Part of the 2015 Area Plan is to “accelerate the number of members who have access to temple ordinances,” recognizing that “family history and temple work will bring the spirit of the Holy Ghost into the lives of all members, youth and adults, thus increasing faith and testimony.”
We know the temples are “holy buildings in which worthy Saints perform sacred ceremonies and ordinances of the gospel for themselves and for the dead. The Lord visits His temples, and they are the most holy of all places of worship” (Guide to the Scriptures, “Temples”).
What does the temple teach us?
1. Only God, through His living prophet, decides when and where a temple is to be built. Anyone may suggest a place and give good reasons for it, but the decision is never delegated—not even to the Quorum of the Twelve, the Seventy, or the Temple Department specialists. Truly it is the Lord’s House!
2. We build temples with the very best materials and workmanship. The contractors must build to the highest specifications. We give the Lord our very best.
3. When we attend the temple, we learn that we are all equal in God’s eyes. Inside the temple you cannot tell who is a professor or a plumber. We all leave our cars—whether a Mercedes or a “clunker”—in the parking lot. We leave our street clothes—whether “designer” or “thread-bare”—in the locker. Everyone dresses in white temple clothes for the ordinances. We are equally loved by our Heavenly Father and our Saviour Jesus Christ. God is “no respecter of persons” (D&C 38:16).
4. Attending the temple involves sacrifice. It is not open on Sunday. Going there requires that we take time from our work, our studies, or our personal time and activities. We must make an effort and incur an expense in travel and commitment to go.
5. Temple worship requires reverence. There the Spirit is the teacher. If we must communicate with each other, we are asked to whisper. We learn that even unkind feelings hinder the Spirit.
6. We gain an eternal perspective in the temple. We learn that Heavenly Father, Jesus Christ, and Satan are real. We are taught the Lord’s plan and direction for us—the plan of salvation and the goal of eternal life.
7. The importance of commitments and covenants are emphasized. We actually have the opportunity to make covenants with the Lord and learn the importance of keeping them.
8. The teaching is focused on the basics—obedience, sacrifice, the gospel of Jesus Christ, chastity, and consecration.
9. We learn how critical our faithfulness is. In fact, the many promises we receive in the temple ordinances are conditional on our faithfully keeping our covenants.
With all of this, it is easy to see why the enemy does not want us to attend the temple. Usually when we have decided to go on a certain date, many obstacles arise to hinder us or even prevent our going. Our suggestion is to prayerfully consider the situation and the means we have and make our own temple plan for how and when we will attend the temple. Then write it down and live that plan. The promises we receive in the temple are wonderful and real.