“Ministering through Temple Service,” Ensign, March 2020
Temple attendance is worth the effort. President Russell M. Nelson taught that “the temple is crucial to our salvation and exaltation and to that of our families. …
“… Each one of us needs the ongoing spiritual strengthening and tutoring that is possible only in the house of the Lord.”1
Attending the temple requires managing our time, responsibilities, and resources, as well as being spiritually prepared. We are ministering when we identify the barriers that keep our brothers and sisters from the temple and help them find solutions.
A recently returned missionary, Meg, was walking toward the doors of the Kona Hawaii Temple when she noticed a young woman sitting alone on a bench outside. Meg felt that she should speak to the young woman, but she wasn’t sure what to say. So she asked about the meaning of a tattoo on the young woman’s ankle. That began a conversation that allowed the young woman, Lani, to share her story.
Lani told Meg about her struggle to return to full participation in the Church, the nice members who were helping her, and her hope to someday be sealed to her baby daughter.
Meg invited Lani to come sit in the temple waiting room with her. They would not be able to go further into the temple yet, but they would be able to cross the threshold. Lani agreed, and they went together through the main doors. A temple worker showed them to a bench beneath a painting of the Savior.
As they sat together, Lani whispered, “I really wanted to come into the temple today, but I was nervous.” Because Meg followed the Spirit, she helped answer Lani’s silent prayer.
Even those who don’t have a temple recommend yet can be blessed by the temple.
Share your feelings about how the Lord has blessed you through temple work.
Even for members with a temple recommend, attending the temple can be a challenge. Some may need to travel long distances. Others may have small children or aged family members who need care. We can work together to make temple service possible for everyone.
Leola Chandler felt overwhelmed by caring for her ill husband and their four children. So she decided to set aside time each Tuesday to attend a nearby temple. It became a source of peace and power in her life.
One day she heard that a few elderly sisters in her ward desperately wanted to attend the temple, but they had no means of transportation. Leola offered to give them a ride. For the next 40 years, she rarely went to the temple alone.2
Leola was blessed, and she blessed others when she offered to take them with her to the temple.
How can you help others get to the temple more often? You might find that the same ideas help you too.
Go together. Offer to provide or arrange for transportation for someone. It might encourage someone else to attend the temple too.
Ask members of your family or ward to help you perform ordinances for your ancestors, especially when you have lots of family names ready for ordinances.
Offer to babysit so parents can attend the temple. Or arrange to take turns watching each other’s children. (For more ideas, read “Temple Night Simplified: 6 Tips to Make Temple Trips Easier” [digital-only article], Ensign, Jan. 2018.)
Chandradas “Roshan” and Sheron Antony of Colombo, Sri Lanka, decided to be sealed in the temple. Their friends Ann and Anton Kumarasamy were so excited for them. But they knew that getting to the Manila Philippines Temple wasn’t easy or cheap.
Roshan and Sheron had saved their money and booked flights months in advance to get a flight they could afford. Finally, the day came. However, during their layover in Malaysia, they discovered that to continue on to the Philippines, they either needed a visa or needed to fly on a different airline. It wasn’t possible to get a visa, and they couldn’t afford to buy tickets on another airline. But they couldn’t bear the thought of returning home without being sealed.
Unsure what else to do, Roshan called Anton. Anton and Ann desperately wanted to help. They were one of the few couples in Sri Lanka who had been sealed in the temple, and they knew what a blessing it was. But they had recently used their savings to help a family member in need, and they didn’t have enough money to help Roshan and Sheron buy tickets for a new flight.
In Sri Lanka it is customary for the groom to buy the bride a gold necklace so that she will have some money if her husband dies. Ann decided to sell her necklace to help buy the new tickets. Her generous gift made it possible for Roshan and Sheron to make their temple appointment in Manila.
“I know the value of a temple sealing,” Ann said. “I knew Sheron and Roshan would be a great strength to the branch. I didn’t want them to miss this opportunity.”3
You may be called to minister to those who can’t get to the temple often or at all because of distances or costs. But you can still find ways to help them appreciate the blessings of the temple.
Teach or participate together in a temple preparation or family history class.
Give them a photo of a temple to hang in their home.
If you have been in the temple, share your feelings about your experience and your testimony of temple ordinances.
Help them learn more about the covenants they have made and how to keep them. Consider using “Understanding Our Covenants with God: An Overview of Our Most Important Promises,” in the July 2012 Ensign.