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The Key to Our Redemption

A. Theodore Tuttle

September 7, 1980 • Devotional

My dear brothers and sisters, it isn’t often that Sister Tuttle gets to accompany me on church assignments, but she is here tonight, and I’d first like to introduce her to you and then have her say a few words.

First, you can see that she is beautiful. Second, she has a beautiful name. Her name is Marné, with a French “é.” We have lived in many places fulfilling Church assignments, and wherever we have been, because she is so highly respected by her friends and my students, there are many little Marnés. For thirty-seven years she has been my companion and friend and wife. We have seven children and fifteen grandchildren. She is a wonderful girl. She is a good cook; she is serene and steady; she is a peacemaker.

Sister Marné Tuttle

I have a great admiration for Brigham Young University. Over thirty years ago we met here, and each of our five children who is here tonight has met his spouse here. I’d like them to stand up and to let you know that they are our cheering section for tonight. We have five of our children here. Our youngest son is in Tokyo serving as a missionary, and our eldest daughter is in California with her seven children.

If I could have a wish that would come true, I would wish that every wife—not only Latter-day Saint wives, but all wives—could have a husband about whom she could say that she was in love with a wonderful guy, someone she could love and cherish and support and sustain and with whom she could grow in harmony. As Latter-day Saints, we know that our purpose for coming to this earth is to prepare to leave it two by two so that we can reach our ultimate potential. Elder James E. Talmage has said, “The Latter-day Saints declare that part of the birthright of every worthy man is to stand at the head of a family as husband and father, and equally strong is the right of every worthy woman to be an honored wife and mother.” As I have served as matron of the temple, these words have come to mean more to me than they used to. I would say to every young girl here to stay sweet and pure and your day will come.

I know the gospel of Jesus Christ is true. I know I have been blessed beyond measure because I am a member of the Church. I know that Jesus is the Christ, that our Father in Heaven loves us and hears and answers our prayers. I know that Joseph Smith was a prophet who, as a young boy, went into the woods to pray and that he received an answer to his prayer that has made it possible for each of us to enjoy these beautiful blessings in our day. I know that President Kimball is a prophet who receives inspiration to guide us, that he is inspired and strengthened daily to carry the great load he has. I pray that you will each reach your full potential. Stay on the course that the Lord has charted for you. May the Lord bless you, I pray, in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.

Elder A. Theodore Tuttle

My beloved brothers and sisters, this is an awe-inspiring sight. I don’t know when I’ll have another chance like this to invite each of you to the temple. We are a very efficient organization up there, and I’m sure we can handle you all—in due time. I want to join in welcoming you to Brigham Young University. BYU is the greatest university in the world. There are unlimited opportunities here. I hope that you will take advantage of every opportunity that is afforded you on this campus—to learn and to grow, both intellectually and spiritually. I’m happy to see so many missionaries here—this vast army of missionaries who are soon to leave the Missionary Training Center. I want to assure you that once you leave, everything gets better. (I guess I should have said that differently.) As Sister Tuttle said, our son was here just a few weeks ago, and now that he is over in Japan he thinks it is better there than here, and I know you will feel the same. The missionaries are some of our best attenders at the temple. Everyone loves them. Every one of the workers is just thrilled to have the missionaries attend the temple, and we’d be happy to have all of you come too.

Now, brothers and sisters, tonight I want to talk to you about redemption for the living and the dead. I approach this subject with reverence, for it is a sacred matter. The key to our redemption is the life and atonement of the Master. If we follow the path that he has outlined, it will lead us to the sacred rooms of the holy temple, for no man can receive the fullness of the priesthood outside of the temple of the Lord. Therein eligible members of the Church come to participate in the most exalted and sacred of the redeeming ordinances that have been revealed to mankind. Therein we may be washed and anointed and instructed and endowed and sealed. And after we have received these blessings for ourselves, we may then officiate for those who have died without having had these same opportunities. In the temples the sacred ordinances are performed for the living and for the dead alike.

I want to share all I can with you to increase your understanding as to why temples are built, how we obtained the authority to perform the ordinances and ceremonies of the temple, and why the earth will be smitten with a curse if we do not do this work—in the hope that all of you will have a greater desire to participate in these holy ordinances.

