5 Quotes Plus Discussion-Promoting Questions
See also Teaching Helps
Get ready, we’re going back to the temple soon! How much hope did it give you when Elder Eyring said:
That is why my hope for you and for all your beloved family is that you will grow in desire and determination to be worthy to go into the house of the Lord as often as your circumstances allow.
When they finally open back up, what are the chances that the temples will be very full for some time to come?
His complete talk can be found here. Unless you opt to spend a lot of time on a particular quote, try to pick around 2 questions per quote. Choose the questions which resonate the most with you and which you feel will make a meaningful discussion for your group of personalities. These highlights and questions fit right in with Lesson Template 1 or Template 2. You can also check out several other General Conference Talks with 5 Highlights.
All quotes by Henry B. Eyring and in blue (unless otherwise noted).
2 Possible Discussion Activities
This talk is mostly comprised of stories not everyone can immediately relate to. So in order to increase participation – here are a couple of activities to help people absorb the messages.
Use one of these activities below to begin, or save them for in between the stories – however the lesson/discussion flow feels best to you!
Activity #1: Bring pictures of your favorite temple or two and share why you like them, especially grounds and architecture inside and out. Even better, invite a couple of other sisters to bring pictures and do the same. Then ask your class/group to add some favorites of their own by raise of hands. You might even keep a list on the board. Temples have been missing in our lives, and this is a great way to get people to strengthen connections with temples in their minds by actively visualizing them.
Activity #2: Study the dedication prayer of the temple closest to you. Share a picture of that temple and a couple of your favorite parts from the dedication prayer and how they affected you. You could also assign this to someone else if you have time – which is a great way to get participation going. Find any temple and its prayer by going to “Temple List” > Click on your temple from the list and then click “Dedicatory Prayer” on the menu list to the left (on desktop computers, it may be a drop-down menu on phones.)
Quote #1 (Elder Eyring’s personal experience)
I love Henry B. Eyring’s personable style and how he shares sacred events from his life. This talk is full of story-telling. And the stories help us teach important truths and principles to our group. The quotes are a little long but also entertaining since they are personal experiences. They may prompt some wonderful sharing among your own group so allow time for people to be touched and to contribute. Whenever possible, assign someone to read the stories ahead of time. It will increase the quality of the discussions you have.
I was greeted by a little white-haired lady in a beautiful white temple dress. She looked up at me and smiled and then said very softly, “Welcome to the temple, Brother Eyring.” I thought for a moment she was an angel because she knew my name. I had not realized that a small card with my name on it had been placed on the lapel of my suit coat.
I stepped past her and stopped. I looked up at a high white ceiling that made the room so light it seemed almost as if it were open to the sky. And in that moment, the thought came into my mind in these clear words: “I have been in this lighted place before.” But then immediately there came into my mind, not in my own voice, these words: “No, you have never been here before. You are remembering a moment before you were born. You were in a sacred place like this.”
On the outside of our temples, we place the words “Holiness to the Lord.” I know for myself that those words are true. The temple is a holy place where revelation comes to us easily if our hearts are open to it and we are worthy of it.
Later that first day I again felt the same Spirit. The temple ceremony includes some words that brought a feeling of burning in my heart, confirming that what was being portrayed was true. What I felt was personal to me regarding my future, and it became a reality 40 years later through a call to serve from the Lord.
Possible Questions: Have you ever realized you’ve seen something or been somewhere before even though it’s the first time? In what ways is the temple familiar to you? Are there any parts of it or aspects of the experience that feel like “home” to you? In what ways does being in the temple appeal to us? When was the last time you went to a temple and what do you remember about that occasion?
Quote #2 (sacred memory)
Elder Eyring shares another sacred memory and a piece of personal revelation. It’s an example of the kind of revelation we can each receive if we strive to be worthy of such experiences. Regular temple attendance and participation will increase the number of personal revelations we have.
I experienced the same feeling when I was married in the Logan Utah Temple. President Spencer W. Kimball performed the sealing. In the few words he spoke, he gave this counsel: “Hal and Kathy, live so that when the call comes, you can walk away easily.”
As he said those few words, I saw clearly in my mind, in full color, a steep hill and a road leading up to the top. A white fence ran on the left side of the road and disappeared into a row of trees at the top of the hill. A white house was barely visible through the trees.
One year later, I recognized that hill as my father-in-law drove us up that road. It was in detail what I saw when President Kimball gave his counsel in the temple.
When we got to the top of the hill, my father-in-law stopped by the white house. He told us that he and his wife were buying the property and that he wanted his daughter and me to live in the guesthouse. They would live in the main house, just a few feet away. So, during the 10 years we lived in that lovely family setting, my wife and I would say almost every day, “We had better enjoy this because we aren’t going to be here long.”
A call came from the Church commissioner of education, Neal A. Maxwell. The warning given by President Kimball to be able to “walk away easily” became a reality. It was a call to leave what seemed an idyllic family situation to serve in an assignment in a place that I knew nothing about. Our family was ready to leave that blessed time and place because a prophet, in a holy temple, a place of revelation, saw a future event for which we then were prepared.
