Saturday, August 29, 2009

Temple Worship

This entry is part of my general conference application series.

Temple Worship: The Source of Strength and Power in Times of Need, by Elder Richard G. Scott
Of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles

In a stake priesthood meeting three weeks ago, our beloved ward bishop spoke on Zion and the temple. In his remarks, he noted that in the four years that the San Antonio Texas Temple has been in operation, our ward has had 28 youth-, and new convert- temple trips. 28 in four years! With the temple being about 90 minutes away, the figure becomes even more impressive. I imagine that this frequency is higher than what many members who live in the "shadow of a temple" attain.

Elder Scott would agree:

I have seen that many times individuals have made great sacrifices to go to a distant temple. But when a temple is built close by, within a short time, many do not visit it regularly.

Hearing the report of my bishop caused me to wonder how many family temple trips we've taken in the three years we've lived in Texas. I was somewhat surprised to discover that we've had more than thirty (I think it's been 35) such trips! I think our success is because we've been doing what Elder Scott recommends:

Set specific goals, considering your circumstances, of when you can and will participate in temple ordinances. Then do not allow anything to interfere with that plan.

It's embarrassing to admit that we have more regular (and meaningful) temple worship now that we're removed geographically from a temple than we did when we lived a few minutes away. I like to think that temple worship is in our blood now, and that wherever we end up, we will continue the traditions we've set while living here.

Having temple worship as a central family focus yields some fun results:
  • Rebecca asks me to sing I Love to See the Temple (link) to her each night as I tuck her in;
  • Each time I ask the children, "Do you know what we're doing tomorrow?" they excitedly guess, "Going to the temple!" Even though they're right about a quarter of the time, they still equate exciting family outings to temple worship;
  • In family home evening each week, at least one of the children will give an impromptu talk on temples (while they stand on a little chair behind a bench—our makeshift podium);
  • When we asked the children what they wanted to do for a family vacation in the past, their answer was to stay at a hotel in San Antonio right by the temple. There was no Disneyland, SeaWorld, or even grandparents to get in their way of choosing the temple;
  • Our children know that Mommy and Daddy love the temple and are better parents because we all go to the temple regularly.

This talk was the curriculum for elders quorum last Sunday. We were taught with power on the blessings and strength that come from temple worship. While I cannot relate the deeply personal accounts that were shared, I can state that I'm a different person than I was one week ago because of this lesson. The instructor guessed that many in the quorum would never forget the stories that Elder Scott shared in this talk because of the way they connected with us.

Likewise, I hope to never forget the experiences that were shared last Sunday and the associated resolve that I felt to ensure that I live my life to reflect that the covenants are everything: that I can remember that "when we live righteously and have received the ordinances of the temple, everything else is in the hands of the Lord."

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