by David W. Smith
“A Fulness of the Holy Ghost”
From the beginning of his presidency, President Russell M. Nelson has repeatedly emphasized the blessings of temple service. In his very first address as President of the Church he said:
As a new Presidency, we want to begin with the end in mind. For this reason, we’re speaking to you today from a temple….The ordinances of the temple and the covenants you make there are key to strengthening your life, your marriage and family, and your ability to resist the attacks of the adversary. Your worship in the temple and your service there for your ancestors will bless you with increased personal revelation and peace and will fortify your commitment to stay on the covenant path.
(“As We Go Forward Together,” Ensign, April 2018)
In a later address he counseled:
Our need to be in the temple on a regular basis has never been greater….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.
(“Becoming Exemplary Latter-day Saints,” October 2018 general conference)
Doctrine and Covenants 109 and 110 are centered on the blessings of temple service. In this post, I focus on just one of the many blessings given: “And do thou grant, Holy Father, that all those who shall worship in this house…may grow up in thee, and receive a fulness of the Holy Ghost” (Doctrine and Covenants 109:14–15).
Temple Work and Revelation
In what ways does the temple help us receive a fulness of the Holy Ghost?
One way is that temple work increases our ability to receive revelation. President Russell M. Nelson taught, “When we couple increased purity and obedience with fasting, diligent seeking, study of the scriptures and the words of living prophets, and temple and family history work, the heavens will open” (“Grow into the Principle of Revelation,” Liahona, January 2021).
Temple work itself opens the heavens to us, as Sister Wendy Nelson experienced in her life:
I realized that if I was working on an overwhelming project and I was out of time, energy, and ideas, if I would make a sacrifice of time by finding the ordinance-qualifying information for some ancestors or by going to the temple to be proxy for them, the heavens opened and the energy and ideas started flowing. Somehow I had enough time to meet my deadline. It was totally impossible, but it would happen every time. Temple and family history work bring me a joy that is truly not of this world.
(“Open the Heavens through Temple and Family History Work,” Ensign, October 2017)
In addition to temple work itself, the effort of preparing to enter the temple helps us prepare for revelation. Consider how an increased focus on the Sabbath day can help us set aside the things of the world for a day, be more focused on partaking of the sacrament, and thus be more in tune to revelation. Or consider how keeping the Word of Wisdom helps us remain fully aware and in control of ourselves, and thus more able to receive revelation.
Preparing for temple work and participating in temple work are two ways we can receive the Holy Spirit in our lives.
Temple Work and the Holy Spirit of Promise
In addition to simply receiving revelation, temple work prepares us to receive the full blessings of the Holy Spirit of promise. Joseph Smith saw that exalted beings “overcome by faith, and are sealed by the Holy Spirit of promise, which the Father sheds forth upon all those who are just and true” (Doctrine and Covenants 76:53; cf. 88:3). This Holy Spirit of promise applies to all gospel covenants, including the sealing of a man and a woman in the temple (see Doctrine and Covenants 132:7, 19). Only with the Holy Spirit of promise is the sealing binding and efficacious in the eternal world (see verse 7).
President Harold B. Lee connected our temple covenants with the Holy Spirit of promise by teaching:
That is the promise which is put into our hearts by the Holy Ghost when we have been sealed because of the kind of life we have lived here,…the temple covenants which we have been true to, true to the covenants we made in the waters of baptism. When that is sealed upon us by the Holy Spirit of Promise through the Holy Ghost, then we have a right to eternal life in the celestial kingdom.
(The Teachings of Harold B. Lee , 15)
When the Lord appeared in the Kirtland Temple, he proclaimed, “The hearts of thousands and tens of thousands shall greatly rejoice in consequence of the blessings which shall be poured out, and the endowment with which my servants have been endowed in this house” (Doctrine and Covenants 110:9). The fulness of the Holy Ghost as promised to the faithful Saints who engage in temple service is one of those blessings which has been poured out. And as a result, tens and hundreds of thousands of Saints throughout the world are greatly rejoicing.
More Come, Follow Me resources here.
David W. Smith has volunteered with FAIR since August 2019. He has had an article published in BYU Studies, and he presented at the Joseph Smith Papers Conference in 2019. He has a bachelor’s degree in philosophy and a master’s degree in public administration, both from Brigham Young University.