Skip main navigation

The Temple as a Personal “Light on the Hill”

The Temple as a Personal “Light on the Hill”

“Verily, verily, I say unto you, I give unto you to be the light of this people. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hid (3 Nephi 12:14).

As construction begins on the much-anticipated Durban South Africa temple, Elder Stanley G. Ellis of the Africa Southeast Area presidency shares how the temple can serve to inspire each member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to grow, not only in their communities but also within themselves.

Reflecting on his experience at the recent groundbreaking of the Durban temple, Elder Ellis says he was impressed by the sense of relief which seemed to come from members in attendance.

“It was just a feeling of excitement and a feeling of thankfulness that we were finally moving forward with the temple. This temple has been announced for a number of years but the fact is that it is now moving forward.”

“The groundbreaking initiates a very important period for everyone in that district. It initiates the physical construction of the temple, so obviously that’s important. But it also initiates, for all the rest of us, the chance to prepare the spiritual side of things. The temporal side will be done, but we need to be prepared for the temple so that when those doors are opened and we go in, we’ll be ready, totally worthy and totally ready. This is our chance to get ready spiritually.”

“A light on the hill” and in our hearts

“A light on the hill” and in our hearts

Referring to the location of the temple, Elder Ellis highlighted how its location, on top of a hill overlooking the city, can serve as an example for each member to be a personal “light on the hill” to those they serve, a light that can be ignited by serving in the house of the Lord.

“I think it (the temple) will have a tremendous impact on the people of Durban. As we have been taught by the prophets, the ordinances of the temple are the crowning ordinances of the gospel in our journey to returning to our Heavenly Father, and so having those ordinances available and close for those members will be wonderful. It should enable many more to come and to receive their ordinances.

“As was mentioned in the ceremony, when the Lord builds a temple, the power of Satan is diminished in that area to some degree.

“When you think about it, the First Presidency and the Twelve Apostles meet every week in the Salt Lake temple to make the most important decisions affecting the church, the kingdom of God, and all the earth. So, if they go there for that inspiration and guidance, why shouldn’t we strive to go to the temple as often as we can and plead with the Lord for the decisions we have to make? It is a time and a place for revelation; the Spirit is the teacher in the temple. And so it is a wonderful opportunity to go there to know the Lord’s will concerning us and our lives.”