“6 Things We’ve Learned from Visiting 106 Temples (So Far!)” Ensign, April 2020
When my husband and I first made the goal to visit every temple in the world, we knew it would be a great way to make travel, temple attendance, and our marriage major priorities in our life. But we never expected that goal to change our lives and our relationship as much as it has. Serving in temples throughout the United States, Mexico, Canada, Asia, Europe, and Australia has taught us much about each other, the gospel, and God’s plan for us. Here are six important lessons we’ve learned throughout our journey.
The gospel of Jesus Christ is the same all over the world. No matter where in the world we are, whenever we step into a temple, we feel right at home. While every temple is a little bit different, the spirit we feel inside the temple is always the same. We always feel peace, love, and joy.
As we’ve traveled through different parts of the world in order to visit temples, our testimony of God’s infinite love has been strengthened. We’ve met many different people from unique walks of life. But we’ve never, ever met a person God doesn’t love. Every single person we’ve come in contact with is a beloved son or daughter of Heavenly Parents.
When we visited the Hong Kong China Temple, we were amazed at how busy it was and how appreciative the workers were to have us come and serve. It was really inspiring to see how many people were giving their time to serve and do work for those who’d passed on.
As we’ve visited more temples since, we’ve been struck by the sheer magnitude of it all. There are multitudes of people on the other side of the veil who are yearning for the blessings of the temple. And there are multitudes of people who are working in temples to serve them, all over the world, at any given moment. Though we’ve spent only an hour or two in every temple we’ve visited, there are still people there doing that “marvelous work.” From family history work to missionary work to temple work, there’s much to be done. What a blessing it is to be a small part of that!
As we’ve visited different temples around the world, we’ve been sharing our experiences on social media. It’s given us a really natural outlet to share the gospel and our testimonies.
When you’re actively living the gospel and putting your experiences out there, people notice. Missionary work is about living your faith, sharing your faith, and caring about people. You don’t always have to knock on doors or have a name tag to do that.
“Families Can Be Together Forever” is not just a Primary song. It’s the truth. God wants our families to be together forever. The work we do in temples makes it possible—not just for us but for our entire human family.
Attending the temple so frequently as a couple has constantly reminded us that our marriage can be eternal. It’s changed the way we treat one another and the way we think about our future together.
When we recently did baptisms for the dead at the London England Temple, a member of the temple presidency talked to us about how after a person dies, they’re often forgotten all too quickly. There are countless people whose names haven’t been spoken for hundreds, even thousands, of years. But when we do work in the temple for those who have passed on, we honor their memory. We remember them. We say their names at least 18 times. And, most importantly, we give them the chance to accept the gospel and be saved. That’s what family history work is really all about.
This goal we have has pushed us to go to the temple more often, it’s improved our worship, and it’s brought us closer together. We’re so grateful for our knowledge of the restored gospel and for temples.