Let the Temple Touch Our Youth

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Elder Vaughn J. Featherstone

"While in the Philippines I was in my office one day when I saw a woman crossing the street walking on her knees, dragging her two little crippled legs. She had a sister holding one hand and another holding the other. She must have had terribly calloused knees. They went into the temple.

I called Bishop Santos in our Welfare Department and asked him how long it would take him to buy a wheelchair and take it to the temple. He thought he could do it in an hour or so. I asked him to buy one and take it to the temple. Then I said, "Wait there and a woman will come out walking on her knees. Please present it to her."

He bought the wheelchair, took it to the temple, and hid it behind a pillar. It was not long until this little lady came out walking on her knees. He said to her, "Do you have a wheelchair?" She said she did not and began to cry, explaining, "I used to have one and it simply wore out and cannot be fixed. I will never be able to afford another one as long as I live. They are too expensive."

Bishop Santos gently asked, "How would you like a new wheelchair?" The tears came fast from her, as well as from the sisters assisting her. Bishop Santos went behind the pillar and pulled out the new wheelchair. They lifted her up into it. The tears continued, but now they were tears of gratitude. Bishop Santos could not hold back his tears. Later he said, "President Featherstone, we live in a beautiful and magnificent church."

If our youth could only understand how important the temple is, they too would be willing to "walk on their knees," if necessary, to get to the temple. And what comes of such sacrifice?

Horace Cummings recorded that Joseph Smith declared that "those who had been worked for in the temple would fall at the feet, would kiss the feet, would express the most exquisite gratitude, for those who did that work" (as cited in the book commemorating the centennial celebration of the Manti Temple).

In one of our training meetings, Elder Russell M. Nelson referred to the temple recommend as a "badge of courage." Our youth today must become such men and women of courage. We must help them understand and gain a desire to go to the temple. We must teach them that they need to let the temple touch them.

Elder Vaughn J. Featherstone shares this story in his book: The Millennial Generation—Leading Today's Youth into the Future, p. 46 (1999)