Summary of The Kirtland Temple and Priesthood Keys
The Kirtland Temple was built by great effort and sacrifice by the early Saints. From “Church History in the Fullness of Times Student Manual,” Ch. 13:
“Almost all able-bodied men who were not away on missions worked on the temple. Joseph Smith served as foreman in the quarry. On Saturdays men brought teams and wagons and hauled enough quarried rock to the site to keep the masons busy during the coming week. Under Emma Smith’s direction, the women “made stockings, pantaloons and jackets” for the temple workmen. Heber C. Kimball recalled, “Our wives were all the time knitting, spinning and sewing … ; they were just as busy as any of us.”
D&C 109: 4-5: 4) And now we ask thee, Holy Father, in the name of Jesus Christ, the Son of thy bosom, in whose name alone salvation can be administered to the children of men, we ask thee, O Lord, to accept of this house, the workmanship of the hands of us, thy servants, which thou didst command us to build.
5) For thou knowest that we have done this work through great tribulation; and out of our poverty we have given of our substance to build a house to thy name, that the Son of Man might have a place to manifest himself to his people.
One week after the Kirtland Temple dedication, April 6, 1836, Jesus Christ appears to Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery. Christ accepts the temple and promises greater blessings.
D&C 110: 6-7, 10: 6) Let the hearts of your brethren rejoice, and let the hearts of all my people rejoice, who have, with their might, built this house to my name.
7) For behold, I have accepted this house, and my name shall be here; and I will manifest myself to my people in mercy in this house.
10) And the fame of this house shall spread to foreign lands; and this is the beginning of the blessing which shall be poured out upon the heads of my people. Even so. Amen.
Joseph and Oliver are then visited by Moses, Elias, and Elijah and given the Keys of the Gathering of Israel, the Gospel of Abraham, and the Sealing Power.
D&C 110:16: 16) 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.
What changes can I make in my life to make temple worship more central?
President Gordon B. Hinckley, “Closing Remarks,” General Conference October 2004: “I would hope that we might go to the house of the Lord a little more frequently…. In this noisy, bustling, competitive world, what a privilege it is to have a sacred house where we may experience the sanctifying influence of the Spirit of the Lord. The element of selfishness crowds in upon us constantly. We need to overcome it, and there is no better way than to go to the house of the Lord and there serve in a vicarious relationship in behalf of those who are beyond the veil of death. What a remarkable thing this is… And so, my brothers and sisters, I encourage you to take greater advantage of this blessed privilege. It will refine your natures. It will peel off the selfish shell in which most of us live. It will literally bring a sanctifying element into our lives and make us better men and better women.”
Elder David Bednar, “Honorably Hold a Name and Standing,” General Conference April 2009: “Within the sound of my voice are individuals who should have but have not yet received the ordinances of the house of the Lord. Whatever the reason, however long the delay, I invite you to begin making the spiritual preparations so you can receive the blessings available only in the holy temple. Please cast away the things in your life that stand in the way. Please seek after the things that are of eternal consequence.
“Within the sound of my voice are individuals who have received the ordinances of the temple and for various reasons have not returned to the house of the Lord in quite some time. Please repent, prepare, and do whatever needs to be done so you can again worship in the temple and more fully remember and honor your sacred covenants.
“Within the sound of my voice are many individuals who hold current temple recommends and strive worthily to use them. I commend you for your faithfulness and devotion.”