The Word — ‘The House of the Lord, Holiness to the Lord’

Published 10:28 am Sunday, May 15, 2022

Following an extended renovation, the Washington DC Temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is open for public tours. For the first time in nearly 50 years, all who wish to do so may walk through the Temple and learn more about this sacred place.

Originally dedicated in 1974, the Washington DC Temple is the church’s third largest, after those in Salt Lake City and Los Angeles. Over the ensuing decades, the temple’s iconic spires have become fixtures for millions who pass by on the Beltway below.

Renovations included upgrades and replacement of mechanical systems and furnishings.

Two things I noticed as I toured the temple were an increase of art focused on the Savior Jesus Christ and an increase of light.

Everything we do in temples focuses on our Savior and His teachings, ministry, and atoning sacrifice. In the temple we learn about God’s love for His children, and we make covenants to obey God’s commandments and serve others. Through divine authority, families are united for eternity.

I didn’t think it was possible, but the temple seems to be even brighter than it was previously. The increased lighting symbolizes the light and the life of the world, our Savior (John 8:12). The quiet reverence that we maintain throughout the building invites the Holy Ghost to be with us.

The light also symbolizes the revelation and inspiration that a loving Heavenly Father is willing to pour down among His children. We do not have to stumble in the dark through life. Through reading of the holy scriptures, and seeking God in prayer, we can receive heavenly guidance and find true peace (see John 14:26; James 1:5).

The real test of the temple is how people behave as they exit. Returning to our workaday lives, we demonstrate our commitment to sacred covenants by being true disciples of Jesus Christ each and every day.

At the temple’s entrance is an inscription: “The House of the Lord – Holiness to the Lord” (Exodus 28:36; Exodus 39:30).

The building is beautiful, there is no question about that. But what is most important is that, having been through the temple, we are transformed as we re-commit to living a Christian life.

Russell M. Nelson, President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, recently taught:

“The temple lies at the center of strengthening our faith and spiritual fortitude because the Savior and His doctrine are the very heart of the temple. Everything taught in the temple, through instruction and through the Spirit, increases our understanding of Jesus Christ…As we keep our covenants, He endows us with his healing, strengthening power. And oh, how we will need His power in the days ahead.”

We invite all to come and see the renovated Washington DC Temple.

Tours are free, continuing through June 11. Parking passes are required. Reserve yours at http://dctemple.org and click on “Open House.”

DR. BRENT ROBERTS is the Branch President in the Sandy River Branch, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and also Dean of Greenwood Library at Longwood University. He can be reached at brentsroberts@hotmail.com.