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MaraLee Ziebarth

Do you know God loves you? How do you feel His love? I know that God loves you and I know that he loves me. I have felt God’s love in my life many times. The times I have felt his love the strongest is while serving inside the Temple. As I leave the Temple and walk back into the world, I cherish the strength, the hope, the power, and the Love that I feel. D&C 109: 15 & 22 15 And that they may grow up in thee, and receive a fulness of the Holy Ghost, and be organized according to thy laws, and be prepared to obtain every needful thing; 22 And we ask thee, Holy Father, that thy servants may go forth from this house armed with thy power, and that thy name may be upon them, and thy glory be round about them, and the angels have charge over them; Lisa's story: Adam and I lived in Texas where I did my Dental Hygiene schooling. We got to know a family in our ward. Her name was Lisa. Her mother was dying in an LA hospital. They grew up in California but had come from out of town. She and her sister had been visiting her mom at the hospital and they wanted to go to the temple. They did not have dresses with them but they needed a place of solace and peace. They called the temple and the matron said to come to the temple. Lisa said they were so grateful that she and her sister could be in the temple and gain strength, feel the peace and love from Heavenly Father while dealing with their mom dying.

The temple is the ultimate place of refuge and blessing. While serving as president of the Salt Lake Temple, President Carlos E. Asay referred to the endowment as "an exchange of the love between God, our Father, and us." He sent his Only Begotten Son out of love (John 3:16). Every commandment, ordinance, covenant, and law is given to us out of love. We as mortals observe and obey these requirements of exaltation out of love. The Savior said, "If ye love me, keep my commandments" (John 14:15). Elder Asay observed: "Yes, the endowment is an exchange of love—divine love. God loves us so he provides us words to live by. We love Him and His Son in return so we enter into covenants and go forward with promises to keep. If we are true to commitments made and the love professed, we draw claim upon blessings that assure us happiness in this life and the prospects of exaltation in the life to come." The day Adam and I got sealed, we were walking into the Sealing Room, in the LA Temple, where all of our family were present. I will never forget the overwhelming feeling of love as we walked into the Sealing room. It felt like we were in Heaven. I felt God’s love so strong that day and I will never forget that experience. Other than the home, the temple is the most sacred place on earth, a place to which we feel drawn as we mature in our faith. Elder Marion D. Hanks stated:

“As the mission of the Church is to ‘Invite all to come unto Christ,’ so I believe in its clearest and loveliest sense, that this is also the mission of temples, where we not only undertake the sacred service of work for the redemption of the dead, to open the door for them, but where the choicest of all opportunities exist to learn of Christ and to come to know him and commune with him and to purify our own hearts” (cited in Nibley, Temples of the Ancient World, 16). Elder Bednar gave a talk Called to the work in April 2017. Youth Listen! Elder Bednar said: After receiving the Melchizedek Priesthood and a call to serve, a young man can be armed with power through the covenants and ordinances of the holy temple. Going to the temple and having the spirit of the temple go through you precedes effective service as a full-time missionary. Personal worthiness is the single most important requirement for receiving the blessings of the temple for you young men and for all members of the Church. As you live in accordance with gospel standards, you can enter the house of the Lord and participate in sacred ordinances throughout your teenage years. Your love for and understanding of temple ordinances will strengthen and bless you throughout your life. Please learn to love being and remaining worthy. Be worthy. Stay worthy. Many of you may not know, but I have a twin sister. Back when she was dating Dave Prior, they were getting close to getting engaged and I was realizing that I did not want to miss her sealing in the temple. I went to my BYU Bishop and asked if there was

any way to be able to get my endowment early so I could watch my sister get married. I read every book there was about the temple at that time and studied the scriptures. The Bishop helped me prepare to go to the temple. I was able to go through the temple and see my twin sister get married. I loved having my temple recommend and be able to go to the temple and feel God’s love when I was going to BYU and dealing with the drama there. Pres Nelson in 2019 gave a talk about Spiritual Treasures: He said: Most certainly, the adversary does not want you to understand the covenant you made at baptism or the profound endowment of knowledge and power you have received or will receive in the temple—the house of the Lord. And Satan certainly does not want you to understand that every time you worthily serve and worship in the temple, you leave armed with God’s power and with His angels having “charge over” you. President Howard W. Hunter: “I invite the Latter-day Saints to look to the temple of the Lord as the great symbol of your membership. It is the deepest desire of my heart to have every member of the Church worthy to enter the temple. It would please the Lord if every adult member would be worthy of and carry-a current temple recommend. The things that we must do and not do to be worthy of a temple recommend are the very things that ensure we will be happy as individuals and as families. (Conf report, Oct 1994, 8).

President Gordon B Hinckley said: "I urge our people everywhere, with all of the persuasiveness of which I am capable, to live worthy to hold a temple recommend, to secure one and regard it as a precious asset, and to make a greater effort to go to the house of the Lord and partake of the spirit and the blessings to be had therein." We need to prepare to go to the temple. Alma 34:32- “This life is the time for men to prepare to meet God; yea behold the day of this life is the day for men to perform their labors.” We are not perfect. God knows our weaknesses. CS Lewis reminds us: “Those who put themselves in [God’s] hands, will become perfect— perfect in love, wisdom, joy, beauty, and immortality. The change will not be completed in this life, for death is an important part of the treatment” (Mere Christianity,177). Joseph Smith explained: “When you climb a ladder, you must begin at the bottom, and ascend step by step, until you arrive at the top; and so it is with the principles of the Gospel— you must begin with the first, and go on until you learn all the principles of Exaltation. But it will be a great while after you have passed through the veil before you will have learned them. It is not all to be comprehended in this world; it will be a great work to learn our salvation and exaltation even beyond the grave.

God loves us. We are in this together with our ward family and our own families. The temple is a refuge, a place of peace. It is the Lord’s House. I challenge all of us, if we don’t have a temple recommend to work towards it and get one. Those of us with a temple recommend attending the temple often. Our Stake President has challenged us to attend the temple often. I know as we do so Heavenly Father will pour out his love and blessings upon us. I love the young women I am serving with. I am rooting for them to get their temple recommends when they grow up and I know the young men will too and prepare to go on missions. God loves us. I know these things are true. In the name of Jesus Christ.Amen.

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