“Good Enough for the Temple?” Liahona, March 2019
For all of my life, I have heard about how important it is for us to attend the temple. I remember singing songs in Primary like “I Love To See the Temple” and “Families Can Be Together Forever,” which reminded me of how sacred the temple is and that we have to be worthy to be able to enter. I had been taught that it was the place where our Heavenly Father dwells and that it was so important to make it into those hallowed walls.
My parents had been within those very walls, though they weren’t able to frequent them as often as they would like to. They first went to the temple together a year after they were married. It was difficult because even though they knew they couldn’t afford to go, they knew they couldn’t afford not to either. It was always emphasized in our home to go to the temple as soon as we could and to make temple marriage our goal. My parents also showed me how important and sacred their covenants were. They taught me that they received many blessings from keeping their covenants, and because of their example, I decided that was something that I wanted too. Throughout the years, I kept reminding myself to “always keep the temple within my sights,”1 even though the nearest temple was far away.
Here in Barbados, we aren’t privileged to have a temple so close that we can walk or even take the bus. In order for us to get to a temple, we have to travel many miles away from home by plane. I think that’s why so many members treasure their visits to the temple.
The opportunity finally came for me to go the temple for the very first time, but for some reason, I felt incredibly anxious. The first thought that flooded my mind was that even though I was trying my best, it wasn’t good enough; I wasn’t worthy enough. This worried me tremendously. I was indeed trying my best, so why did I feel so deflated about going to the temple?
I decided that for a decision as big as this one, I needed to seek the answer from my Heavenly Father. Did He want me to go, or was I really not good enough?
The next two weeks were filled with mornings turning into nights on my knees and continual fasting. I tried my best to keep the Spirit near, and though many nights I got off my knees from fervent prayers still a bit unsure, I was sure that Heavenly Father would answer. I just needed to be patient.
The next Sunday as I sat in fast and testimony meeting, the Spirit was really strong. I had my eyes closed as the sacrament was being passed, and that’s when I got my answer. It felt like Heavenly Father was saying to me, “Zariah, if it is of Me, how could it be wrong?”
When I felt those words, tears came to my eyes and I just felt this overwhelming feeling of joy. I knew that Heavenly Father had heard every prayer I had uttered. He knew just how inadequate I felt, but He also reminded me that the Savior, through His Atonement, can help us work toward becoming better every single day. All feelings of inadequacy dissipated within that small moment.
When I reached home that afternoon, I shared my answer with my family, that I needed to go to the Lord’s house to make those special, sacred covenants that we need for eternal life.
As I had the interviews with both the branch and mission presidents, I felt even better about my choice. On both occasions, Heavenly Father kept reassuring me that I had made the right decision, that I was worthy, that I was good enough.
That feeling followed me all the way to the temple grounds. When I first set foot inside those sacred halls, it felt like Heavenly Father wrapped His arms around me and said, “Welcome home.” It was probably one of the most amazing feelings and one that I will never forget.
I’m so grateful for my parents and their good example, for teaching me the importance of going to the temple and helping me prepare to enter this sacred place. But most importantly, I’m thankful for my Heavenly Father, who has made it possible for heaven to touch earth. For making it possible for us to make sacred covenants not only for ourselves but also for those ancestors who have not had the opportunity to do it for themselves.
The temple is truly proof of Heavenly Father’s love for us. A lot of the time, we are our worst critics. There may be times when we feel imperfect or discouraged, but we need to remember that we don’t have to be perfect to be worthy. If we feel discouraged with our shortcomings and feel like we’re not good enough, we should remember the sacrifice of the Savior and turn to Him for help. The Atonement of Jesus Christ makes it possible for everyone to go to the temple. Through the Spirit, we can know that we are “enough.” We aren’t perfect, and Heavenly Father knows that, but the most important thing is to do the best we can to be worthy and to strive to do so every day. The temple is the most important place to be, and I’m glad I was able to make it there.