We had small kids and they were our excuse. “They’ll just be bored and get tired and bratty,” we’d say. “They’ll just be disruptive to us and to people around us,” we reasoned. So, instead, we’d stay home, sleep in, watch TV, play games, go on walks, etc. All nice and relaxing, but not where we were really supposed to be.
When we moved to Idaho, we “decided” that the kids were old enough for us all to start going to our Stake Conferences. What really happened, though, was that we repented and realized that we should have been going all those years. It’s a commitment for sure—two hours Saturday, two hours Sunday, plus arriving early to get good seats, and getting home late trying to maneuver through all the rest of the thousands who also showed up. But it’s always well worth it.
This month, our Stake was very blessed. The building site for the Meridian, Idaho Temple had its ground-breaking ceremony, and an apostle always has to be present for and participate in that. Because of that, Elder David A. Bednar, a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, was in town. And, he attended and spoke at our Stake Conference. This is a BIG deal. There are thousands of stakes in the world, and to have an apostle at one of them very rarely happens. In fact, it had been 23 years since one had been to our stake conference.
Hearing Elder Bednar speak was incredible. He shared many wonderful stories and really helped me to think about some things more deeply. And his general presence made everyone feel happy and blessed.
The other speakers were obviously inspired, too, as they shared their messages, and I have found myself returning again and again to a thought that our Stake President, President Porter, imparted. He said, “It is a great blessing to have a temple recommend. It is an even greater blessing to use it.”
This year, especially in the past few months, Rick and I have been making a real concerted effort to get to the temple. In the temple, I can find the kind of peace that isn’t found anywhere else. Not at the beach, on the highest mountain, in the depths of meditation, nowhere. When I’m in the temple, it’s like all the weight of stress and concern is lifted and my head is clear. President Packer put it succinctly and accurately when he said:
Sometimes our minds are so beset with problems, and there are so many things clamoring for attention at once that we just cannot think clearly and see clearly. At the temple the dust of distraction seems to settle out, the fog and the haze seem to lift, and we can “see” things that we were not able to see before and find a way through our troubles that we had not previously known.
I can’t even tell you how many times we’ve gone to the temple with a question of what to do about this, or how to attack that, and have left with a clear understanding of what to do, and even how to do it. The Lord blesses us when we go to His house.
So, what happens in the temple? Some people view the temple as a place that shuts people out or excludes them. But, any person at all can go to the temple! Elder Bednar explained this plainly at our Stake Conference. He said that “We encourage everyone everywhere to do what they need to do to get to the temple! There are only a few requirements and anybody who lives up to these, may enter the temple.” Going on, he explained that a person just needs to exercise faith, be baptized a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and keep the commandments. He then said that the temple isn’t a secret; it’s sacred.
On the church’s website, it gives some brief descriptions about what happens in the temple. Basically, we go there to learn about our Heavenly Father’s plan and the creation of the world. We make promises and say prayers. We have time to sit and read scriptures, or just sit and take in the peace that exists there.
There is NO PLACE like the temple. Even if you don’t have a temple recommend to enter the temple, or you’re not a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, you can still go to the temple. You can walk the grounds and at least touch the building. And you’ll feel peace. And you’ll know of God’s love for you.
I remember sitting in a stake conference when I was on my mission in Brasil. One of the speakers said, “You don’t have to go to Jerusalem to walk where the Savior walked. You can go to the temple. He walks there.”
For more information about what happens in the temple, please visit: