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Lesson 20 Teacher Material: Temple Ordinances and Worship
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“Lesson 20 Teacher Material: Temple Ordinances and Worship,” Foundations of the Restoration Teacher Material (2019)

“Lesson 20 Teacher Material,” Foundations of the Restoration Teacher Material

Lesson 20 Teacher Material

Temple Ordinances and Worship

When the Nauvoo Temple was under construction, the Prophet Joseph Smith taught, “The Church is not fully organized … until the Temple is completed” (Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Joseph Smith [2007], 416). The purpose of this lesson is to deepen students’ understanding of the significance of temple ordinances and to invite them to improve the frequency (as circumstances allow) and quality of their temple worship.

Suggestions for Teaching

The Lord restored saving ordinances of the temple through Joseph Smith.

Display a picture of a temple that students would recognize. Invite a few students who have enjoyed worshipping in the temple to share how they feel as they enter the Lord’s house. You might also ask how they feel when they leave the temple.

IMPROVING OUR TEACHING AND LEARNING

Ask questions that encourage application. Invite students to respond to questions that encourage application. These types of questions can play a vital role in helping students both to see how the truths being discussed apply in their current situations and also to consider how they may apply in the future (see Gospel Teaching and Learning [2012], 5.1.4).

Explain that after the Saints had established themselves in Nauvoo, Illinois, the Prophet Joseph Smith received a commandment to build a temple. As with the Kirtland Temple, this task required great sacrifices from the Saints. When the Nauvoo Temple was under construction the Prophet Joseph Smith taught, “The Church is not fully organized … until the Temple is completed” (Teachings: Joseph Smith, 416).

  • Why do you think the Restoration of the Savior’s Church was not complete without a temple? (You might prompt students to share some of what they learned from studying the preparation material.)

Explain that in a revelation commanding the Saints to build the Nauvoo Temple, the Lord revealed why the temple would be so important to the Saints. He explained that washings, anointings, baptisms for the dead, and other ordinances belong in His holy house. Invite students to spend a few minutes studying Doctrine and Covenants 124:31, 34, 40–41, 55, looking for how the Lord promised to bless His people in temples.

Have students report what they find. Using students’ words, display or write a truth on the board that is similar to the following: In the temple, the Lord blesses us with essential ordinances so we can be crowned with honor, immortality, and eternal life.

  • In what ways do you think temple ordinances prepare us for honor, immortality, and eternal life?

Illinois. Hancock Co. Nauvoo Red brick store

Show a picture of Joseph’s Red Brick Store in Nauvoo, and ask students to explain what they know about the restoration of the temple endowment ceremony. Invite them to review section 2 of the preparation material as needed.

  • What did you learn about the blessings of the endowment from section 3 of the preparation material?

As you discuss the endowment, consider asking some of the follow-up questions listed below. Point out that Elder Bednar taught that as we talk about the temple we should not “disclose or describe the special symbols associated with covenants we receive in sacred temple ceremonies,” but that we “may discuss the basic purposes of and the doctrine associated with temple ordinances and covenants” (“Prepared to Obtain Every Needful Thing,” Ensign or Liahona, May 2019, 103).

  • What is included in the gift of the endowment? (See section 3 of the preparation material.)

  • What is the relationship between ordinances and covenants?

  • As you studied the preparation material, what did you learn about the covenants we make during the endowment ceremony?

  • Why do you think the Lord wants His people to be endowed in the temple?

Consider giving students a minute or two to share with another student seated nearby their thoughts about the following questions found at the end of the preparation material:

  • What would you suggest someone do to prepare to receive his or her endowment? Why are the temple and its ordinances important to you personally?

Temple worship invites the Lord’s power and blessings into our lives.

Kirtland Temple

Remind students that the Kirtland Temple was the first temple completed in our dispensation. Its purpose was different than that of subsequent temples—it provided a place for the Lord to restore knowledge and priesthood keys for future temple worship. During the dedicatory prayer of that temple, Joseph Smith asked the Lord to give certain blessings to those who worship in the temple. Invite students to review Doctrine and Covenants 109:13, 22–26 and look for blessings they can receive through temple worship.

  • According to these verses, what blessings can we receive as we worship in the temple? (Consider listing students’ responses on the board and asking them to explain why these blessings are important to them. You might help students identify a principle like the following: As we worship in the Lord’s temple, He will arm us with His power and protection.)

Discuss with students reasons that we need the Lord’s power and protection in our day. Invite students who asked a family member or friend what specific blessings he or she has felt through temple ordinances and worship to share what they learned (see the invitation at the end of section 1 in the preparation material). You might also invite students to testify of the blessings they have felt through their own temple worship.

Display and read with students the following statement by President Russell M. Nelson:

Russell M. Nelson

I plead with you to take a prayerful look at how you spend your time. … If you have reasonable access to a temple, I urge you to find a way to make an appointment regularly with the Lord—to be in His holy house—then keep that appointment with exactness and joy. I promise you that the Lord will bring the miracles He knows you need as you make sacrifices to serve and worship in His temples. (Russell M. Nelson, “Becoming Exemplary Latter-day Saints,” Ensign or Liahona, Nov. 2018, 114)

To help students think deeply about their commitment to the Lord and their own experience with the temple, display the following questions, and invite students to ponder the questions that apply to their current circumstances. Provide students with sufficient time to think and perhaps record their impressions.

  1. Are there distractions or matters of unworthiness keeping me from the temple? What do I need to do to eliminate these obstacles?

  2. What kinds of sacrifices might the Lord want me to make to receive more of the blessings available through temple worship?

  3. How might I make my worship in the temple more meaningful?

  4. In what ways might the Lord want me to help others experience the blessings of the temple?

For Next Time

Point out that during the next class, students will have the chance to discuss the crowning temple ordinance of eternal marriage. Encourage students to carefully read the preparation material for lesson 21 and to consider why marriage and family is so central to Heavenly Father’s plan of happiness.