When I entered the Buenos Aires Argentina Temple with the youth of my ward to do baptisms for the dead, we waited a few minutes in a reception room. Then the temple workers asked us to go down a hall where there were several chairs and to wait again.
Because it was a Saturday, many people had come to the temple from all over Argentina. We waited there for two and a half hours, just sitting quietly. Some not very pleasant thoughts began to run through my mind: “How can they make us wait all this time? I’m tired, and apparently it would have been better if I hadn’t come, because this is a waste of time.”
I got up and started walking down the hall. Soon one of the workers came out and said: “Young people, please don’t be impatient. I understand that you have been waiting for a long time, but do you know something? In the spirit world millions of people have been waiting for this moment for centuries, and I can assure you that they are very anxious for their turn to come. The brethren are baptizing and confirming, and they cannot do more than they are doing.”
When he said these words, I felt embarrassed. I realized that I was being selfish because I didn’t want to give hours for those people who had waited such long years and who did not have the opportunity I had to hear about the true Church and be baptized on earth.
The worker came out again, and he began to call names from our ward. A sister gave us white clothing that more or less fit. After we got dressed, she pulled back our hair and tied it with a white tie.
Then, barefoot, we walked to the benches in the baptistry. The carpets were so soft and high it was as if we weren’t even walking on the ground.
When it was my turn, I was as nervous as if it were the day of my own baptism. But the workers were so nice and they had such patience with each of us that it felt incredible.
When I came out of the font, a sister was waiting for me with a big white towel and a huge smile. I changed my clothes and went into a room where I was confirmed. The same sister who had given me the towel went with me and thanked me for being willing to do the Lord’s work.
When I left the temple, I realized it had been one of the best experiences of my life. The temple is a holy place and the Lord’s Spirit is there, directing His great work. It is worth any wait.
Illustration by John Zamudio