A few days ago, on February 1, 2013, the Church News published a rare new online message from President Thomas S. Monson, marking the fifth anniversary of his calling as prophet and President of the Church, and his reflection back on fifty years of service since his calling to the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. This type of message from the prophet is a rare occurrence, perhaps unprecedented, and we should take special note.
In the message he reemphasizes the importance of temple work:
Our temple-building efforts continue unabated. During the past five years, 31 new temples have been announced. During this same period, 16 temples have been dedicated, with five others having been rededicated after extensive renovations. When the Tegucigalpa Honduras Temple is dedicated in March of this year, we will have 141 temples in operation throughout the world. These numbers will continue to increase as we move forward in making temples accessible to all of our members, wherever they may live.
We continue to emphasize the need for our members to move forward in the work for our deceased family members. Our mandate is to seek out our dead and to provide them with the opportunity to accept the ordinances and blessings of the gospel. We accomplish this by making certain the ordinances are performed for them. President Joseph F. Smith, speaking of work for the dead, declared, “Through our efforts in their behalf their chains of bondage will fall from them, and the darkness surrounding them will clear away, that light may shine upon them and they shall hear in the spirit world of the work that has been done for them by their children here, and will rejoice with you in your performance of these duties” (Conference Report, October 1916, p. 6).
Concluding his message President Monson notes his declining health, but ensures us that the Church is in good hands.
Read the full message at the Church News website.