“Pray for Them,” Liahona, Oct. 2022.
A few years ago, I decided to attend the temple weekly. At the time, we lived near a temple. This practice became a reliable source of light and power that I came to count on.
A year later, when our family moved across the country, we no longer lived close to a temple. Temple attendance was not impossible, but faced with the longer travel time and the needs of my young family, I attended only twice a month.
Once the COVID-19 pandemic started, I couldn’t attend the temple at all, which seemed like a punishment after reorganizing my life to attend frequently. I wondered how I could continue to grow spiritually, and I felt heavy with how unfair things seemed.
During a routine dental cleaning, I struggled to calm my mind. When the hygienist asked me what I wanted to listen to during my cleaning, I replied, “I would really love some relaxing meditation sounds.”
She said nobody had ever requested that, but she obliged. Fifteen minutes into our appointment, she expressed how much she was enjoying our “meditative cleaning.” Then she told me about the anxiety in her own life, which included her 13-year-old son’s recent injury. Surrounded by the hum of a busy office, she shared her burden with me, and we found peace together.
In my relaxed mental state, my thoughts went to the temple. I found myself progressing through an initiatory session, the words of my temple covenants passing seamlessly through my mind. Three distinct promptings from the Spirit then followed:
Ask the hygienist the name of her son.
Tell her you will pray for him.
Pray for both of them by name.
Through this seemingly simple exchange, I felt my burden transform into a blessing. I caught a glimpse of how my covenants helped me to love Heavenly Father and my neighbor. The Spirit taught me that attending the temple is just as much about helping others on this side of the veil as it is about spiritually empowering myself and my ancestors.
Temple closures hadn’t stunted my spiritual growth. Rather, they had allowed me to create new ways to engage in God’s work and receive heavenly love, light, and knowledge.