Finding Belonging in the Temple Again

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Finding Belonging in the Temple Again

I hadn’t been to the temple for years, but I turned to the Savior to help me become worthy to enter once again.

Provo City Center Utah Temple

Photograph by Megan Barnum

I stood in the foyer as the second counselor in the bishopric asked me to speak in sacrament meeting about the importance of temples. With my eyes down and an embarrassed flush creeping into my cheeks, I asked for a different topic to speak on. I hadn’t attended the temple in several years because of life choices that had disconnected me from my Heavenly Father, and I did not feel qualified to speak about the temple.

After that experience, the temple kept coming to my mind, and I felt a growing desire to be there but also battled feelings of unworthiness. I felt afraid that Heavenly Father would not want me in His sacred house.

Taking Steps to Change

As general conference approached, I nervously listened to the speakers, hoping that I would feel some indication that God still loved me despite my mistakes. That was when President Dieter F. Uchtdorf, Second Counselor in the First Presidency, said: “It matters not how completely ruined our lives may seem. It matters not how scarlet our sins, how deep our bitterness, how lonely, abandoned, or broken our hearts may be. ... There is no life so shattered that it cannot be restored.”1

I felt clearly that God was speaking to me. I had been wondering for months how to come back to Christ, and that conference message was His call for me to make changes to enter His house again.

I met with my bishop to discuss entering the temple again. He helped me understand the role Jesus Christ could play in my life and how accepting His Atonement could help me give my burden of pain and sin to Him. I began to pray for understanding, strength, and patience with myself. By trusting God a little more and doing a little better each day, I gradually reconnected with the light of the Savior.

Working with my bishop and learning more about my Savior deepened my testimony of my identity as a daughter of Heavenly Father. I understood that my loving Redeemer would never ask me to separate myself from Him, but that Satan would try to make me feel like I didn’t belong in the temple. With this knowledge, I eventually felt ready to enter God’s house again.

Returning to the Temple

With a crisply folded recommend in my hand, I stepped toward the temple for the first time in years, suddenly anxious about my place in God’s house. The closer I got to the doors the more uncertainty ran through me. Would I look foolish for not knowing where to go or what to do? Was I too old to be going to the temple for baptisms?

The man at the front desk smiled as I entered, welcoming me to the temple. That morning rejuvenated my spirit as temple workers reassured me of my place in God’s house.

As I left the temple, one of the workers waved to me as I walked down the hallway to exit the baptistry. With a whispered, joyful voice he said, “Thank you for coming to the temple today—we needed you here!” I promised him that I would come back the next week as I looked forward to feeling the warmth of the temple again.

Because of our divine identities as daughters and sons of heavenly parents, each of us can find belonging in the temple. There is nothing that can permanently keep us out of God’s loving reach if we desire to be in His presence. He wants us there, and as we take small steps to become more like our Savior each day, we can align our lives with His and always remain temple worthy. I know that because of the Atonement of Jesus Christ, we can enter God’s holy house and receive the blessings waiting for us inside, and, as I’ve experienced, those blessings are worth everything.