One of the impressive things to know about temple work is that it was formulated before the world was. These are eternal principles. They are eternal ordinances. They have existed to a greater or lesser degree among various peoples of all ages. Every person who desires to walk back into the presence of his Heavenly Father must understand the principles of this gospel and undergo the ordinances in order to gain admittance to the presence of our Father. These ordinances did not originate with the Prophet Joseph. There has been a long history of temple building in all ages—in both Bible and in the Book of Mormon lands. There have been allusions to the temple throughout history, but not much has been said, I suppose, for the same reason that not much is said today about temples. (And I can understand why some things are not said.) But there are fairly good descriptions of what temples looked like and of their purpose.

The Savior said, “For behold, this is my work and my glory—to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man” (Moses 1:39). Immortality and eternal life are not synonymous. Immortality means living forever in a resurrected state with body and spirit inseparably connected. Immortality is a gift of God that comes by grace alone, without works.

Eternal life, on the other hand, is the kind or quality of life our Eternal Father enjoys. This quality of life is earned by obedience to the laws and ordinances of the gospel. During his earthly ministry the Savior declared, “Verily, verily, I say unto thee, except a man be born of the water and of the spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God” (John 3:5, italics added).

Given such a straightforward declaration, the world is faced with a great dilemma. How can all the good men and women of the world enter into the kingdom of God when most of the world’s people have never even heard of the Lord Jesus Christ, his life, ministry, and atonement—let alone the necessity of baptism or of having authorized ministers perform it for them? We alone have the answer to this dilemma. We have the answer because we have the revelation of the Lord Jesus Christ. It was ordained by the Lord that all of his children who would enter into his presence would follow the same principles and the same ordinances in order to get there.

The third Article of Faith states, “We believe that . . . all mankind [all mankind] may be saved, by obedience to the laws and ordinances of the gospel.” Then we read in the fourth Article of Faith, “We believe that the first principles and ordinances of the gospel are: first, Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ; second, Repentance; third, Baptism by immersion for the remission of sins; fourth, Laying on of hands for the gift of the Holy Ghost.”

When people have not had an opportunity to hear and accept the gospel while in this probationary state, they may hear and accept it in the hereafter.

President Joseph F. Smith, while contemplating the vast number of people on the other side of the veil, wondered how it was possible to preach and perform the necessary labor in such a short time as the Savior’s three days in the spirit world. He had revealed to him the following, which is one of the two revelations recently accepted as scripture by the Church:

But behold, from among the righteous, he organized his forces and appointed messengers, clothed with power and authority, and commissioned them to go forth and carry the light of the gospel to them that were in darkness, even to all the spirits of men; and thus was the gospel preached to the dead.

And the chosen messengers went forth to declare the acceptable day of the Lord and proclaim liberty to the captives who were bound, even unto all who would repent of their sins and receive the gospel.

Thus was the gospel preached to those who had died in their sins, without having a knowledge of the truth, or in transgression, having rejected the prophets.

These were taught faith in God, repentance from sin, vicarious baptism for the remission of sins, the gift of the Holy Ghost by the laying on of hands.

And all other principles of the gospel that were necessary for them to know in order to qualify themselves that they might be judged according to men in the flesh, but live according to God in the spirit.

What a marvelous plan. What a divine plan. This could not have been calculated or contemplated by man alone. And we are the only ones that believe in it. Then the revelation continues:

And so it was made known among the dead, both small and great, the unrighteous as well as the faithful, that redemption had been wrought upon the sacrifice of the Son of God upon the cross. . . .

I beheld that the faithful elders of this dispensation, when they depart from mortal life, continue their labors in the preaching of the gospel of repentance and redemption, through the sacrifice of the Only Begotten Son of God, among those who are in darkness and under the bondage of sin in the great world of the spirits of the dead. [Joseph F. Smith—Vision of the Redemption of the Dead, verses 30–35, 57]

This is an amazing doctrine: to think that the millions of spirits on the other side of the veil can hear the message of the Restoration, can hear the fulness of the gospel, can be taught faith and repentance, and can be taught that there is vicarious baptism and that we are baptized for and in behalf of them. And they are on the other side hearing these same things. The Lord contemplated this doctrine from the beginning; hence, the great vicarious work for the dead, akin to the Savior’s vicarious work for us, may go forth and we may become “Saviors upon Mount Zion.”

Paul has given us evidence that he knew of the doctrine of baptism for the dead as well as of the practice when he declared, “Else what shall they do which are baptized for the dead, if the dead rise not at all? Why are they then baptized for the dead?” (I Cor. 15:29). This is one of the most enigmatic verses in all scripture unless one understands it in the context of the plan of salvation.

