The Lord invites us to hear Him and to join Him in His holy temple and in His kingdom. He wants us to be with Him, but He requires that we are clean–made possible through the Atonement. This week, ponder how to be clean before the Lord and prepare to enter His presence.
Thus saith the Lord of hosts; Consider your ways.
1. Rise, ye Saints, and temples enter;
Seek the path that leads ahead.
Seal in everlasting circles
All our loved ones, quick and dead.
2. Learn the plan of exaltation;
With His sacred laws comply.
Live to earn in binding cov’nant
Blessings of our God most high.
3. Elohim, thou great designer,
Wilt thou heaven’s pow’rs bestow,
As thy faithful sons and daughters
Serve in temples here below.
Story: Little Becca was playing with her brothers and friends in an especially perfect, swampy mudhole in the field near her house. Together they caught frogs and slung muddy handfuls at each other in a fun but filthy alternative to a snowball fight since California falls and winters didn’t supply snow. When the wet soil began to soak their clothes and cause a chill, they decided it was time to return home. But how would they ever get inside? They were covered from head to toe in mud.
Becca’s dad had told them not to come inside filthy, but once filthy, how could they get clean before coming inside? Becca took off her mud-caked shoes, leaving them on the back porch, and began tip-toeing to the bathroom to wash. What she hadn’t realized was that her socks and feet were covered in mud too, and she was leaving a trail of condemning footprints right to her bedroom door.
If she had washed her feet off with the garden hose outside, she could have cleanly entered her home, but she was cold and the hose water would have only made her colder. She thought it would be too painful, too much work, to get clean before coming inside. Her father was angry and disappointed that Becca sneaked in with muddy feet. She soiled the carpets, hoping her uncleanness would go unnoticed–not realizing how obvious it was that she had left behind a mess.
Ask: Are there ever times when we are spiritually “filthy,” but we hope our Heavenly Father will not notice?
Teach: When we sin, it is like walking through a mud pit. We must become clean before we can enter the Lord’s house. How does the Lord provide a way for us to be clean?
Read: In Zechariah, we read about a time when Joshua was wearing filthy garments, but the Lord provided for him to be clean. Read Zecharaiah 3:3-7.
3 Now Joshua was clothed with filthy garments, and stood before the angel.
4 And he answered and spake unto those that stood before him, saying, Take away the filthy garments from him. And unto him he said, Behold, I have caused thine iniquity to pass from thee, and I will clothe thee with change of raiment.
5 And I said, Let them set a fair mitre upon his head [a fair mitre is a clean (pure) cap]. So they set a fair mitre upon his head, and clothed him with garments. And the angel of the Lord stood by.
6 And the angel of the Lord protested unto Joshua, saying,
7 Thus saith the Lord of hosts; If thou wilt walk in my ways, and if thou wilt keep my charge, then thou shalt also judge my house, and shalt also keep my courts, and I will give thee places to walk among these that stand by.
Teach: When we are made clean through repentance, then there is a place for us in the Lord’s kingdom. He wants us with us, but we must be clean. This is why the Lord atoned for us–so that we could become clean and again return to our Father in Heaven.
Video: President Joseph F. Smith, son of Hyrum Smith, shared a dream he had highlighting the importance of being clean. Watch here.
Testify: There is always time to repent. It is always the right thing to seek to be clean every day. When we repent, we are worthy to enter into the Lord’s kingdom. Being clean is something we should strive for in all of our decisions throughout all of our lives.
FOR TEENS & ADULTS
Teach: When the Lord’s people were permitted to return to Jerusalem after being removed when they were conquered by Babylon, they returned to the place where the Lord’s temple was, but they were slow in attending to repairing and rebuilding the temple.
Read: As you read, consider what it means to eat but still be hungry, to drink but still be thirsty, to earn an income only to put it in a bag with holes in it. Read Haggai 1:2-8.
2 Thus speaketh the Lord of hosts, saying, This people say, The time is not come, the time that the Lord’s house should be built.
3 Then came the word of the Lord by Haggai the prophet, saying,
4 Is it time for you, O ye, to dwell in your ceiled houses, and this house lie waste?
5 Now therefore thus saith the Lord of hosts; Consider your ways.
6 Ye have sown much, and bring in little; ye beat, but ye have not enough; ye drink, but ye are not filled with drink; ye clothe you, but there is none warm; and he that earneth wages earneth wages to put it into a bag with holes.
7 Thus saith the Lord of hosts; Consider your ways.
8 Go up to the mountain, and bring wood, and build the house; and I will take pleasure in it, and I will be glorified, saith the Lord.
Teach: Putting our energy into worldly things doesn’t satisfy. It doesn’t yield the peace and relief we are seeking for when we put our time, energy, and attention into the things of the world. Giving ourselves to the things of the Lord is fulfilling.
Quote: Terence M. Vinson of the Presidency of the Seventy taught about putting the things of the Lord as our first priority. “There is no treasure, nor any hobby, nor any status, nor any social media, nor any video games, nor any sport, nor any association with a celebrity, nor anything on earth that is more precious than eternal life. So the Lord’s counsel to every person is ‘consider your ways.’”
Video: This video with Elder Bednar discusses the ways youth can make a difference with regard to temple work and invites youth to take the time–now–to be part of the Lord’s work in His house. Watch here.
Testify: As the book of Haggai and Elder Bednar both teach, the time is now to be in the house of the Lord.
Using the temple scheduler, set an appointment for your family members with a temple recommend to attend the temple. If you don’t currently hold a temple recommend, plan a day where you can visit the grounds or visitor’s center of a temple near you.
FOR SINGLE STUDY
Consider or Journal: The book of Zechariah includes a prophecy foretelling the Lord’s betrayal by Judas. Did Judas know the scriptures well enough to know of this prophecy? Did he know he was exactly fulfilling what the Lord said would happen?
Read: Zechariah 11:12-13
12 And I said unto them, If ye think good, give me my price; and if not, forbear. So they weighed for my price thirty pieces of silver.
13 And the Lord said unto me, Cast it unto the potter: a goodly price that I was prised at of them. And I took the thirty pieces of silver, and cast them to the potter in the house of the Lord.
Consider or Journal: As prophesied, Judas “sold” Jesus Christ to the Sanhedrin for thirty pieces of silver. Also as prophesied, Judas had guilt and couldn’t live with the consequences he brought about. He didn’t want to keep the money because it was used to betray innocent blood. It seems that Judah didn’t know the fate he was sealing Jesus to by making this deal with the Sanhedrin, and so likely, he didn’t know of this prophecy either. Still, after he left the money with the chief priests and elders, they used that silver to buy the potter’s field–exactly as prophesied.
What has the Lord warned you of? How are you heeding His warnings? What prophecies have been made available for you? Are you studying them? Are you fulfilling the Lord’s prophecies by design? Or by accident?
Study: If you have one, study your personal patriarchal blessing. Look for the warnings and prophecies the Lord has provided for you specifically. Beyond that, study the talks given by President Nelson in general conference and highlight the warnings and prophecies he has given. How are you upholding the Lord’s word through His servant? How does the Lord want you to prepare in these last days before His return?
Start getting in the Christmas spirit with these White Chocolate Peppermint (Christmas) Cookies!
Prepare names and then schedule an appointment to take the names to the temple. If you’re not currently holding a recommend, still prepare the names and invite friends or family to take these names to the temple for you. Begin preparing today to get a temple recommend so you can enjoy the blessings of being in the House of the Lord.