My husband and I were married in the temple in 2019. We had each received our endowment before serving our missions, and we were fortunate enough to visit the temple weekly until COVID-19 forced temples to shut down. We were sad to pause our regular temple worship in March 2020, but we still took walks to the temple by our house and tried our best to keep our covenants fresh in our minds.
In the October 2021 general conference, President Russell M. Nelson reminded Church members of the importance of being sealed in the temple when he said, “If I could speak with each husband and wife who have still not been sealed in the temple, I would plead with you to take the necessary steps to receive that crowning, life-changing ordinance.”1
Soon after general conference, our married student ward began a temple preparation class to help couples prepare to be sealed in the temple. Many young adults, including several couples in our ward, had been married civilly during temple closures in the pandemic and hadn’t yet been sealed even though the temples had resumed operations.
The class was going to be taught by Brother and Sister Mortezazadeh, our high councilor and his wife, who have become wonderful mentors and friends to my husband and me. Brother Mortezazadeh grew up in Iran, and as part of the incentive to come to the temple prep class, he invited all interested couples—even those who had already been sealed—to come for the class and stay for homemade Iranian food. We were immediately hooked.
I knew that revisiting the basics of the temple was a good idea—I don’t claim to be any sort of expert on the temple—but I really wasn’t expecting to learn anything new. I am so glad I was wrong.
During one class, Brother and Sister Mortezazadeh pointed out that the temple is full of symbols and that we experience those symbols firsthand as we participate in ordinances. They explained that some symbolism is exclusive to the temple, so one reason we are encouraged to go as often as we can is to learn the meaning behind these symbols.
Everything we do in the temple, from dressing in white to sitting in the celestial room, is meant to point us to the Savior and Heavenly Father. President Russell M. Nelson has explained some of these symbols in the temple that “are utilized to teach us spiritual things”:
“The whiteness of temple clothing suggests purity, and the similarity of our dress symbolizes the fact that we are all sons and daughters of God. …
“... From the baptismal font of the temple, we progress upward through the telestial and terrestrial realms to the room that represents the celestial home of God.”2
Even when I don’t understand the exact meaning of something, I can focus on how every detail points us to heaven.
We might come out of the temple with questions after the first time (and second time and third time), and we might feel overwhelmed by what we see and hear there. That means we have the opportunity to continue to learn about Heavenly Father and His plan for us as we return often.
Going through the temple is like using a telescope. It allows you to see more, but the view may be new and unfamiliar. Adding new understanding to your existing knowledge of the gospel can provide a fuller picture of the glory and grandeur of God’s plan with more to discover and learn each time.
Thankfully, we are not required to understand everything now. Our learning about the temple comes little by little as we attend the temple and study the gospel, just as the Lord designed when He said, “I will give unto the children of men line upon line, precept upon precept, here a little and there a little; and blessed are those who hearken unto my precepts, and lend an ear unto my counsel, for they shall learn wisdom; for unto him that receiveth I will give more” (2 Nephi 28:30).
As members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, we believe in Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. We believe in God’s plan of salvation and the Atonement of Jesus Christ. We believe that families can be together forever. Revisiting these foundational truths allowed me to recenter myself on Jesus Christ and His gospel amid a world of chaos and confusion.
I invite you to continue to learn about your covenants and deepen your faith in the Savior by returning to the temple often. I had already received my personal endowment and sealing, but attending this special temple preparation class allowed me to invite the Spirit to help me deepen my understanding of the gospel and the spiritual power that keeping my covenants invites into my life. I will be forever thankful for that experience.