Uniting Families Forever
I came across the following photo and statement of faith regarding Mormon temples by a visually-impaired Mormon educator (member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints) and published author on the subject of temple history,expressing so simply his gratitude for his eternal union with his family, after having been sealed in the Los Angeles Mormon Temple.
The Los Angeles Temple is the second largest Mormon temple, after the Salt Lake Temple, and was dedicated to the Lord–as each temple is through sacred prayer offered by a member of The First Presidency (the Prophet, or one of His two counselors)–in 1956.
Brother Cowan taught at BYU’s Jerusalem Center for Near Eastern Studies. While there, he was especially interested in visiting the site of Solomon’s and Herod’s Temples and studying more about them from materials available only in Israel.
I don’t know when I first became interested in temples. I can remember going to the Salt Lake Temple at an early age to perform baptisms for the dead. Growing up in Los Angeles, I went on annual temple excursions to either St. George or Mesa with a group of young people from our stake. Not only did we have the opportunity to perform temple service, but these trips also allowed me to associate with other youths who shared my interests and values. We all eagerly anticipated the completion of our own temple in Southern California. It was under construction when I left for my Spanish-speaking mission to Texas and New Mexico. I returned home from that mission just in time to attend the temple’s dedication. I have enjoyed attending several recent temple dedications including those carried by satellite. Still, my feelings about the temple are strengthened most by my regular participation in the sacred ordinances in the Lord’s House. I look forward to expanding my knowledge about temples and hope to have the opportunity of actually visiting more of the temples which now are truly dotting the earth. I am grateful that I married Dawn Houghton in the Los Angeles Temple, so that our marriage is for eternity and that we can look forward to being with our six children and our 22 grandchildren forever.
To Brother Cowan’s assurance of the divinity of temple work, I add my own for you, dear friend of another faith. I know that all Mormon temples are equal in the service they provide, in the healing they extend, in the opportunity each one of us has who would prepare themselves for the richest blessings of God’s love and instruction in His holy houses upon the earth. They are what Mormons purport them to be–namely, sacred edifices built to the Lord’s specifications through revelation, and to His ends–the salvation of souls and their eternal union and reunion with Him in the eternities.
The words of the prophets and apostles bear exacting witness of the temple and its functions, with which we close this post and open up discussion for those who would ask questions or seek more knowledge concerning these things:
Surely these temples are unique among all buildings. They are houses of instruction. They are places of covenants and promises. At their altars we [and anyone who would like to become a member and so qualify to enter] kneel before God our Creator and are given promise of His everlasting blessings. In the sanctity of their appointments we commune with Him and reflect on His Son, our Savior and Redeemer, the Lord Jesus Christ, who served as proxy for each of us in a vicarious sacrifice in our behalf. Here we set aside our own selfishness and serve for those who cannot serve themselves. Here, under the true priesthood power of God, we are bound together in the most sacred of all human relationships—as husbands and wives, as children and parents, as families under a sealing that time cannot destroy and death cannot disrupt.
Who, who has ever loved, has not thought about the possibility of life after life without their companion. God has provided a way for those unions to continue, and that binding occurs in Mormon temples, temples of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.