My testimony today is of how wonderful making the temple a regular part of your life can really be. For those who are not members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, I want to clarify what temples are. Every Sunday, we go to a church building for our church services where we take the sacrament (bread and water) and learn from our leaders and fellow members. Temples, on the other hand, are for a different purpose. We are counseled to make the temple a high priority in our lives because that is where we can make more covenants besides baptism with Heavenly Father to follow Him and do all we can to become like Him, including marriages that are sealed with the power of God to last for time and all eternity. Temples are also where we can perform these same covenants for the dead by proxy (which means we don’t baptize dead bodies – we stand in for the person who has already died). These are people who never received the Gospel of Jesus Christ while they were living, and even though we do the work and record it as finished, it is still their decision to accept the covenants that have been performed. The temple is a very sacred place where amazing things happen. These buildings throughout the world are dedicated for these sacred ordinances to be performed and so only people who have been deemed worthy by the leadership of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints are allowed to enter. A common saying is “It’s not secret, it’s sacred.” The way I once had it explained to me was that Heavenly Father loves us so much that He doesn’t want to give us commandments or covenants that we won’t be able to understand or keep, so that’s why we have to be interviewed and deemed worthy – so we don’t make covenants and agree to things we don’t intend to follow through with. The temple is truly the house of the Lord and it is kept clean and separate from the world. It’s a place where we can go to feel the love of God, to receive answers and revelation for our lives, and to receive blessings we would not have otherwise. Please watch this video for a better explanation of Why Mormons Build Temples. If you have any other questions about this, please ask me or visit mormon.org where you can chat with missionaries online who would be more than happy to help you understand whatever questions, doubts, or confusion you may have about the LDS temples.
If I had to pick only one word to describe the temple, it would be ‘HOME’. Let me tell you why: During my second year of college, I made the commitment to go to the temple every week. At that point, I was basically just trying to make it a habit because I knew it was something our leaders had counseled us to do. I knew it was a good thing and I had faith it would bless my life. I came to really love going and being able to get away from the world for a couple of hours, but it honestly wasn’t until a few weeks ago that I REALLY came to see and understand the blessings the come when we choose to attend the temple. This entire year, I’ve been working on being able to constantly feel the Spirit. I’ve done this by making my prayers and scripture study a priority. I’ve worked on finding happiness on my own rather than looking to the future and saying “I’ll be happy when….” There are a few other things I’ve been working on as well, but about a month or so ago, I found a friend who was willing to take me to the temple on a weekly basis (because I have no transportation myself). Since coming home from my mission, I would FINALLY be able to go every week again. And what a blessing my friend has been. She and I both have such a love for the temple that grows about 10 times stronger every week. The past two times we’ve sat in the celestial room wishing we never had to leave. We would most definitely live there if we could – there are showers, a cafeteria, and furniture. It’s beautiful and comfortable and spending time there makes you wish you never had to go back out into the world. Yesterday, we sat there for over an hour just talking about things we wanted to work on and contemplating what it would be like to live with Heavenly Father again. I’ve noticed that because I can forget about the world and enjoy the presence of the Lord for at least a couple of hours every week rather than going through while still thinking about all the homework I have to do, my life has increased in the amount of joy and positivity that I have on a daily basis. And every time I come home from the temple, I think the only word to describe how I feel is bliss.
I have come to truly know how much attending the temple as regularly as possible can change your life for the better and bring you closer to the Lord. Making time to spend with Him is at the top of my priorities because it means that I can get to know Him, what He wants for me in my life and what He needs me to do to magnify my purpose in being here. I have seen some amazing things happen in my life and the lives of those around me simply because I am choosing to make the Lord the center of my life. So I ask you these questions: What is it you want in your life? How do you need to change your habits in order to have what you want? How would making the Lord the center of YOUR life change you specifically for the better?