the temple
  • In 1912 there were 7,000 members in Canada, most of them from Southern Alberta
  • The Alberta Temple was announced in October 1912 and the ground-breaking ceremony was on July 27, 1913 by Joseph F Smith
  • The temple was dedicated by Heber J Grant in August 1923
  • There are now temples in Cardston, Vancouver, Edmonton, Regina, Toronto, Montreal and Halifax. Calgary will be open soon, and Winnipeg has been announced
  • There will soon be 9 temples in Canada, the same number of temples that were in all the Church in 1955
  • The temple should be the great symbol of our membership

Sister Carole M Stevens

  • We need to prepare our children for the evil world ahead of them
  • We need to act with faith, not fear
  • Don’t waste time with “I wish I would have…” Start today!

The intermediate/congregational hymn was “How Firm a Foundation

Elder D Todd Christofferson

  • He recounted his connection to Canada
  • Service is the very fiber of which an exalted life is made
  • Why must we be commanded to serve one another?
  • Even though President Monson can’t reach everyone, he still does what he can
  • We are a church of service
  • The most crucial services is in our own home
  • The Savior is the great Exemplar of service

President Boyd K Packer
Note: President Packer did NOT sound good. He was hard to understand, and didn’t seem to be able to remember things. He would try to speak without looking at his notes, but then had to refer back to them

  • He spoke of his experiences of Canada
  • He was President of the New England Mission, and that involved trips to Eastern Canada
  • We have to remember the Gospel is true
  • When we get that feeling in our hearts, we know what we need to know
  • It’s not an easy thing to be a member, but it is easier than anything else if we do what is right
  • Never be ashamed of the Church
  • He blessed us to “take faith”

“The solution of the problems that vex his life [will come]”

A couple of days ago I quoted from Elder John A Widstoe about the power of temple worship and yesterday about the importance of sealings. Here is another good one (the last one from this talk):

I believe the busy person on the farm, in the shop, in the office, or in the household, who has his worries and troubles, can solve his problems better and more quickly in the house of the Lord than anywhere else. If he will leave his problems behind and in the temple work for himself and for his dead, he will confer a mighty blessing up on those who have gone before, and quite as large a blessing will come to him, for at the most unexpected moments, in or out of the temple, will come to him, as a revelation, the solution of the problems that vex his life. That is the gift that comes to those who enter the temple properly, because it is a place where revelation may be expected. I bear my personal testimony that this is so.

Widstoe, John A. “Temple Worship.” Genealogical Society of Utah. Assembly Hall, Salt Lake City. 12 Oct. 1920.

Overcome by the meaning of the words of sealing

Yesterday I quoted from Elder John A Widstoe about the power of temple worship. Here is another good one about the power/meaning of the words of the sealing ordinance:

The mere words of sealing may be easily spoken at the alters of the holy temples, but they are so full of meaning that any man with even a particle of imagination who witnesses or participates in the sealing ordinances must be overcome with the feeling of responsibility and opportunity and enjoyment that it carries with it

Widstoe, John A. “Temple Worship.” Genealogical Society of Utah. Assembly Hall, Salt Lake City. 12 Oct. 1920.

The power of temple worship

A great quote by Elder John A Widstoe:

Men grow mighty under the results of temple service; women grow strong under it; the community increases in power; until the devil has less influence than he ever had before. The opposition to truth is relatively smaller if the people are engaged actively in the ordinances of the temple.

Widstoe, John A. “Temple Worship.” Genealogical Society of Utah. Assembly Hall, Salt Lake City. 12 Oct. 1920.

The brouhaha over baptisms for the dead

Sometimes I think I’m pretty with it, and other times I just don’t get it. I don’t get all the commotion recently about the practice of baptisms for the dead in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I don’t understand why some outside the church are so against it, and I don’t understand why some inside the church seem to intentionally break the “rules”.

If you haven’t been following it, for the last couple of decades the Church has had an agreement with Jewish groups that we will not baptize people who are proxy for holocaust victims. Unfortunately, there are members who keep submitting these names, along with the names of celebrities. Recently the First Presidency stated again these rules (the letter was read in our Sacrament Meeting this past Sunday).

Like I said, I just don’t get it. Why would anyone care what we do with a name? If someone came up to me and said that they had baptized my grandfather (who is deceased) as a Lutheran, it wouldn’t bother me in the least. If they don’t believe in what we teach, then I just don’t get why it matters what we do when they don’t believe it has any effect. On the other hand, if we have this agreement with these Jewish groups, then we need to keep our agreement. I don’t mean to downplay anyone’s concerns. The brouhaha is on both sides.

