Today was the Ogden Temple re-dedication and I've been thinking about the importance of the Temple to me and want to share some thoughts.
I have good memories of performing baptisms for the dead in high school when we would go the Ogden Temple as early as we could muster and a group of us would go before school--once even ventured to the Salt Lake Temple. I have good memories of receiving my endowments in the Ogden Temple in 2008. As a missionary in the MTC, I was able to attend the Provo Utah Temple, after moving out to Chile as a missionary, I had the privilege of attending the Santiago Chile Temple multiple times and participated in baptisms, confirmations, initiatories, endowments and sealings. I now live in Logan Utah and have spent years attending the Logan Utah Temple. In December 2013, I was sealed to my wife in the Logan Utah Temple. The Temple has been involved in the most pivotal moments of my life, however, I think that my attendance during the ordinary, average, even difficult days, are what keep me moving closer to God as I honor those covenants I have made at the pivotal moments.
I have received answers while serving in the Temple and have found peace in difficult times. I have found strength and been reminded of how much Heavenly Father loves me, ME, Ben Byers, not a general love for everyone (which He does have), but for me as an individual.
I love learning about the Temple. So, a few book recommendations are up! I haven't read some of these cover to cover yet, but I am working on it and they are all sitting on my shelves, so feel free to borrow them, unless I'm currently reading them :-)
"The Gate of Heaven" by Matthew B. Brown--A great book about symbolism and history of the Moses Tabernacle, Solomon's Temple and some on modern day Temples.
"Symbols in Stone" by Matthew B. Brown--Discusses symbolism on the outside of the Temples.
"The House of the Lord" by James E. Talmage--History and importance of Temples. If I remember correctly, this was the first book written about Temples by a Mormon.
"The Holy Temple" by Boyd K. Packer--Discusses the why of Temples in modern days.
"Temple and Cosmos" by Hugh W. Nibley--A wide array of articles discussing the why of Temples, the history of Temples and some things about creation and the plan of salvation--I would say this is the most dense/scholarly of the books on the list.
I know that the Temple is the House of God. I love being there. I love thinking about it. Today, I attended the 10am dedicatory session and when President Monson spoke, he said,
"Love the Temple. Appreciate the Temple. Attend the Temple."