However, before these earthly ordinances can be efficacious in the heavens, man must have the authority and power to perform the ordinances, which is the sealing power. Elder Bruce R. McConkie has said,

Whenever the fullness of the gospel is on the earth, the Lord has agents to whom he gives power to bind on earth and seal eternally in the heavens. This sealing power, restored in this dispensation by Elijah the Prophet, is the means whereby “all covenants, contracts, bonds, obligations, oaths, vows, performances, connections, association, or expectations” attain efficacy, virtue, or force in or after the resurrection of the dead. [Mormon Doctrine, 2nd ed. (Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1966), p. 615]

It is an interesting thing to trace this sealing power from age to age. As I do so, I will be able to touch only the mountain peaks, as it were, in tracing it briefly. The Prophet Elijah is the main character in this interesting drama. He strides onto the scene in approximately 875 B.C. King Ahab, with his wicked wife Jezebel, was reigning in Israel at the time. The scriptures say, “and Ahab the son of Omri did evil in the sight of the Lord above all that were before him” (1 Kings 16:30). Elijah’s ministry opens with these words, “And Elijah the Tishbite, who was of the inhabitants of Gilead, said unto Ahab, as the Lord God of Israel liveth, before whom I stand, there shall not be dew nor rain these years, but according to my word” (I Kings 17:1). This statement, without any ifs, ands, or buts, was a simple declaration of a prophet who had the authority to seal the heavens. The ministry of Elijah the Prophet scarcely has an equal.

You all studied his life in seminary. Do you remember what happened after this? He went out to the brook Cherith, and there the ravens fed him until the brook dried up. Then the Lord said, “Get thee down to Zarafath . . . I have commanded a . . . woman there to sustain thee.” When he got down there, he found a widow and her son. He said to her, “Bring me, I pray thee, a morsel of bread.” She then said, in essence, “I only have enough meal in my barrel and enough oil in my cruse to make one cake, then I die.” He said, “Make it for me,” and she did. The meal never failed, nor was the cruse ever dry, all the years he lived there. (See I Kings 17:9–15.) I hope we can learn a lesson from that. Elijah also raised the dead, destroyed the priests of Baal (you remember that contest), called down fire from heaven on at least three occasions, fasted forty days and nights, was attended frequently by angelic ministrants, and finally was translated. (See Mormon Doctrine, p. 206.) You will recall that as he and his successor, Elisha, were walking along, a fiery chariot came down, passed between them, and, it is said, “Elijah went up by a whirlwind into heaven.” (See 2 Kings 2:1–11.) Now there was a reason for that. It was for the same reason that Moses was translated. You recall how Moses led the children of Israel for forty years. Just as he got them ready to cross the Jordan River, the Lord said, “This is far enough.” Moses bade his people farewell, walked into the mountains, and, as the scriptures say, “No man knoweth of his sepulchre unto this day” (Deut. 34:6). The reason there is no sepulchre is that he didn’t die. He was translated. Both these men had a work to do, a mission to perform, that required that they do it in the flesh prior to the resurrection.

After Elijah was translated, we hear nothing more about him or the sealing power until four-and-one-half centuries later when in the two concluding verses of the Old Testament, Malachi prophesies concerning Elijah:

Behold, I will send you Elijah the Prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord:

And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse. [Malachi 4:5–6]

This was a great prophetic event with a dire warning, and thus the Old Testament closes.

Four more centuries pass before we hear of Elijah again. There is recorded in the sixteenth chapter of Matthew an account of the Savior’s conversation with his disciples on the coast of Caesarea Philippi. He asked the question, “Whom do men say that I the son of man am?” After various answers had been given, Peter testified,

Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God. And Jesus answered and said unto him, blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my father which is in heaven.

And I say also unto thee, that thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. [Now note.] And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven:and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven. [Matt. 16:17–19; emphasis added]

Some six days later this promise was fulfilled when the Savior took Peter, James, and John “up into an high mountain apart, and was transfigured before them: . . . And, behold, there appeared unto them Moses and Elias,” which should read Elijah. (See Matt. 17:1–3.) Now this event is referred to as the Transfiguration. The Savior’s face did shine, his raiment was white, a cloud overshadowed the mountain, and he took upon himself his glory. Then those with the Savior heard a voice from heaven declaring, “This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye him” (Matt. 17:5). We conclude from modern revelation that Moses conferred upon Peter, James, and John the keys of gathering. Elijah conferred upon them the keys of the priesthood or the sealing power, as the Savior had promised. (See D&C 110.)

