Washington D.C. Temple
Temples of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, like those in ancient times, are holy buildings dedicated to the Lord. A temple, also called the house of the Lord, is a place where worthy Church members receive sacred ordinances and make solemn covenants with God. In these holy temples, families are sealed together forever. Although design and location vary, the work accomplished in each of the Lord's temples is the same.
Heavenly Father established a plan so that the blessings of the temple could be offered to all His children. People who have received their own ordinances are encouraged to return to the temple often to act as proxies for those who have died without having the opportunity of going to the temple for themselves.
In December 19-68 Hugh B. Brown of the First Presidency dedicated the site of the Washington D.C. Temple in Kensington, Maryland. The design of the temple has been described as "a light to the world." Three towers to the east represent the Melchizedek Priesthood leadership, and those to the west represent the Aaronic Priesthood leadership. The Washington D.C. Temple was dedicated on 19 November 19-74 by President Spencer W. Kimball. It became the 16th operating temple.
During the Christmas season each year, the Church hosts the Festival of Lights on the temple grounds, which people from all over the world come to see. The beauty of the temple and the serenity of the grounds draw the attention of many, often leading them to investigate the Church. In this way temples add to the missionary efforts of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and are truly a "light to the world."
Temples of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints are holy buildings dedicated to the Lord. A temple is also called the house of the Lord. It is a place where worthy Church members receive saving ordinances and make sacred covenants with God. In temples families can be sealed together forever. The Washington D.C. Temple was dedicated on 19 November 19-74 by President Spencer W. Kimball.
Latter-day Prophets (Amos 3:7; 2 Nephi 3:6-9; D&C 21:1; D&C 43:2-3; Articles of Faith 1:6)
Surely the Lord God will do nothing, but he revealeth his secret unto his servants the prophets. (Amos 3:7)
The Lord reveals His word to the world through holy prophets (Amos 3:7). This has been God's pattern since the world began: "We believe in the same organization that existed in the Primitive Church, namely, apostles, prophets, pastors, teachers, evangelists, and so forth" (Articles of Faith 1:6). It is as true today as it was in the times of Adam, Noah, Moses, and Abraham; no one else has the authority to receive commandments and revelations for the Church (D&C 43:2-3). Through direct revelation to His holy prophet, the Lord teaches us what we need to know.
In ancient times Joseph of Egypt testified that a prophet "great like unto Moses" would be raised up in the last days to restore the Lord's Church and the teachings of His gospel (2 Nephi 3:6-9). Joseph Smith was this man, "a seer, a translator, a prophet, an apostle of Jesus Christ, an elder of the church through the will of God the Father, and the grace of [the] Lord Jesus Christ" (D&C 21:1).
With the martyrdom of Joseph Smith, Brigham Young, because he was the President of the Quorum of the Twelve, became the leader of the Church. Then on 27 December 1847 he was sustained as the prophet, seer, and revelator and President of the Church. Each succeeding President of the Church, chosen "through the will of God the Father, and the grace of [the] Lord Jesus Christ," has been called as the Lord's prophet to reveal the word and will of the Lord to the people of the earth. The President of the Church today is a true prophet, seer, and revelator and acts with the authority of God. When we listen to the voice of the prophet, we hear the word of God.
Since the time of Adam, the Lord has given instructions and teachings to the people on earth through His chosen prophets. Joseph Smith, the first prophet in the latter days, restored the Church of Jesus Christ and received hundreds of revelations from the Lord. Many men have succeeded Joseph Smith as prophet and President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and each one has received direct revelation from the Lord to teach us what we need to know.
Paintings and artists: The Prophet Joseph Smith, by an unknown artist (attributed to Danquart A. Weggeland); Brigham Young, by George M. Ottinger; John Taylor, by A. Westwood; Wilford Woodruff, by H. E. Peterson; Lorenzo Snow, by Lewis A. Ramsey; Joseph F. Smith, by A. Salzbroning; Heber J. Grant, by C. J. Fox; George Albert Smith, by Lee Greene Richards; David O. McKay, by Alvin Gittins; Joseph Fielding Smith, by Lee Greene Richards; Harold B. Lee, by David Ahrnsbrak; Spencer W. Kimball, by Judith Mehr.
