When Solomon’s temple was completed, virtually the whole Israelite nation came together to celebrate the dedication (see 2 Chr. 5–7). So, too, in our day, each temple dedication is a time of rejoicing for the Church.
Why is a temple dedication such a joyous occasion? Elder Boyd K. Packer of the Quorum of the Twelve explained, “All roads lead to the temple, for it is there that we are prepared in all things to qualify us to enter the presence of the Lord” (Remember Me: Relief Society Personal Study Guide 1, p. 84).
Just as building a temple requires great effort and sacrifice by the Church, so attending the temple requires us to work and sacrifice to overcome our own personal challenges.
Relief Society general president Elaine L. Jack tells of visiting a mother of eight children in her small nipa hut in the Philippines: “[In] a corner … on a small table sat a portable sewing machine. … For two years, [this sister] had sewn for others on that simple machine to earn the money to take her family to the temple so that they would be sealed together” (Ensign, Nov. 1993, p. 100).
Even those who live close to a temple must overcome personal challenges. For one, the challenge may be poor health; for another, it may be an overcrowded schedule. Some may find it difficult to leave small children or an ill family member who needs constant care. For another, the challenge may be a nonmember spouse who discourages her from temple attendance. At times, the challenge may be wavering faith or even a feeling of unworthiness.
Whatever our circumstances, we can strive each day to be worthy to go to the temple. Then when the opportunity comes, we will be ready. Even if it does not come soon, our lives will be more in harmony with the Lord’s.
How can you live each day so as to be worthy to attend the temple?
In the temple, worthy members of the Church may receive and help others receive sacred ordinances, such as baptism for the dead, the endowment, eternal marriage, and sealings. As we provide this service to others, we are often blessed personally. President Gordon B. Hinckley, First Counselor in the First Presidency, has written: “The temple is … a place of personal inspiration and revelation. Legion are those who in times of stress, when difficult decisions must be made and perplexing problems must be handled, have come to the temple in a spirit of fasting and prayer to seek divine direction. Many have testified that while voices of revelation were not heard, impressions concerning a course to follow were experienced at that time or later which became answers to their prayers” (Ensign, Mar. 1993, p. 6).
Attending the temple blesses us in many aspects of our lives. For example, one sister noticed that when she was able to attend the temple regularly, her life seemed more ordered and she was better able to solve her problems. But she was especially pleased when her teenage son remarked, “I think my week goes better when you and Dad go to the temple.”
Being in the temple allows us to focus on eternal matters. Often we bring away from our temple experience a greater ability to love, to serve, to understand the scriptures, and to progress toward the promised blessing of living with our Heavenly Father again.
How can the temple bless your life?
If you have been to the temple, how is your life different as a result?