Eighteen more centuries elapse before we hear anything more about Elijah. It is now 21 September 1823, nearly three-and-one-half years following the first vision of the Prophet Joseph. With reference to this occasion he said, “I betook myself to prayer and supplication to Almighty God for forgiveness of all my sins and follies, and also for a manifestation to me, that I might know of my state and standing before him; for I had full confidence in obtaining a divine manifestation, as I previously had one” (Joseph Smith 2:22). If you ever want an example of faith, that is it. In answer to that supplication, the angel Moroni came and told Joseph about the Book of Mormon. After Moroni had delivered that message, he commenced quoting prophecies from the Bible. He quoted from Isaiah, Acts, Joel, and Malachi. The last two verses of the book of Malachi were quoted somewhat differently from the way they are written in the Bible, and you ought to compare them some time because the differences are interesting. These verses have been accorded a place in the Doctrine and Covenants as section two, and I quote,

Behold, I will reveal unto you the priesthood, by the hand of Elijah the Prophet, before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord.

And he shall plant in the hearts of the children the promises made to the fathers, and the hearts of the children shall turn to their fathers.

If it were not so, the whole earth would be utterly wasted at his coming.

Again this dire prediction is made.

About thirteen years later, on 3 April 1836, one week after the dedication of the Kirtland Temple, the Prophet Joseph records some marvelous visitations. (Coincidentally, this was the same date that the Jews were observing their paschal feast where traditionally they opened their doors for Elijah to enter.) These visitations, which are recorded in section 110 of the Doctrine and Covenants, are the culmination of this great thread of sealing power. In the superscription of section 110, the Prophet makes this statement:

In the afternoon, I assisted the other presidents in distributing the Lord’s Supper to the Church, receiving it from the Twelve, whose privilege it was to officiate at the sacred desk this day. After having performed this service to my brethren, I retired to the pulpit, the veils being dropped, and bowed myself, with Oliver Cowdery in solemn and silent prayer. After rising from prayer, the following vision was opened to both of us.

[And here begins the revelation.] The veil was taken from our minds, and the eyes of our understanding were opened. We saw the Lord standing upon the breastwork of the pulpit. [verses 1–2].

And then he describes, or tries to describe, the Lord.

The Lord tells Joseph and Oliver several important things. He says,

Behold, your sins are forgiven you; . . . lift up your heads and rejoice. . . .

I have accepted this house, and my name shall be here.

[Now notice:] Yea the hearts of thousands and tens of thousands shall greatly rejoice in consequence of the blessings which shall be poured out and the endowment with which my servants have been endowed in this house. . . .

After this vision closed, the heavens were again opened unto us; and Moses appeared before us. [verses 5, 7, 9, 11]

And he committed to them the keys of the gathering of Israel from the four parts of the earth. After this vision, Elias appeared and committed unto them the keys of the dispensation of the gospel of Abraham. Then this:

After this vision had closed, another great and glorious vision burst upon us; for Elijah the prophet, who was taken to heaven without tasting death, stood before us, and said:

Behold, the time has fully come [Well I guess; think of how long he had awaited this day], which was spoken of by the mouth of Malachi—testifying that he (Elijah) should be sent, before the great and dreadful day of the Lord come—

To turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the children to the fathers, lest the whole earth be smitten with a curse—

Therefore, the keys of this dispensation are committed into your hands; and by this ye may know that the great and dreadful day of the Lord is near, even at the doors. [verses 13–16]

And so, after 2,700 years, Elijah the Prophet, who held the keys of the priesthood, succeeded in restoring them in the last days upon the head of the duly constituted prophet of God. Thus the succeeding prophets in these days were able to receive the power that allows them to forge the eternal links between the children and the fathers.

