The Place of Endowment
By Richard Price
Kirtland Temple at Night
"Probably no spot is more deeply enshrined in the hearts of Latter Day Saints than Kirtland Temple. Standing, as it does on a hilltop, the Temple may be seen for miles around, . . . a monument to the faith, courage, sacrifice, and devotion of the men and women who lived long ago.
"At a time when they were few in number and poor, at a time when the leaders were straining every nerve to find the means to buy land . . . which threatened to outgrow their meager resources, these people built this great testimony of their faith. It was their tribute of love to their Maker, and they called it 'The House of the Lord'" (The Story of the Church, p. 224).
Christ told the Saints in the early Church, that He would appear to them in Kirtland Temple if they would qualify. Joseph Smith wrote:
You will see that the Lord commanded us, in Kirtland, to build an house of God, and establish a school for the prophets. This is the word of the Lord to us, and we must, yea, the Lord helping us, we will obey: as on conditions of our obedience he has promised us great things; yea, even a visit from the heavens to honor us with His own presence. We greatly fear before the Lord lest we should fail of this great honor, which our Master proposes to confer on us; we are seeking for humility and great faith lest we be ashamed in His presence. (Church History 1:271)
They were ashamed, for they never qualified, and Christ could not come in person to Kirtland Temple to appear to them. They did not develop the spirituality which would enable the Lord to bestow the endowment upon them, so the Lord could not bring Zion to the Church and the world at that time. For over a hundred years now we have had to wait for the time when the Saints would become righteous enough again so the Lord could bring them into His presence.
When the Lord comes to give the endowment and start moving the Church into Zion, I believe that Christ shall first appear in Kirtland Temple. That is why Kirtland Temple was built and preserved. It is a sacred, holy place; and one to which we should look for the beginning of Zion.
Doctrine and Covenants 92 describes the purpose of Kirtland Temple: “to prepare mine apostles to prune my vineyard for the last time . . . that I may pour out my Spirit upon all flesh . . . I design to endow those whom I have chosen with power from on high, for this is the promise of the Father unto you."
In 1836 Joseph and Oliver had the marvelous experience of seeing Christ in a vision at the Kirtland Temple. In that experience the Lord told them,
I have accepted this house, and my name shall be here, and I will manifest myself to my people in mercy in this house; yea, I will appear unto my servants, and speak unto them with mine own voice, if my people will keep my commandments, and do not pollute this holy house; yea, the hearts of thousands and tens of thousands shall greatly rejoice in consequence of the blessings which shall be poured out, and the endowment with which my servants have been endowed in this house; and the fame of this house shall spread to foreign lands; and this is the beginning of the blessing which shall be poured out upon the heads of my people. (Church History 2:47)
It is my testimony that the School of the Prophets at Kirtland Temple shall receive that great endowment. The Lord shall appear to those men at Kirtland Temple and give them great power, and they shall go out and turn the Church into the same kind of instrument that it was during the New Testament times.
Brother Earl Curry tells that Apostle John Garver and Elder A. E. Stone (and others) received the promise from the Lord that He would again appear in Kirtland Temple and minister to people there. And through Brother Curry the Lord said,
But I say you have not yet begun to dream of that which I, the Lord, had in mind in the building of this Temple, the Kirtland Temple—things which as yet have only been partially realized. In the years in the future they will be realized, and when they are, their effect and their influence shall be felt throughout the wide, wide world. (Easter Message of 1975)
High Priest Louis Moffett in the High Priest Conference in 1950 in Kirtland Temple had the experience of watching Patriarch Elbert A. Smith give a revelation. He said he could see the Lord standing by Brother Elbert, and he could see His lips moving. And as He would speak, Brother Elbert would repeat the words. In that experience the Lord said that He was not a stranger in that house; He had been there many times. He promised many wonderful things yet for Kirtland Temple.
A vital testimony has come to me as I have studied the Temples of the Lord. If the Church had established the School of the Prophets at Kirtland, the Lord would have already come. If the Church with all its heart had turned to Kirtland Temple, the Lord would have already endowed the School of the Prophets there, and the endowed priesthood would be building the second phase of Zion—the New Jerusalem. Independence would be established as the Holy City, and the Temple in Zion would be in the process of construction. This is the testimony that came to me in the most profound and powerful experience I have ever had in my life.
I firmly believe that the Saints must turn back to Kirtland, and back to the Restoration; this is the means that God is going to use to build Zion—the same means which He has already announced and provided. He has given a plan to the early Church with which to build Zion, and He shall use that plan! It shall not be done any other way. If we believe in the Restoration and have faith in God’s plan, the Lord will move among us and build Zion. His program or plan is not on trial—we are.
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