How Can We Make the Most of Temple Attendance?
March 2012

“How Can We Make the Most of Temple Attendance?” Liahona, Mar. 2012, 52–53

How Can We Make the Most of Temple Attendance?

From an April 2009 general conference address.

Elder Richard G. Scott

Each member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is blessed to live in a time when the Lord has inspired His prophets to provide significantly increased accessibility to the holy temples.

Because I love you, I am going to speak to you heart to heart, without mincing words. 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. I have a suggestion: When a temple is conveniently nearby, small things may interrupt your plans to go to the temple. 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. This pattern will guarantee that those who live in the shadow of a temple will be as blessed as are those who plan far ahead and make a long trip to the temple.

I encourage you to establish your own goal of how frequently you will avail yourself of the ordinances offered in our operating temples. What is there that is more important than attending and participating in the ordinances of the temple? What activity could have a greater impact and provide more joy and profound happiness than worshipping in the temple?

Now I share some additional suggestions of how to gain more benefit from temple attendance.

  • Understand the doctrine related to temple ordinances, especially the significance of the Atonement of Jesus Christ.1

  • While participating in temple ordinances, consider your relationship to Jesus Christ and His relationship to our Heavenly Father. This simple act will lead to greater understanding of the supernal nature of the temple ordinances.

  • Always prayerfully express gratitude for the incomparable blessings that flow from temple ordinances. Live each day so as to give evidence to Father in Heaven and His Beloved Son of how very much those blessings mean to you.

  • Schedule regular visits to the temple.

  • Leave sufficient time to be unhurried within the temple walls.

  • Remove your watch when you enter a house of the Lord.

  • Listen carefully to the presentation of each element of the ordinance with an open mind and heart.

  • Be mindful of the individual for whom you are performing the vicarious ordinance. At times pray that he or she will recognize the vital importance of the ordinances and be worthy or prepare to be worthy to benefit from them.

Sometimes when I hear a choir during a temple dedicatory service, I experience a feeling so sublime that it elevates my heart and mind. I close my eyes, and more than once, in my mind, I have seen an inverted cone of individuals beginning at the temple and rising upward. I have felt that they represent many spirits waiting for the vicarious work to be done for them in that sanctuary, rejoicing because finally there is a place that can free them from the chains that hold them back in their eternal progress. In order to achieve this end, you will need to do the vicarious work. You will need to identify your ancestors. The new FamilySearch program makes the effort easier than before. It is necessary to identify those ancestors, qualify them, and come to the house of the Lord to perform the ordinances they are longing to receive.

What a joy it is to be able to participate in the work of a temple!


  1. Studying sections 88, 109, 131, and 132 of the Doctrine and Covenants would be a good place to begin.

Photo illustration by Derek Israelsen