Prior to these events, the Prophet had already turned the minds of the Saints toward Jackson County and toward the building of a temple in Independence, Missouri. But because of the opposition of the mobs, they were forced to leave Independence. They went north to Caldwell County, and there laid the cornerstones of the temple at Far West. Again opposition stopped them from building a temple because the extermination order, if you can imagine such a thing, had been issued by Governor Boggs. They fled to Quincy, Illinois, and then to Nauvoo. Then in January of 1841, the Prophet Joseph received a commandment to build a temple in Nauvoo. This temple was started once again amidst increasing opposition which finally culminated in the martyrdom of the Prophet. Prior to this time, however, and prior to the completion of the temple, the Prophet Joseph had received the temple ordinances by revelation. The first endowments were performed on 4 May of 1842 in the upper room of his store. Half a dozen of the brethren received their endowments at that time. Early in 1843 the Twelve and a few others had been endowed. It was after the Twelve had been endowed that the Prophet Joseph declared that now the Twelve had all of the keys, power, and authority that he had and that if he were killed they would be able to carry on the Church in its fullness with all the power and authority they needed. The Prophet was martyred in June of 1844, and the temple was not completed and dedicated publicly until 1 May 1846. During December 1845 and the early months of 1846, more than five thousand saints received their endowments. Then the Saints moved west. The temples and temple sites and other property were lost. Our enemies seemed to have ended up with everything—and we had nothing. But just the reverse is true. All they had was property and buildings. We still had the priesthood and the keys of the sealing power. We had the authority. We had the knowledge to construct and to use other temples. We had everything—and they had nothing.

It was not long after the Saints entered the Valley that Brigham Young selected a place for the construction of the Salt Lake Temple. Other sites were also chosen. The St. George Temple was finished in 1877, the Logan Temple in 1884, the Manti Temple in 1888, and the Salt Lake Temple in 1893. And today the Church is involved in the most intensive temple activity the world has ever known.

Without the temple and temple work, without the authority to bind on earth and have it sealed in heaven, no gospel message can bring true peace and comfort to mankind. It is only through the ordinances performed in the sacred rooms of the temples that mankind has hope of exaltation.

Brother Talmage has said this:

The ordinances of the endowment embody certain obligations on the part of the individual, such as covenant and promise to observe the law of strict virtue and chastity, to be charitable, benevolent, tolerant and pure; to devote both talent and material means to the spread of truth and the uplifting of the race; to maintain devotion to the cause of truth; and to seek in every way to contribute to the great preparation that the earth may be made ready to receive her king, the Lord Jesus Christ. With the taking of each covenant and the assuming of each obligation a promised blessing is pronounced, contingent upon the faithful observance of the conditions. [The House of the Lord (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1970), p. 84]

Now we started out with three questions: Why build temples? How did we get the authority to perform these ordinances? And, why would the earth be smitten with a curse if we did not do temple work? I presume you might remember how we got the authority, at least the mountain peaks. The other two questions deserve just a word of comment.

Why do we build temples? Because we are commanded to. We also build temples to bring to pass the work of the Lord. Would we have immortality without temples? Yes, we would live forever with body and spirit inseparably connected. Would we have exaltation—eternal life—without temples? No. Can you begin to see, then, why the mission and work of Elijah the prophet were so tremendous?

Let me read to you from section 128, verse 18, of the Doctrine and Covenants. In the preceding verse, the Prophet Joseph had quoted Malachi, chapter 4, verses 5 and 6, and then he states:

I might have rendered a plainer translation to this, but it is sufficiently plain to suit my purposes as it stands. It is sufficient to know, in this case, that the earth will be smitten with a curse unless there is a welding link of some kind or other between the fathers and the children, upon some subject or other—and behold, what is that subject? It is the baptism for the dead. For we without them cannot be made perfect; neither can they without us be made perfect. Neither can they nor we be made perfect without those who have died in the gospel also; for it is necessary in the ushering in of the dispensation of the fulness of time, which dispensation is now beginning to usher in, that a whole and complete and perfect union, and welding together of dispensations, and keys, and powers, and glories should take place and be revealed from the days of Adam even to the present time.

Why would the earth be smitten with a curse? President Joseph Fielding Smith answered the question as follows: “Simply because if there is not a welding link between the fathers and the children—which is the work for the dead—then we will all stand rejected; the whole work of God will fail and be utterly wasted.” (Doctrines of Salvation, 3 vols, ed. Bruce R. McConkie [Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1954–56], 2:122.)

This power the Lord has given to man is the culmination of the whole plan of exaltation. No man can receive a fullness of the priesthood without the temples, without the sealing power. No man can gain eternal life, no woman can gain eternal life, without the temples. Temple building is not optional in this church. Temple attendance is not optional in this church. May I be bold enough to suggest that one of the reasons some Latter-day Saints are not blessed and do not prosper is because they are not attending regularly to their responsibilities in the great work of the temples.

