General Conference – President Thomas S. Monson

President Monson spoke about temples, which was really great. I really enjoyed hearing him talk and seeing how enthusiastic he is about the Church and building new temples. I got such a laugh out of how he walked up to the pulpit and said, “Hello.” lol. He just said hello and smiled at everyone. It was hilarious! Most people are so solemn and try to be a bit more on the serious side when it comes to conference talks, but he opened his up with a great big smile. I love it! People were cracking up everywhere. The standard greeting is “Good morning, brothers and sisters” or some variation of that, so ‘hello’ and a big grin is a nice little change.

One of the first things he mentioned was that it has been 48 years since he was called to the Quorum of the Twelve! Wow! That is such a long time! What things he must have experienced and been part of! That is just so mind-boggling. Most people don’t even stay married that long anymore or in one career for that long. That really shows his commitment to the Gospel, his love for the Savior and how much he believes in what he is doing.

The one temple he mentioned that was being re-dedicated is the Atlanta, Georgia, temple and the one he mentioned that is being dedicated is the Quetzaltenango, Guatemala, temple. Yes, I had to google that. lol. Here is the picture I found of it. It’s quite pretty.

Quetzaltenango Guatemala Mormon Temple

The temples that were announced are:

  • Barranquilla, Colombia
  • Durban, South Africa
  • Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo (awesome!)
  • Star Valley, Wyoming

He also said they are working on getting a temple in Paris, France, which I am really excited about because some day I will go to France and when I do, I would LOVE to go to the temple there.

A sad thing he mentioned is that the Provo Tabernacle was decimated by a fire, leaving only the exterior of the building standing. How awful! So many people must be heartbroken about that. But you could hear an audible gasp from the audience when President Monson announced that  the tabernacle will now be retrofitted to be a second temple in the Provo area. How cool is that?! They are going to ‘rebuild with full preservation and restoring the exterior’ to make it into a new temple. How awesome!  Here is a picture of what it looks like right now, while under renovation:

I almost started laughing when President Monson said that the Provo temple is one of the busiest in the entire church. Kinda figures, with the MTC (missionary training center) being right across the street. When I went to Lagoon in July, I made a stop by the Provo temple to take pictures and there were HORDES of people with little black name tags all over the place. lol. It was pretty cool.

The only real quote I got from this talk is:

“No other church facility is more important than the Temple.”

I completely agree with that. I love going to the temple. There is so much love and power in there. Walking through the front door just bring a wonderful feeling of peace and of stepping into another world. A world where work, gas prices, bills and petty spats don’t exist or matter. It’s the best experience anyone could ever have.

Another thing President Monson mentioned that I thought was really cool is the General Temple Patron Assistance Fund. It’s an assistance program for those who can’t afford to get to the temple for the first time on their own. That’s pretty cool because there are a lot of really poor people in the world. There are so many stories about people who have to save and save for so many years before they have enough to make the expensive (and long) trip to their closest temple. That’s so great that the church is helping make things easier for those people. Here is what the official website says about it:

Temple Patrons Fund

As the population of the Church continues to expand in the world, there are more and more dedicated saints who live in remote and impoverished locales and lack the means to attend a temple even once in their lifetimes. Therefore, the Church has established the General Temple Patron Assistance Fund to provide financial assistance to those who otherwise could not afford the travel expenses associated with attending a temple and participating in the sacred blessings available only in the House of the Lord. 

Beyond the reach of many…

Although the temples now in operation and those under construction will serve an ever-growing Church membership, many of these sacred edifices are still beyond the reach for thousands of faithful Latter-day Saints. Too many still lack the financial resources to attend the temple, even once in their lifetimes. The General Temple Patron Assistance Fund is designed to help these individuals and families receive their eternal ordinances and blessings.

 Once in a lifetime opportunity for some

Having the means to attend the temple—if only once in a lifetime—brings hope and joy to countless saints. Living prohibitive distances from the nearest temple need not prevent worthy members and families from receiving the eternal blessings of salvation that can be received only in the temple.

Donate to the Temple Patron Fund

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