Making Time for the Temple

When I became a member of the Church in Ghana, West Africa, my desire to receive the blessings of the temple was strong, yet the prospect seemed remote. When I finally had the opportunity, I felt truly blessed. Still, in subsequent years, my temple attendance fluctuated until I made it a priority. The following suggestions can help all of us attend the temple more often:

  • At the beginning of every year, plan on your calendar when you will attend.

  • When you are away from home for business or travel, seek out the temple when possible.

  • Participate in branch or ward temple assignments, or invite others to join you.

  • Think of those you are doing the proxy work for, remembering that they are real people, not just names on paper.

  • Commit to doing the temple work for your deceased ancestors. The temple blessings will become even more meaningful as you remember your loved ones.

  • Use vacation time to work in the temple for a day. The benefits of repeating the ordinances and enjoying your extended time in the temple will enhance your spiritual well-being.

If you live close to a temple, consider the following:

  • Attend early in the morning before work. In the temple, you will receive rest from your daily cares and start your day on a spiritual high.

  • If you are retired or are free during the daytime, attend the temple during the hours when it tends to be less busy.

  • If you are married, go to the temple with your spouse for a “date night” each month.

Church members can choose to live worthy to hold a temple recommend, whether they live near a temple or not. We will also be blessed as we follow President Gordon B. Hinckley’s admonition “to make a greater effort to go to the house of the Lord and partake of the spirit and the blessings to be had therein” (“Of Missions, Temples, and Stewardship,” Ensign, Nov. 1995, 53).

Samuel E. Bainson, Crescent 25th Ward, Draper Utah Crescent View Stake

[illustration] Illustrated by Joe Flores

Including Singles

One of our foremost goals as Church members is to help everyone feel welcome, appreciated, and comfortable when they attend meetings and activities. Through small means we can become more mindful of those who have never married and those who are divorced, separated, or widowed or who have a less-active or nonmember spouse. The following suggestions can enhance interactions among all members of the Church, regardless of their marital status:

  1. 1.

    Include singles at Church socials and other events. When setting tables for ward socials, arrange an odd number of seats at some tables. This simple arrangement may resolve singles’ concerns that they might be taking a spouse’s seat. Invite singles to join your table, or call ahead with an invitation. Ask them to join you for Church classes and other meetings. Home teachers and visiting teachers can also offer rides or extend invitations.

Single members can introduce themselves and show interest in others. Remember, some people may not think to include singles, especially if they’re preoccupied with family or other matters.

  1. 2.

    Expand lesson topics that are specific to marriage. Teachers who must address topics specific to marriage could broaden the lesson’s focus to include singles and their experiences. For instance, a lesson on improving marital relationships could be expanded to include ideas for improving interpersonal relationships. Singles can also benefit from lessons primarily focused on marriage relationships by pulling out the “nuggets of truth” that apply to all relationships.

  2. 3.

    Be inclusive when making ward temple plans. Leaders should remember to invite singles to participate in temple assignments.

Regardless of our circumstances, each member of the Church, whether single or married, is responsible for his or her own attitudes, behaviors, and actions. All Church members should reach out to those who are alone, to be inclusive rather than exclusive. We should remember that we are all “fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God” (Eph. 2:19).

Lori Smith, Val Verda Ninth Ward, Bountiful Utah Val Verda Stake

Family Home Evening Helps: Scripture Study with Children

A few years ago we became concerned that our Primary-age children were not familiar with some of the scripture stories. To help them learn more, our family began to read aloud and discuss stories from Old Testament Stories (item no. 31118; $7.75 U.S.) each Monday night. We also invited family members to illustrate an event from one of the stories. After completing our pictures, we hung them on a wall in our family room to form a general time line. During subsequent family home evenings we played question-and-answer games related to the stories in our pictorial time line.

Available online at, at Church distribution centers, or as selections printed in the Friend magazine, the scripture readers illustrate most of the standard works, making this activity adaptable to your family’s choice of study. Our children have had a stronger foundation for studying and understanding the scriptures as they grow older, after learning the fundamental stories in their youth.

Meredith R. Jack, Colorado Springs 13th Ward, Colorado Springs Colorado North Stake

[illustrations] Illustrated by Beth Whittaker