Possible questions: Elder Eyring calls the temple a place of revelation. Have you ever experienced a personal revelation or increased understanding in the temple? Why is the temple a great place to get closer to Christ? Have you ever prayed in the celestial room or the temple chapel? How does it feel to pray in there?
Part #3 (optimism)
This wonderful quote contains a compelling promise. Faithful and worthy temple attendance creates hope, joy and optimism that wasn’t there before. Who could use a little more of that in 2021?
President Russell M. Nelson made clear for us that we can “see” the Savior in the temple in the sense that He becomes no longer unknown to us. President Nelson said this: “We understand Him. We comprehend His work and His glory. And we begin to feel the infinite impact of His matchless life.”
If you or I should go to the temple insufficiently pure, we would not be able to see, by the power of the Holy Ghost, the spiritual teaching about the Savior that we can receive in the temple.
When we are worthy to receive such teaching, there can grow through our temple experience hope, joy, and optimism throughout our lives. That hope, joy, and optimism are available only through accepting the ordinances performed in holy temples. It is in the temple that we can receive the assurance of loving family connections that will continue after death and last for eternity.
Possible questions: What are your happy temple memories? Have you ever felt a stronger outlook on life after attending the temple? (When I go to the temple and come out the other end – my problems don’t go away but my capacity to face them and feel equal to them noticeably increases. Sometimes a little boost can go a long ways.) How do you feel when you are in the celestial room? (Yes, you are allowed to name rooms and temple elements in a RS lesson or Sacrament talk – such topics are frequently shared with the world through news articles and open houses – just don’t get into endowment or initiatory specifics.) What brings you the most joy when you go to the temple?
Quote #4 (invite others)
I LOVE the way Elder Eyring says “We don’t know the details of family connections in the spirit world or what may come after we are resurrected.” Our church members, as a whole, tend to let cultural teachings be passed around as doctrine when many times they are not verifiable. We need to be careful to not speculate about the afterlife. We do know that marriages are eternal and that we all need temple ordinances. Most things beyond that are speculation and not backed up with scripture. Thank you Elder Eyring for clarifying!
Years ago, while I was serving as a bishop, a handsome young man resisted my invitation to become worthy to live with God in families forever. In a belligerent way he told me of the good times he had with his friends. I let him talk. Then he told me about a moment during one of his parties, in the midst of the raucous noise, when he suddenly realized that he felt lonely. I asked him what had happened. He said that he had remembered a time as a little boy, sitting on his mother’s lap, with her arms around him. For that moment while he told that story, he teared up. I said to him what I know is true: “The only way you can have the feeling of that family embrace forever is to become worthy yourself and help others to receive the sealing ordinances of the temple.”
We don’t know the details of family connections in the spirit world or what may come after we are resurrected. But we do know that the prophet Elijah came as promised to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children and the children to the fathers. And we know that our eternal happiness depends on our doing our best to offer the same lasting happiness to as many of our kindred as we can.
I feel the same desire to succeed in inviting living family members to desire to become worthy to receive and to honor the sealing ordinances of the temple. That is part of the promised gathering of Israel in the last days on both sides of the veil.
Possible questions: How can we encourage other family members and friends to go to the temple? Do you know someone who needs your encouragement to update their temple recommend? What are some possible ways to invite someone to the temple? (with lots of tenderness and love) Did you know that getting people to the temple is a way to gather Israel on both sides of the veil? How do you feel about that statement by Elder Eyring?
Quote #5 (transformed)
Valiancy in temple work transforms us. This endearing story about Elder Eyring’s young daughter is a touching, sentimental capstone for our lesson.
Years ago I went with a daughter to a temple in the late afternoon. She was the last to serve as proxy in the baptistry. My daughter was asked if she could stay longer to complete the ordinances for all of the people whose names were prepared. She said yes.
I watched as my little daughter stepped into the baptismal font. The baptisms began. My little daughter had water streaming down her face each time she was lifted out of the water. She was asked again and again, “Can you do more?” Each time she said yes.
As a concerned father, I began to hope that she might be excused from doing more. But I remember still her firmness when she was asked if she could do more and she said in a determined little voice, “Yes.” She stayed until the last person on the list that day had received the blessing of baptism in the name of Jesus Christ.
When I walked out of the temple with her that night, I wondered at what I had seen. A child had been lifted and changed before my eyes by serving the Lord in His house. I still remember the feeling of light and peace as we walked together from the temple.
Years have passed. She is still saying yes to the question from the Lord if she will do more for Him when it is very hard. That is what temple service can do to change and lift us. That is why my hope for you and for all your beloved family is that you will grow in desire and determination to be worthy to go into the house of the Lord as often as your circumstances allow.
He wants to welcome you there. I pray that you will try to build desire in the hearts of Heavenly Father’s children to go there, where they can feel close to Him, and that you will also invite your ancestors to qualify to be with Him and with you forever.
Possible Questions: How do you feel when you go to the temple? How has serving in the temple changed or uplifted you? Do you notice a difference in your life when you attend regularly?
Having a temple available again is worth a hallelujah shout. I’m so glad Elder Eyring is getting us ready to go back. Thank you for taking the time to prepare yourself to teach! Let’s get as many members back to the temple as many times as we can. Encouraging temple attendance saves spiritual lives on both sides of the veil.