Why Regular Temple Attendance is So Important

Why Regular Temple Attendance is So Important

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In 2004, my ward’s semi-annual temple trip took my family and I across the ocean to Manila, Philippines.

We were living in Singapore at the time, and besides the Hong Kong temple, the Manila temple was the closest one to us. I can barely recall the three hour flight, but I vividly remember the excitement I felt as I walked through the temple doors for the very first time. Even then, at age twelve, I knew that the temple would bring me closer to heaven than I’d ever been before.

Visiting the temple wasn’t convenient or easy then, but my family and I were still determined to do so as often as we could.

Why is temple attendance so important? What blessings can we hope to gain from visiting the temple?

The Purpose of Temples

Sometimes it’s easy to stick “visit the temple” on our to do lists as if it’s of equal importance to doing the laundry or finishing our homework. I’ve done that myself from time to time. We need to remember, though, that temples serve a special and important purpose. In fact, they are a central part of God’s plan for us.

The temple is, above all else, the house of the Lord. In his talk “Personal Preparation for Temple Blessings,” Elder Russell M. Nelson reminds us that every activity and lesson we do in the Church should point us to “the Lord and His holy house,” which “stands as a symbol of our membership in the Church, as a sign of our faith in life after death, and as a sacred step toward eternal glory for us and our families.”

Here are some of the covenants we make in the temple.

Endowments

I’m excited to one day receive my endowments. An endowment is a gift, an act of “solemn promising,” as Elder Nelson puts it, between us and our Heavenly Father. Ultimately, endowments are the ordinances that will allow us to one day be in His presence again.

As quoted by Elder Nelson, President Brigham Young has said, “Your endowment is, to receive all those ordinances in the house of the Lord, which are necessary for you, after you have departed this life, to enable you to walk back to the presence of the Father, . . . and gain your eternal exaltation.”

In receiving our endowments, we receive “an investment of eternal potential.” However, to reach our full eternal potential, we make other covenants in the temple that bind our families eternally.

Eternal Families

Temples are where the family unit is organized. Through the sealing ordinances performed in the temple, families—which, as the Proclamation of the Family states, are “central to the Creator’s plan for the eternal destiny of His children”—can be together forever.

But where do eternal families start? What allows the family unit to be bound forever? The eternal family starts with a marriage between a man and a woman at the altar inside of the temple. Then, as Elder Nelson states, that couple is “free to act in the creation of life, to have the opportunity through devotion and sacrifice to bring children into the world and to raise them and foster them safely through their mortal existence; to see them come one day, as you have come, to participate in these sacred temple ordinances.”

Think of what an incredible blessing that is! By making covenants in the Lord’s temple, we receive the power to create families and to hold on to our families for eternity.

Sealing Authority

Whether or not you’ve had the opportunity to grow up with the priesthood in your home, the temple is a place in which you can always find those who hold the Lord’s priesthood—those who hold the keys we need to obtain those things which are good and eternal.

It is through this sealing authority that these wonderful covenants, ordinances, endowments, and sealings are performed. As Jesus taught his disciples in Matthew 16:19, “Whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven.”

Now that we’ve discussed the purpose of temples, let’s talk about the blessings of regular temple attendance.

The Blessings of Temples

Peace of Mind

As I walked through the doors of the Manila temple all those years ago, I knew I was leaving behind a world of confusion and distractions. I knew that, there in the temple, I had the opportunity feel close to and to be comforted by my Father in Heaven.

Twelve years later, I find that I’m in need of that closeness and comfort more than ever. There have been times, however, when I’ve visited the temple and have left feeling just as anxious as I did when I arrived. How is that possible? Isn’t being in the temple supposed to bring us peace? I discovered my problem one morning a few months ago. I’d allotted a much larger chunk of time than I normally would have to this particular temple visit, and found that, after I’d done baptisms, I had some time to sit and read the Ensign. As I took the time to be still and to seek guidance from Heavenly Father, my anxieties were calmed, and I felt at peace.

President Thomas S. Monson describes this feeling as follows: “There can come to us a dimension of spirituality and a feeling of peace which will transcend any other feeling which could come into the human heart. . . . Such peace can permeate any heart—hearts that are troubled, hearts that are burdened down with grief, hearts that feel confusion, hearts that plead for help.”

Answers to Prayers

I always bring questions with me to ponder in the temple. I may not always have hours to devote to this pondering, but just some taking the time to be still and to listen to the Spirit has brought me comfort as I’ve sought the Lord’s guidance and made decisions.

As quoted by Sister Carol B. Thomas, Elder John A. Widtsoe has said, “At the most unexpected moments, in or out of the temple will come to [us], as a revelation, the solution of the problems that vex [our lives]. … It is a place where revelations may be expected.” Answers to our prayers may not come to us immediately. However, we can expect heavenly guidance when we attend the temple regularly.

In her talk titled “Preparing Our Families for the Temple,” Sister Thomas tells the story of an important prompting she received while visiting the temple:

Many years ago I was walking into the temple and in my mind I heard the words, Learn public speaking. I thought to myself, When will I ever have need for public speaking? Over several months’ period of time I tried very inadequately to conjure up some enthusiasm to obey the prompting I had received. I even checked out a tape from the local library by a public speaker who admitted that his goal was to someday speak in the Mormon Tabernacle. I thought at the time, I’ll never be speaking in the Tabernacle!

Eternal Perspective

When we prepare to go to the temple, we are doing our best to stay in line with our Heavenly Father’s teachings; we are striving to prioritize the things that matter the most over the things that matter less. When we attend the temple regularly, we remind ourselves of those promises we’ve made with the Lord.

As Sister Thomas states, “The spiritual atmosphere of the temple curbs our appetite for worldly things. When we attend frequently, we no longer have such a need to wear the latest fashion, and we are not so easily drawn to the entertainment of the world.”

Humility, patience, and gratitude are three attributes I’ve been able to obtain and nurture through regular temple attendance. As I’ve taken the time to do the Lord’s work, ponder the scriptures, read the Church magazines, listen to the Spirit, and thank Heavenly Father for all of the many wonderful blessings that I enjoy, I’ve noticed a gradual but significant change in myself; keeping an eternal perspective during challenging times is, now, more of a reaction and less of a struggle than it used to be; striving to do the Lord’s will instead of my own comes more naturally as well; within the temple walls, I’ve learned that the Lord loves me, and continues to love me, even during challenging times. These spiritual skills have carried me through more trials than I could ever begin to count.

By attending the temple regularly, we move the Lord’s work forward. We strengthen our set of spiritual tools and learn to recognize the Lord’s hand in our lives. By attending the temple regularly, we remind ourselves of the covenants we’ve made and of the wonderful blessings that are ours to enjoy forever.


Marian thumbnail   Meet the Author:

This post was written by Marian Spencer. Marian is a seasoned traveler and third culture kid, having spent most of her life in Australia and Southeast Asia. She currently studies English and Editing at Brigham Young University and is passionate about all things, beautiful, meaningful, and edible. If you want to suggest something for Marian to write about, or a blog article of yours for us to possibly comment on, send your link to media {at} lds boutique {dot} com (with no spaces between lds and boutique).