Temples—a Sign of the True Church

“Temples—a Sign of the True Church,” Friend, June 2002, 44

a Sign of the True Church

I command you, all ye my saints, to build a house unto me (D&C 124:31).

The Lord always commands His people to build temples.

For many years, the Israelites could not build a temple because they were traveling through the wilderness. They carried with them a tent called the tabernacle, which served as a temple. After they had reached the promised land, King David wanted to build a permanent temple. God told him, “Thou shalt not build an house unto my name” (1 Chr. 22:8). People cannot build temples for the Lord without receiving His approval. The Lord revealed that David’s son Solomon had been chosen to build the temple, instead.

Solomon’s temple took eight years to complete. It was similar to the tabernacle, but it was twice as large. The walls were made of stone and were covered on the inside with carved wood and gold. Only the best materials were used to construct the temple. When it was finished, Solomon knelt at the altar in the court of the temple and offered a dedicatory prayer. (See 2 Chr. 3–6.)

Eventually King Solomon and his people became wicked. Temple treasures were taken, and unbelievers used the temple to worship false gods. The Spirit left Solomon’s temple. It was no longer the Lord’s house.

The scriptures promise that in our day, the Church will never fall away from the truth. Individual members may stray from the gospel, but Church prophets will always teach what is right. For this reason, we can trust that today’s temples will remain holy. By always remembering Heavenly Father and obeying His commandments, we may become holy. Elder Marion G. Romney, then of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles and later a member of the First Presidency, said: “The building of temples today is … distinctively an activity of the Church of Jesus Christ. Temples can be conceived by no people other than members of the Church who possess an understanding of the gospel of Jesus Christ. The great eternal principles of [pre-earth life], eternal marriage, resurrection, exaltation, the nature of God and our relationship to him—all these and the other great principles of the gospel focus upon temple work. From the temples they are reflected back into the hearts of understanding Latter-day Saints.”*

Solomon’s Temple

Instructions: Remove page 45 from the magazine and glue it to heavy paper. Fold along the broken lines and glue the tabs to the inside of the side walls.

Solomon’s temple

Illustrated by Brad Teare