When I was single and living in Taiwan, the only temple was five hours away, and our ward took a bus to the temple once a month. I always enjoyed being with friends at the temple.
Eventually, however, going to the temple became more than just a fun monthly trip. When our temple president spoke during stake conference, he stressed how much we need to attend the temple, and his words gave me new perspective.
I know how important it is to serve in the temple, blessing the lives of those who have passed. But time spent in the temple can bless us too. The temple president said that when we entered the temple, we could leave our troubles at the door and enter to feel the Lord’s peace. He encouraged us not to hurry to finish temple ordinances but to tarry inside the temple.
I decided to fast each time before our monthly temple visits and to stay inside and read scriptures after finishing baptisms. I was profoundly impacted. Never had I felt as close to heaven as I now did in the temple. I looked forward to each temple trip—not only for the bus ride with my friends but also for the incredible peace and love I felt in the temple.
I am now married and live in the United States, where I continue to enjoy attending the temple. When I’m prepared, the peace I feel in the temple is indescribable. I always leave feeling full of hope and happiness, and I am reminded that with my Father’s help, I can make it through any trial.
Grace Huang Marsden, Idaho, USA
From watermelon fights at the dinner table to chasing each other around the house, growing up in a family of seven was an adventure. As the second-youngest child, I often had to defend myself from my brothers’ teasing. During Sunday lessons about eternal families, I would think, “I don’t want to be picked on for eternity!” I loved my family, but I didn’t know if I wanted to be with them forever.
That changed when my family took a trip to The Gila Valley Arizona Temple open house. Walking through the temple, I felt something I’d never experienced before. My family had just entered the celestial room when my dad turned to me and said, “Michael, one day when you go through the temple, you will enter this room and our family will be waiting for you.” I realized that the feeling I had was love—unconditional love for the Savior and my family. Now I knew that I wanted to be with my family forever; there is no greater blessing.
Sometime later, as I was preparing for a full-time mission, I went through the temple and had the blessing of entering the celestial room and seeing my loving family waiting for me—just as Dad said they would be.
Michael Skidmore, Arizona, USA
One Sunday, my bishop bore testimony that becoming a temple worker was the best thing he ever did. He said that it totally changed the direction of his life. The Spirit promised me then that if I became a temple worker, the same would happen for me.
When I became a temple worker a few months later, though, it was surprisingly demanding. On top of that, I discovered that I still had to struggle with temptations, some that I felt I had put behind me. I nearly quit.
But I stuck it out, and as I focused more on my time inside the temple, I came to some realizations. I realized that my struggle with temptation came not because of the temple but because I’d been neglecting parts of my spiritual life. I believe Heavenly Father prompted me to serve as a temple worker in order to strengthen and prepare me so that I wouldn’t fall.
Working in the temple was like a spiritual resurrection. As I learned all the ordinances by memory, concepts that had seemed old and stale became new and beautiful. Pure doctrine stood out clearer than ever. I would leave the temple with a deeper understanding of Christ’s gospel and His Church. I was filled with strength and determination to choose the right.
I know that the temple is key to our success here on earth. Making our temple service more meaningful will bring us closer than ever to God. The temple has the power to make you and your testimony new again.
Alex Masterson, Utah, USA
So much about life in our world can stifle hope and damage the sensitivity we need to hear the Spirit’s voice. When I hear about tragedy in some far-off place, when I’m faced with personal despair or family anguish, I always know I can go to the temple for relief. In the temple, the small, everyday wounds of living in the world are healed, although it often happens so quietly I hardly notice. The circumstances surrounding our grief won’t necessarily change just from worshipping in the temple. But as we exert the effort to make the temple a priority, I know firsthand that Heavenly Father will shed His light upon us, soothing and purifying our hearts, extending our perspective, and clarifying our vision, which can sometimes strain to find Him in a difficult world.
I’ve felt this most strongly when plagued by loneliness. Singles and young adults are not the only ones who may feel alone, it’s true, and my personal struggles don’t qualify my solitude as more potent than anyone else’s. Nevertheless, there are dark days when it’s easy to blame too much on my situation. It’s at these times when the temple has become an essential refuge for me. Reminded through the ordinances of my personal worth and eternal goals, I can leave with a burden more bearable and a heart more cheerful than before my service (see Mosiah 24:13–15). I know through repeated experience that the house of the Lord can heal us spiritually, emotionally, and psychologically.
Jonathan Baker, Utah, USA
I had just been called to be the temple trip coordinator in my young single adult ward when the bishopric suggested that we do sealings. As a young single adult, I worried that participating in sealings would be awkward, but I wanted to fulfill my calling. So when our monthly temple day arrived, I found myself in a sealing room of the Mesa Arizona Temple with a few members of my ward.
As I participated in the sealing ordinance, I pondered how the sisters I was being proxy for might have felt. It seemed almost unfair that they’d been born without the gospel. But the Spirit touched my heart as I listened to the blessings in the ordinance. Although these people hadn’t had the gospel on earth, they could still receive all of Heavenly Father’s blessings. He would compensate them for all that seemed unjust.
As I pondered this, I saw interesting parallels with my own life. As an older young single adult, I hadn’t yet been sealed to a worthy spouse. It sometimes seemed unfair that I had to wait longer than many others. However, I knew that Heavenly Father loved me and that as I lived worthily, I would not be denied any blessing.
I left the temple feeling grateful for the gospel and confident in Heavenly Father’s desire to bless me. As Elder Jeffrey R. Holland of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles has taught, “Some blessings come soon, some come late, and some don’t come until heaven; but for those who embrace the gospel of Jesus Christ, they come.”1
Carrie Cox, Utah, USA
I had recently been to the temple to do baptisms for those who are deceased when I heard my mom telling my older brother about a dream she had. In the dream her great-aunt told her to look through birth records for Puebla (the birthplace of our ancestors) and to do the temple work for some of our family members.
Overhearing that conversation reminded me of a promise in my patriarchal blessing—it says that I will be a savior on Mount Zion (see Obadiah 1:21). I realized that it was never too early to start doing genealogy, and I decided to try to find the spirits that seemed to be waiting.
I knew I couldn’t do it alone, so I knelt down in prayer and pleaded for help. I began reading through the names already on my family group sheet until I came to the name of my third great-grandmother Natividad Merino. I began looking through FamilySearch records until her name came up. She needed to be baptized! Next, I found the names of her siblings, whose work hadn’t been done either. My heart filled with gratitude. I knew that the Holy Ghost had guided me.
Two days later, my mom, my younger brother, and I went to the temple to do baptisms for my third great-grandmother and her siblings. While I was in the font, it was as if I could feel their joy. My love of temple work grew tremendously.
I know that when we do the work for our ancestors, we are guided. I feel so grateful to Heavenly Father for giving us temples to unite families.
Analiz García Flores, Mexico City, Mexico