The author lives in Manila, Philippines.
I never expected to hear words like the ones the First Presidency shared last month: “After careful and prayerful consideration, and with a desire to be responsible global citizens, we have decided to suspend all temple activity.”1
Maybe like me, you are wondering how to face today’s difficult times without these holy places of peace. Here in the Philippines, the temples were closed even before a community quarantine was implemented, so I’ve been longing to return to the house of the Lord for quite some time now.
But I’ve realized something important while under quarantine. Even though the temple doors are closed, the work of preparing ordinances is not. Our ancestors are still on the other side of the veil, waiting for us to learn more about them. If you are searching for ways to invite sacred feelings of temple service into your home, here are a few ideas:
Explore your family tree on FamilySearch.org.
Try indexing. Infinitely more rewarding than video games!
Use technology to connect with living relatives.
Write down your own family’s stories.
I’ve watched how these activities have “turn[ed] the heart[s]” of my family members, as described in Malachi 4:6, and saved us from frustration, boredom, and hopelessness. And although being quarantined still isn’t ideal, I’m grateful for the opportunity it gives me to help with this temple homework.
This can be a sacred time in our lives. Perhaps this pandemic will remind us how important temples are. Maybe we will appreciate the chance to visit the temple more than we did before. As the First Presidency announcement stated, “This is a temporary adjustment, and we look forward to the day when the temples will reopen.”2
I can’t wait for the day when we will be able to extend saving ordinances to our ancestors once again! Until that day, there is so much work we can still do.