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 explained, “All roads lead to the temple, for it is there that we are prepared in all things to enter the presence of the Lord” (Remember Me: Relief Society personal study guide 1, page 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 personal challenges.
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, November 1993, page 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 live worthily of going to the temple. Even if the opportunity does not come soon, our lives will be happier.
• How can a person live worthy each day to attend the temple?
Worthy members of the Church may receive and help others receive sacred temple ordinances, such as baptism for the dead, the endowment, eternal marriage, and sealings. As we provide this service, we are blessed personally. President Ezra Taft Benson has written: “In the peace of these lovely temples, sometimes we find solutions to the serious problems of life. Under the influence of the Spirit, sometimes pure knowledge flows to us there. Temples are places of personal revelation. When I have been weighed down by a problem or a difficulty, I have gone to the house of the Lord with a prayer in my heart for answers” (Tambulilit, June 1992, page 2).
Attending the temple blesses us in many ways. For example, one sister who was able to attend the temple regularly noticed that her life seemed more ordered and that 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.”
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 living with our Heavenly Father again.
• If you have been to the temple, how is your life different as a result?