If you happen to be reading this at some future date when quarantine restrictions are lifted, just know that currently as I write this all the temples of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints are closed. That obviously puts a damper on the performance of temple ordinances, but for my wife and I, it’s actually what initiated our commitment to take our temple attendance more seriously.
If I were to grade our temple attendance over the years, I’d give us a passing grade. I’d even call it regular. However, a specific invitation by President Russell M. Nelson made me think of my temple attendance differently.
In President Nelson’s talk, Becoming Exemplary Latter-day Saints, given in the October 2018 General Conference, he said:
Invest time in your future and in that of your family. If you have reasonable access to a temple, I urge you to find a way to make an appointment regularly with the Lord—to be in His holy house—then keep that appointment with exactness and joy. I promise you that the Lord will bring the miracles He knows you need as you make sacrifices to serve and worship in His temples.
At the time of his invitation, I thought to myself, “I attend the temple, and I even do so regularly, but I don’t make an appointment.” For me, my attendance was a little less exact. What I felt as I heard the prophet of God speak that day was that there would be value in putting my appointment with the Lord on the calendar so that I wouldn’t ever forget.
I’ve done something similar with ministering. My families knew that on the third Wednesday of the month we would be stopping by for an in-home visit. They could always count on it and I could always plan for it.
Fast forward eighteen months to April 2020’s General Conference and President Nelson again spoke of the temples and the power they have in our lives:
Brothers and sisters, during times of our distress when temples are closed, you can still draw upon the power of your temple covenants and endowment as you honor your covenants. Please use this time when temples are closed to continue to live a temple-worthy life or to become temple worthy.
As President Nelson spoke, I again felt the desire to make a regular appointment with the Lord. I discussed this with my wife and we decided that we would attend the temple on the first Wednesday of every month – and we would start immediately.
Why? Because it would never be easier to go. There were no other distractions, we would LOVE to get out of the house, and we could ease it into a habit when the time required wasn’t as long. (We live in Utah and are very blessed to live 15 minutes from a temple)
On the first Wednesday of the month following General Conference, we drove to the temple and sat in our car for a few minutes and talked. When then got out and walked in the parking lot of the stake center that sits adjacent to the temple.
As I’m writing this the words of Alma the Younger are ringing through my mind, when he said: “By small and simple things are great things brought to pass.”
We have made our small offering upon the altar of the Lord, and he will bless us greatly as we honor our commitment with the Lord. I love the promise that he has given through our prophet as we remain true to our appointment. “The Lord will bring the miracles He knows you need as you make sacrifices to serve and worship in His temples.”
The Lord will bring the miracles He knows you need.
I share my witness of God’s goodness and his willingness to open doors in our lives when we make sacrifices on His behalf. I pray that you may find a way to make a regular appointment with the Lord, as circumstances permit.