“Essential to your eternal progression is your willingness to establish homes here in mortality that will go on into the eternities,” Sister Carol F. McConkie, first counselor in the Young Women general presidency, told Brigham Young University-Idaho students during a campus devotional on Sept. 20.

Held in the BYU-Idaho Center, the devotional brought thousands of students together — both on campus and via the internet to online and Pathway students — as the auxiliary leader shared counsel about establishing a “house of God.”

Drawing from the scripture in Doctrine and Covenants 88:119, where the Lord commanded His people to “Organize yourselves; prepare every needful thing; and establish a house,” Sister McConkie encouraged students to do the same in their own lives.

“The Lord is talking about a blueprint for temples in this scripture, but what could be more significant to your happiness in this life and your eternal well-being than to establish a house built according to the pattern the Lord has set for His own house?” she asked.

Sister McConkie shared important elements to establishing a house built with eternal truths.

1. Organize yourselves

“As you organize your lives according to the Father’s plan, you keep the Savior and His gospel at the center of your lives,” she said. ‘You walk with faith in Jesus Christ and the power of His Atonement help you repent, change, and overcome your challenges. You keep the covenants you made in sacred priesthood ordinances, and you live worthy of the Holy Ghost. You organize yourselves to receive eternal blessings.”

2. Prepare every needful thing

“To prepare the most needful things, that means we prioritize that which is of greatest importance,” she said.

Important to that preparation is developing wholesome, healthy friendships and relationships.

“We cannot allow ourselves to be so enamored with the allure of the things of the world, material possessions, images of worldly perfection, or the attractions of sin and immorality, that our hearts turn away from Jesus Christ, and that carnality and lust consume our ability to love others. We bridle our passions that we may be filled with love. We do not trust worldly philosophies over the commandments of God.”

For those who feel they are not prepared for or worthy for a temple marriage, Sister McConkie reminded them they can change.

“The gospel of Jesus Christ is a gospel of repentance,” she said. “Chose to be true to your sacred covenants.”

3. Establish a house

“Wherever you live, married or single, in an apartment or single family dwelling, rich or poor, you can begin now to put into practice the Lord’s temple blueprint in your home and in your heart,” she said.

Drawing again from the scripture found in Doctrine and Covenants, Sister McConkie spoke of the crucial elements to establishing a house of God.

“Some of you are pioneers in your families, leading the way for your loved ones to follow,” she said. ‘You may be exercising faith in Christ to develop a testimony, to live in accordance with the standards of the Church, or to overcome addictions, abuses, disorders, or illnesses. Some are exercising faith for family members who are struggling. Doing hard things has the power to strengthen our faith when we look to the Savior.”

Part of establishing a house of God includes establishing a house of prayer, a house of fasting, a house of faith and a house of learning, a house of glory and a house of order.

“The Father’s plan for His sons and daughters is glorious,” she said. “The greatest blessings in time and in all eternity are promised to men and women who are prepared, who are worthy, and who marry by proper priesthood authority in holy temples. …“[T]he Lord will bless you as you sincerely strive to establish your homes and your families after the pattern that the Lord has set. Look to the temple as your guide and be true and faithful to the covenants you have made. And even if you feel that your life has not gone according to your plan, trust in His promises that the faithful will one day inherit all that the Father has and will stand in glory in the eternities.” @marianne_holman

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