The Lord appeared "in a magnificent vision" to accept the Kirtland Temple when it was dedicated 182 years ago, on April 3, 1836, said Elder Quentin L. Cook of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles during the Sunday afternoon session of general conference.
He quoted Eliza R. Snow who attended the temple dedication: "No mortal language can describe the heavenly manifestations of that memorable day."
Elder Cook said that it was on that Easter Sunday that Moses, Elias and Elijah appeared and restored the priesthood keys necessary for the purposes of this dispensation.
"That purpose has been simply, but eloquently, defined as gathering Israel, sealing them as families, and preparing the world for the Lord's Second Coming," Elder Cook said.
This appearance accomplished the foundational restoration for the dispensation of the fullness of times, explained Elder Cook.
"The Kirtland Temple, both in location and size, was relatively obscure," Elder Cook said. "But in terms of its enormous significance to mankind; it was eternity shaping."
On that day, three keys were restored, said Elder Cook. First, the keys of the gathering of Israel. Second, the keys of the dispensation of the gospel of Abraham. Third, the keys of the sealing power in this dispensation.
To oversee and direct these keys and responsibilities, Elder Cook explained, there are three executive councils at Church headquarters, each divinely appointed: the Missionary Executive Council, the Priesthood and Family Executive Council, and the Temple and Family History Council.
Elder Cook described how each of these divinely appointed responsibilities are being fulfilled through the work of the Church today, noting that missionary efforts and the increase in temple and family history work have been remarkable in a short amount of time.
While the Church as a whole has made great strides accomplishing the work of the Lord in this dispensation, Elder Cook cautioned that, as individuals, "we would all do well to evaluate our effort in pursuing missionary, temple and family history work, and preparing to meet God."
Focusing on the importance of righteousness, unity and equality before the Lord, Elder Cook cautioned members to not lose sight of the expectations and commandments of God.
"During my lifetime, worldly issues and concerns have moved from one extreme to another...," Elder Cook said. "It is commendable that non-consensual immorality has been denounced. … Those who understand God's plan must also oppose consensual immorality, which is also a sin."
He went on to say, "I am afraid many people no longer feel accountable to God and do not turn to the scriptures or prophets for guidance."
Speaking on the need for unity, Elder Cook said, "In many countries, if not most, people are deeply divided about how to live." But such divisions should hold no power or sway for those in the Lord's Church.Comment on this story
"The unity we seek is to be unified with the Savior and His teachings," Elder Cook said.
"As we look at the primary purposes of the Church, they are all based on equality before the Lord and following the culture of the gospel of Jesus Christ," Elder Cook said.
Further, Elder Cook said, "Fulfilling divinely appointed responsibilities, based on righteousness, unity, and equality before the Lord, brings personal happiness and peace in this world and prepares us for eternal life in the world to come. It prepares us to meet God."