Perhaps I should conclude, but I feel like Wilford Woodruff, who was the first president of a temple in this dispensation. During the latter years of his life, whenever he was called on to speak, he said he always felt like speaking on redemption for the living and the dead; and he also added, “There was never enough time.” I haven’t mentioned anything about opposition to temples and to temple work, but you should realize that every time there was a temple built in the early days of the Church, the opposition increased to thwart it. You can understand that, can you not? The adversary would rather hinder temple work than probably any other thing. However, there is always a compensating power that emanates from a temple, but you should understand that you’re going to have to exert a little extra determination in order to attend the temple, and to do the research, and the other things that are corollary to it.

I haven’t said anything about covenants or symbolism, which we really must understand to understand the temple. Nor have I said anything about the peace found in the temple or about the revelation and inspiration that come from attending the temple. I hope that when you young couples have problems and decisions to make you will come to the temple. For some reason, when you are there doing something that someone cannot do for himself, you feel a little more like asking in faith that the Lord will bless you with power and insight. I haven’t said anything about forging these connecting links, about searching to identify your dead, or about performing ordinances. Neither have I mentioned the connection between missionary work and temple work (this is a tremendous subject) or the Christlike service that is given by all the officiators in the temple. Fourteen hundred in the Provo Temple come day after day, hot or cold, rain or shine—they come to serve you. Nor have I mentioned anything about the promise made to those who do temple work. I haven’t shared any of the sacred experiences. Who can say that angels do not attend this work? Who can say that those on the other side of the veil are not present on numerous occasions when their work is being done and when these principles are being explained?

Elder John A. Widtsoe has said,

Men rise through temple work to high levels of character and spiritual joy. Once only may a person receive the temple endowment for himself, but innumerable times he may receive it for those who have gone from the earth. Whenever he does so, he performs an unselfish act for which no earthly recompense is available. He tastes, in part, the sweet joy of saviorhood. He rises toward the stature of the Lord Jesus Christ who died for all. Men who thus serve the dead go out of the temple into the marts of men with renewed power to deal fairly with others, to put into practice the golden commandment “Do ye unto others as ye would have others do unto you.”

Yet there are immediate rewards for such vicarious service. Every time a person receives the temple endowment for another, he reviews the eternal journey of man, he is reminded of the conditions of eternal progress and of his covenants to obey God’s law, is impressed anew with the necessity of making truth alive by use, and beholds again the glorious destiny of a righteous man. His memories are refreshed, his conscience warned, his hope lifted heavenward. Temple repetition is the mother of daily blessings. Wherever one turns, temple service profits those who perform it. [Improvement Era, 6 April 1936, p. 228]

Now, my young brothers and sisters, study hard. Learn by faith as well as by study. But look up occasionally. Look up to the hill of the House of the Lord—the greatest spiritual power in this valley. And resolve now to live so that you can come to the temple to receive your blessings, and to be sealed for eternity. Resolve now to search out your ancestors, to identify them, and then to perform the ordinances in their behalf.

I bear humble witness that this work is true. I know it is divine. I know that those for whom we do the work are close to us. I know that God lives, that he is our Father, that he loves us, that he wants us to come into his presence; and this can only be done in the way that we have outlined tonight, through the temples. I know that Jesus is the Christ, the Savior of the world. Through his atonement he made it possible for us to be exalted and to live eternally. I know that Joseph Smith was a prophet. Think of what he did. Think of the great sacrifices he was called to make, yet he was faithful and true. Somehow he had the spiritual capacity to receive these marvelous revelations from the Lord, to translate them into what we now have today as the fullness of the gospel of Jesus Christ. He was a prophet. I know that President Kimball is a living prophet today, a man who has given more impetus and intensity to temple activity than anyone in this generation. Because that is true, and because opposition always follows, perhaps we can expect opposition, both as a Church and as individuals. I pray that the Lord will bless you with power of righteousness against the adversary, that you may go forth in your life and fill your resolves and resolutions to so live that you can walk, with your companion by your side, back into the presence of our Heavenly Father and ultimately become like him. In the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.

 

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A. Theodore Tuttle

A. Theodore Tuttle was a member of the First Quorum of the Seventy of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints when this fireside address was given at Brigham Young University on 7 September 1980.