April 2024 General Conference

President Nelson Encourages Temple Worship, Made Possible Through Priesthood Keys

"Let us rejoice that priesthood keys are once again on the earth!” Church President says at conclusion of general conference 

Calling the temple the “gateway to the greatest blessings God has for each of us,” President Russell M. Nelson spoke during the Sunday afternoon session of the April 2024 general conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints about the promised blessings for those who worship regularly in the house of the Lord.

“Nothing will help you more to hold fast to the iron rod (see 1 Nephi 8:30) than worshipping in the temple as regularly as your circumstances permit,” President Nelson said at the close of the general conference on April 7.

Read, watch or listen to the prophet's full message

The 99-year-old leader noted that 40 years ago to the day, he and fellow member of the First Presidency President Dallin H. Oaks were both called to the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles.

The five-session conference was streamed live to millions of members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and friends of the faith around the world in more than 70 languages.

In addition to the importance and blessings of temple worship, President Nelson’s message also highlighted the restoration of priesthood keys that “make it possible for every covenant-keeping man and woman to enjoy incredible personal spiritual privileges.” 

He explained that priesthood keys distinguish The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints from all other organizations on earth. “Many other organizations can and do make your life better here in mortality,” he said. “But no other organization can and will influence your life after death.”

Restoration of Priesthood Keys

President Nelson spoke of the recent news of the transferred ownership of the Kirtland Temple in Ohio from the Community of Christ to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. This temple is one of the Church’s first temples left behind when the early Saints moved west. Several events at the Kirtland Temple had been prophesied for millennia, President Nelson said, and “were essential for the Lord’s restored Church to fulfill its latter-day mission.”

He outlined “a series of remarkable visitations” that Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery experienced in the Kirtland Temple in 1836.

First, the Lord Jesus Christ appeared, and “affirmed His identity,” President Nelson said. The Lord declared that “He had accepted the temple as His house and made this stunning promise: ‘I will manifest myself to my people in mercy in this house (Doctrine and Covenants 110:7).’”

This “significant promise” applies to every dedicated temple. “I invite you to ponder what the Lord’s promise means for you personally,” President Nelson said.

Following the Savior’s visit, Old Testament prophets Moses, Elias and Elijah appeared in turn to grant the keys of the gathering of Israel, the gospel of Abraham, and the sealing power upon Joseph Smith (see Doctrine and Covenants 110:11-16).

“The significance of these keys being returned to the earth by three heavenly messengers under the direction of the Lord cannot be overstated,” President Nelson said. 

“Without priesthood keys, the Church could serve only as a significant teaching and humanitarian organization but not much more. Without priesthood keys, none of us would have access to essential ordinances and covenants that bind us to our loved ones eternally and allow us eventually to live with God.”

Priesthood keys give authority to extend the blessings promised to Abraham to every covenant-keeping man and woman. Temple work makes these blessings available to all of God’s children who have ever lived.

A Promise of Temple Blessings

President Nelson spoke of how the temple spiritually empowers Latter-day Saints to meet life’s challenges. He stated that those who serve and worship in temples can “expect to receive answers to prayer, personal revelation, greater faith, strength, comfort, increased knowledge and increased power. … Regular temple worship will enhance the way you see yourself and how you fit into God’s magnificent plan. I promise you that.”

He said it is “vital” to understand the “spiritual privileges” possible because of the temple.

“Nothing will protect you more as you encounter the world’s mists of darkness. Nothing will bolster your testimony of the Lord Jesus Christ and His Atonement or help you understand God’s magnificent plan more. Nothing will soothe your spirit more during times of pain. Nothing will open the heavens more. Nothing!”

President Nelson reiterated that the temple is the only place to receive all the blessings promised to Abraham. “This is why we are doing all within our power, under the direction of the Lord, to make temple blessings more accessible to members of the Church,” President Nelson said. 

He then announced plans to build a temple in 15 locations, adding to the 335 temples in use, under construction or in planning stages around the world. President Nelson previously has announced 153 temples during his six years as President of the Church. Six temples were functioning when he was born almost 100 years ago, he said.

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