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Elder Quentin L. Cook of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles speaks April 3 during the 186th Annual General Conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

With 150 operating temples around the world and four new temples recently announced, Church members have “cause for us to humbly rejoice,” said Elder Quentin L. Cook of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles during the Sunday morning session of general conference on April 3.

“The rolling forth of the Lord’s Plan of Salvation during this dispensation of the fullness of times is almost beyond comprehension,” he said. “This is exemplified by President Thomas S. Monson’s announcement of four new temples in this conference session.”

Drawing from the words of President Thomas S. Monson, Elder Cook said that until members have entered the House of the Lord and received all the blessings that await them there, they have not obtained everything the Church has to offer.

“My challenge this morning is for each of us, wherever we live, to see our self in the temple,” Elder Cook said.

Despite a lack of righteousness in the world today, he said, “we live in a sacred, holy time. Prophets with loving and longing hearts have described our day for centuries. … The Lord has prospered our people and provided the resources and prophetic guidance so we can be valiant in attending to our temple responsibilities for both the living and the dead.”

Because of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ, all can understand the purpose of life, the Father’s plan of salvation for His children, the Savior’s redemptive sacrifice and the central role of families in the organization of heaven, he taught.

“How do we prepare for the temple?” Elder Cook asked.

Righteousness and sanctification are essential to preparation, he said.

“It is our great desire that members of the Church will live to be worthy of a temple recommend,” he declared. “Please don’t see the temple as some distant and perhaps unachievable goal. Working with their bishop most members can achieve all righteous requirements in a relatively short period of time if they have a determination to qualify and fully repent of transgressions. This includes being willing to forgive ourselves and not focus on our imperfections or sins as disqualifying us from ever entering a sacred temple.”

The blessings of the temple are numerous, but the primary blessings of the temple are the ordinances of exaltation, he taught.

“The gospel plan is about exaltation and encompasses making and keeping sacred covenants with God,” he said.

"Church leaders organize stakes, wards, quorums, Church auxiliaries, missions, etc. in chapels and other buildings. The Lord organizes eternal families only in temples."

He said, “The temple is a place of refuge, thanksgiving, instruction, understanding and in all things pertaining to the kingdom of God on the earth. Throughout my life it has been a place of tranquility and peace in a world that is literally in commotion. It is wonderful to leave the cares of the world behind in that sacred setting.”

Elder Cook encouraged listeners to prayerfully review where they are in life to become and stay worthy to attend the temple.

“I pray that each of us will honor the Savior and make any necessary changes to ‘see ourselves in His sacred temples,’” he said. “In doing so we can accomplish His holy purposes and prepare ourselves and our families for all the blessings the Lord and His Church can bestow in this life and eternity.”

The LDS Church News is an official publication of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The publication's content supports the doctrines, principles and practices of the Church.