Book review: 'Refuge and Reality' shares temple blessings, experiences

By Mike Whitmer

For the Deseret News

Published: Sunday, March 16 2014 5:00 a.m. MDT

Elder John H. Groberg an emeritus Seventy, shown here in 2003, is the author of "Refuge and Reality: The Blessings of the Temple."

Jason Olson, Deseret News archives

"REFUGE AND REALITY: The Blessings of the Temple," by John H. Groberg, Deseret Book, $21.99, 203 pages (nf)

Temple attendance for members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is a sacred and deeply personal experience. Counsel from LDS Church leaders asks members to speak carefully of the events that occur within the walls of the Lord's house.

In his book, "Refuge and Reality: The Blessings of the Temple," Elder John H. Groberg, a former temple president of the Idaho Falls Idaho Temple and emeritus general authority, offers a wonderful compilation of stories and memories pertaining to the temple and the power it can have in the lives of faithful members. He also maintains the sense of sacredness that is appropriate for temple discussion.

In the early part of the book, Elder Groberg recounts how he came to realize the difference between "the world" and the reality of the temple. When a temple patron lamented the need to "go back into the real world," Elder Groberg realized his own perspective might need some adjustment.

After a short time of pondering and prayer he was struck by a simple thought: "That which lasts forever is real; that which does not last forever is not real. The temple is the real world, not this temporal one."

With this message as a foundation, Elder Groberg shares a journey that delves into ways those who attend the temple can see through the personal mystery that often obscures the temple and the ordinances therein. These true-life experiences of temple attendees and workers invite readers to consider their own attitudes and actions as they worship in the House of the Lord.

Many will notice themselves reconsidering their own preparation as they anticipate their next visit to the temple in their own area of service. Refuge from the world may also be found and the reality of temple blessings will take on new meaning.

Elder Groberg's love of the temple itself, the patrons, workers and, most especially, the ordinances makes this book and the experiences applicable for templegoers at all levels of experience.

Mike Whitmer lives in West Valley City and his email address is grundelwalken@gmail.com. He blogs at mtwhitmer.blogspot.com.

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