“Come, Let’s Go to the Temple,” Ensign, Mar. 1995, 72–73
After my husband, Ron, and I were married, we did not return to the temple as often as we had hoped. With good intentions, we would plan a date to attend the temple. But often by the time the day arrived, other activities and commitments had cropped up and one of us would be unable to attend. “We’ll go next week,” we would decide, but next week would arrive with its share of demands on our time.
When we realized what was happening, we came up with some ideas that have helped us increase our temple attendance.
Planning a temple trip with friends proved to be similar to inviting them over for dinner—we were committed unless an emergency came up. We knew we needed to have our schedules cleared of other activities.
The first time we planned to attend the temple with friends, they had to cancel at the last minute. But since we had already set the time aside, we were prepared and ready to go.
Attend Ward and Stake Temple Outings
We also began participating in our ward temple day. We have found that planning to attend with our ward and stake helps assure that we make it to the temple. With so many people going to the temple, transportation can be arranged easily among ward members, and friendships can be built as we drive.
Prepare Well Ahead of Time
Planning and preparing to go to the temple help make those trips more likely to happen and more successful.
Plan temple attendance on a wall calendar a year in advance. For instance, block out every third Friday in the month and mark it as a temple day. By planning so far ahead, and by keeping the calendar in sight as a visual reminder, the temple day will take precedence over other activities.
My parents, who live in Massachusetts, travel to Washington, D.C., to attend the temple. They prepare for the trip in advance by arranging transportation and lodging and making sure all other considerations have been taken care of: taking money for expenses and packing extra clothes to wear between temple sessions. Families with young children will also want to arrange for a baby-sitter.
Understanding and appreciating the importance of the temple experience is a boost to consistent and frequent temple attendance. As we study the gospel, discuss the status of our family history work, and honor our temple covenants, we are more likely to, as President Howard W. Hunter has said, “establish the temple of the Lord as the great symbol of [our] membership.” (Ensign, Oct. 1994, p. 2).
Using these various ideas has helped us attend the temple more consistently. Our regular temple outing is something my husband and I both look forward to.—Emily Maitland Gilliland, Redding, California