“Looking Again toward the Holy Temple,” Liahona, March 2019
Four years ago, my institute teacher, Brother Suresh Natrajan, asked the class, “How many of you have gone to the temple?” Because my wife, Anantha, and I had made the 10-hour trip to the Hong Kong China Temple for the first time the year before, I raised my hand proudly. Then he asked another question: “Do you remember what covenants you made in the temple?”
His question was thoughtful. There was so much to take in during my first time in the temple. While I had tried to be attentive, after all that time, I realized I had forgotten the covenants that I made in the temple. At that very moment, I made the decision to go back to temple for the second time and this time to pay attention to and remember the covenants I made and other things that are essential for my salvation.
Time passed. I was facing terrible trials in my life. But I was enrolled in an institute class, and one day we had a lesson on the prophet Jonah. Jonah didn’t do what the Lord commanded him to do. One of the verses that caught my attention was Jonah 2:4: “Then I said, I am cast out of thy sight; yet I will look again toward thy holy temple.”
This scripture touched my heart, and I prayed to Heavenly Father to give me and my wife another chance to visit the temple.
After four years, Heavenly Father blessed us to again enter His house, this time in the Taipei Taiwan Temple.
While there, I had the opportunity to perform ordinances on behalf of my uncle who had died of cancer. When I was being baptized for him, I thought about the blessings he would receive through this temple ordinance. I was so happy, and I recognized what the temple president told me when I had come to the temple for the first time and had been a little bit confused. He told me, “Brother, you may not understand all of what you are doing right now, but a day will come when you will feel you have done great things here.”
I got my answer. It has taken me four years to understand by visiting the temple for the second time.
Now while partaking of the sacrament each and every week, I remember how powerful the Atonement of Jesus Christ is and how sacred the covenants I have made in the temple are.
This year is mine and my wife’s 10th wedding anniversary. I want to celebrate it in the temple and perform sealing ordinances for my ancestors. To do this, I have been working a second job apart from my regular job, one that doesn’t affect my time with my family.
I know and I feel that temple work is real. Nothing can replace it, and it’s worth any sacrifice to attend the temple and do Heavenly Father’s work for ourselves and for souls who are on the other side of the veil.