Sunday, October 18, 2009

Turning hearts

After our experiences of the last three weeks, Haily and I are back home and ready for Church today.

Today's lesson involves Malachai's great prophecy about the return of Elijah to turn hearts of the fathers to the children, and the children's hearts to be turned to the fathers (Malachai 4:5-6).

One of my favorite stories from this lesson involves the St. George Temple and President Wilford Woodruff.

"In 1887, Elder Woodruff was appointed as the first president of the St. George Temple. Here he experienced some marvelous manifestations. It was in this temple that the signers of the Declaration of Independence appeared to him and requested that their temple work be done. As they gathered around him, they wanted to know why he did not redeem them. 'We laid the foundation of the government you now enjoy, and we never apostatized from it, but we remain true to it and were faithful to God.'" (JD 19:229.)

"Elder Woodruff related that they waited on him for two days and two nights as he was baptized for the signers of the Declaration of Independence and 50 other prominent men, making 100 in all. They included John Wesley, Columbus and others. He was baptized for every president of the United States until that time except three" (Church News, May 1, 1993).

I know that the founders of our country were inspired to write the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution, to set forth and establish our nation. Their work needed to be done just as much as any one else. I feel blessed to know that, just as our Heavenly Father has guided our nation, he guided these men to build and craft it as a place where we can worship freely and be responsible for our own lives, to allow us to use our agency. While I realize we have our problems and difficulties, they are the problems and difficulties of men, and we have the opportunity to rise above these petty squabbles and truly excel in our chosen works.

The picture above was found at Temples to Dot the Earth. This website provides a map showing all operating temples, as well as those being constructed or announced. Only 14 years ago, there were 47 operating temples. Two weeks ago, we were reminded by President Monson there are now 130 temples in operation, with 21 in preparation. This is a truly blessed work, and I know that temple service not only brings us closer to our Heavenly Father and the Savior, but also to our ancestors, who are waiting for us to perform their work.

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