Work of Salvation: Temple Attendance Blesses Lives
Contributed By By Sarah Jane Weaver, Church News assistant editor, and the Relief Society general board
Last spring, when Jenny Ewald’s husband deployed for a year with the U.S. military, she moved from Texas with her 1-year-old son to stay with her parents in her old hometown of Crescent, Iowa. The months since then have been, on occasion, difficult but have also been filled with great blessings, including having a temple nearby.
Even though Sister Ewald was attending the temple on a regular basis, she felt the Lord prompting her to increase her temple attendance. Her goal changed this past summer, after her husband briefly and unexpectedly returned to the United States to attend the funeral of a family member. “He and I were able to go to the temple together during that short time, which was a wonderful experience,” she said.
After he returned to finish his deployment, she received an impression that she needed to increase her temple attendance. “I had the feeling,” Sister Ewald said, “that I should go to the temple more often, and that if I did, it would help us get through this time spent apart.”
So she set a new goal of attending the temple more often. The first time she went, it was uplifting, as usual, but the second time was the real eye-opener for her. She said she felt her attitude change.
“Instead of feeling like I was merely meeting some requirement, a deadline that loomed repetitively on a self-written checklist, I suddenly felt, in a way, free. My motivation for attending the temple no longer came primarily from a sense of duty. Instead, I was going because I honestly desired the peace that comes from temple service—and I found it. I felt joy from serving in the temple, and I knew that my Heavenly Father was pleased too. I remembered that the Lord gives us commandments only because He knows they will make us happy. Instead of going to the temple because I was supposed to, I was going to the temple because I wanted to, and that change in my attitude made all the difference.”
The Sacramento California Temple. “Let us be a temple-attending people. Attend the temple as frequently as personal circumstances allow. Keep a picture of a temple in your home that your children may see it. Teach them about the purposes of the house of the Lord. Have them plan from their earliest years to go there and to remain worthy of that blessing” (Howard W. Hunter, June 6, 1994, press conference).
Now as she lives with her parents and is living close to the temple, she looks forward to attending the temple often. It is still not easy; schedules change and babysitters must be found. But she feels “the comfort, the learning, the quiet strength, and the eternal perspective that come from the temple are blessings beyond my ability to describe.”
In the 2013 general Relief Society meeting, Sister Linda S. Reeves said: “This past year I have needed and wanted to feel the love of the Lord more deeply, to receive personal revelation, to better understand my temple covenants, and to have my burdens lightened. As I have prayed specifically for these blessings, I have felt the Spirit directing me to go to the temple and listen more closely to each word of the blessings pronounced upon me. I testify that as I have listened more intently and tried to exercise my faith, the Lord has been merciful to me and has helped make my burdens light. He has helped me to feel great peace about prayers that have not yet been answered. We bind the Lord to keep His promises when we keep our covenants and exercise our faith. Come to the temple, dear sisters, and claim your blessings! (“Claim the Blessings of Your Covenants”).