President of the Church, 1847-1877
"I feel like shouting Hallelujah, all the time, when I think that I ever knew Joseph Smith," said Brigham Young (Discourses of Brigham Young, sel. John A. Widtsoe , 458). He proved to be a loyal friend and follower of the Prophet Joseph.
His example of speaking out for truth and righteousness caused some to label him the "Lion of the Lord." "I care nothing about my character in this world," he declared. "I do not care what men say about me; I want my character to stand fair in the eyes of my Heavenly Father" (Brigham Young Office Minutes, 24 April 1859, Historical Department Archives, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints).
As a colonizer of the West and as governor of Utah Territory, he established orderly cities and fruitful orchards. He acknowledged the Lord's hand in making the desert blossom: "We prayed over the land, and dedicated it and the water, air and everything pertaining to them unto the Lord, and the smiles of heaven rested on the land and it became productive" (Discourses, 483).
He left this counsel to those who hesitate to pray: "It matters not whether you or I feel like praying; when the time comes to pray, pray. If we do not feel like it, we should pray till we do" (Discourses, 44).
Brigham Young, second President of the Church, was the pioneer leader who guided the Saints west to the Salt Lake Valley. He sent families to establish towns and colonies throughout the West. He taught the people to stand for truth and righteousness, to work hard, and to be educated.
Artist, John Willard Clawson
President of the Church, 1880-1887
John Taylor enjoyed close association with Joseph Smith and Brigham Young. In the early years of the Restoration he became known as "Champion of Liberty and Defender of the Faith" because of his vocal and written support of the Church and its leaders during times of trouble.
He was shot several times at the martyrdom of Joseph and Hyrum Smith. After a bullet struck him, he started falling out the window of his jail cell. Another bullet, though, struck his watch, and the blow forced him back in the room. Of this event he wrote, "I felt that the Lord had preserved me by a special act of mercy; that my time had not yet come, and that I had still a work to perform upon the earth." (See History of the Church, 7:119-20.)
He testified at the funeral of President Brigham Young: "We are not alone! God is with us, and He will continue with us from this time henceforth and forever" (quoted in B. H. Roberts, The Life of John Taylor , 325).
He taught that God watches over all the nations and peoples of the earth: "We say we are the children of God. That is true, we are. We are sparks struck from the blaze of His eternal fire. But what of the rest of the world—whose children are they? They are also the children of our Heavenly Father, and He is interested in their welfare as He is in ours" (quoted in Roberts, The Life of John Taylor, 421).
John Taylor, third President of the Church, was with the Prophet Joseph Smith and his brother Hyrum when they were shot and killed at Carthage Jail. Though he was shot several times, he said, "I felt that the Lord had preserved me by a special act of mercy." He taught that God watches over all the nations of the earth and loves His children everywhere.
Artist, A. Westwood
President of the Church, 1889-1898
When Wilford Woodruff heard the testimonies of two missionaries on 29 December 1833, he was quick to recognize the truth and was baptized just two days later. Because of his humility and willingness to serve, he was called "Wilford the Faithful" (see Preston Nibley, The Presidents of the Church , 101).
He wrote this advice about family harmony to his 19-year-old daughter: "We are expecting to live together forever after death. I think we all as parents and children ought to take all the pains we can to make each other happy as long as we live that we may have nothing to regret" (quoted in Dean C. Jessee, "Wilford Woodruff," in The Presidents of the Church, ed. Leonard J. Arrington , 137).
To the young people he taught: "I feel to exhort and counsel you, my young friends, to listen to the voice of God and obey it while young, as Samuel did, that you may be great, good, and useful, and the beloved of the Lord and your parents. ... Your eternal destiny for time and eternity, will in a great measure depend upon the foundation which you lay in the days of your youth" (The Discourses of Wilford Woodruff, sel. G. Homer Durham , 265-66).
Wilford Woodruff, fourth President of the Church, quickly recognized the truth of the gospel and was baptized two days after hearing the message. He entered the Great Salt Lake Valley with Brigham Young on 24 July 1847. He taught the young people "to listen to the voice of God and obey it." He said to them, "Your eternal destiny for time and eternity, will in a great measure depend upon the foundation which you lay in the days of your youth."
Artist, H. E. Peterson
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