I think one of the problems that we have is trying to help non-members understand why we do these baptisms for the dead. Terryl Givens, professor of literature and religion at the University of Richmond (and one of my favourite writers/authors) posted an article on the First Things web site called The Heavenly Logic of Proxy Baptism

Philadelphia’s Mormon Temple: An Affront to Modernism

The Philadelphia Weekly Press has a mostly positive article about the new temple being built there. It’s worth a read:

When it comes to church or temple architecture, Mormons have it all over Catholics and mega-church Protestants, whose modern churches frequently overemphasize cold, hard lines and sterility.

The proposed Mormon temple at 18th and Vine Streets near the Philadelphia Parkway won’t be a utilitarian warehouse. The design is one of many temple designs currently in use throughout the Mormon world. Currently there are 133 Mormon Temples in operation. When the Philadelphia Temple is completed, that number will rank in the high 130s. The Temple will have two spires, one hosting an image of the Angel Moroni, the angel whom, according to Mormon belief, appeared to Mormon founder Joseph Smith in Palmyra, New York, sometime after Smith asked God which church he should join.

Awesome Lego model of the Bountiful Utah Temple

A few days ago the Deseret News had an article about a temple made from Lego. The man was asked by the local Primary President to make a model of the temple. Well, it took it several months and used over 13,000 pieces. The end result was an absolutely amazing replica of the Bountiful Utah Temple. Here is a reduced size picture. You should read the whole article to get more details, see this picture larger, as well as a couple of other pictures.

181st Annual General Conference – Saturday Morning General Session

The first session of conference had the traditional announcement of new temples. One of them is in Canada, so we were excited. We also pointed out the kids that President Monson thanked them for paying their tithing.

We enjoyed our lunch during the first part, and then we let the kids go and play. We’re going to have them watch some of each session, and all of the Sunday Morning General Session.

The Mormon Tabernacle Choir sang Rejoice, the Lord is King!

President Dieter F Uchtdorf conducted. He noted that this conference marks the 75th anniversary of the welfare program of the Church.

The choir sang Glory to God on High

Elder Allan F Packer offered the invocation

President Thomas S. Monson

The choir sang We Listen to a Prophet’s Voice

Elder L Tom Perry

  • Christ had dual citizenship, in heaven and on earth
  • the world is saturated with the doctrines of men
  • keep the sabbath holy
  • it is a glorious thing to be a Christian
  • now is the time to teach your children to be examples of the believers

Sister Jean A Stevens

  • children are the first to love, and the first to forgive
  • the Savior has a special appreciate for little children
  • “behold” the little ones, don’t just glance at them. Embrace them, see and appreciate them

Elder Walter F Gonzalez

  • anyone from any background can learn that Joseph Smith saw God
  • followers of Christ are loving people
  • followers of Christ make and keep covenants
  • following Christ might mean forsaking certain things
  • the power of our covenants is greater than an trial we may face

The choir and congregation sang I Know That My Redeemer Lives

Elder Kent F Richards

  • thought abut the purpose of pain
  • people cope differently
  • pain is a gauge of the healing process
  • sometimes a healing lifts our burdens; other times we are healed by being able to cope
  • all souls can be healed by His power; all pain can be soothed

Elder Quentin L Cook

  • LDS women are incredible
  • spoke a lot about how female members of the church are
  • they succor the weak, lift up the hands that hang down, strengthen the feeble knees
  • no woman should apologize because she is devoting her time to raising her children
  • we should all be careful not be judgmental if a woman chooses to work out side the home (we don’t know people’s circumstances)
  • the errand of angels is given to women

The choir sang I Know That My Savior Loves Me

President Henry B Eyring

  • consecrate your time and means to join with God in serving others
  • gave examples of people helping others
  • everyone is happier when they can provide for themselves
  • when we join hands to serve people in need, the Lord unites our hearts

The choir sang High on the Mountain Top

Elder Dale G Renlund offered the benediction

Read the recaps and other notes from the 181st Annual General Conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints:

The temple recommend of a prophet, seer and revelator

I mentioned before that back in March, Elder M Russell Ballard came to do some training. He was physically at the stake centre beside the Toronto Ontario Temple, but the training was for all of Eastern Canada. Leading up to the meeting, we were told that there would be a special temple session that Elder Ballard would attend. We were to let the temple know if we could go so they knew how many people to expect.

I know the person who was checking the temple recommends that day, and he told me that Elder Ballard had a special recommend. It was NOT the same as ours. There was no barcode on it, no expiry date and all three members of the First Presidency sign it. Neat!

This of course brings to mind a few questions:

  • Did he have an interview when he first got it?
  • Does he have the same recommend since he first became an apostle?
  • Do they get new ones if something on the recommend changes, like a change to the First Presidency, or even the new Church logo from a while ago?

Toronto Ontario Temple at night

We have a Ward Temple Night on the 3rd Thursday of each month. We are in the Toronto Ontario Temple district. In November, this was last Thursday. It was rainy and kind of foggy/misty, and this is what we saw (taken with my cell phone camera) as we approached the temple.