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Sometimes, Always, at the Temple

By Brooke Benton

Maybe I’m a little selfish in my temple service.

Because mostly, it seems that I go for me.

I do like to think about the woman I’m doing ordinance work for. I like to think about her—I wonder what she’s like, if she’s there with me, if we’ll someday meet and connect in a heart to heart way I can’t fathom mortally. I wonder if she’s been waiting. If she knows something I don’t know, and if she’ll whisper it to me in my reverence.

But initially, as I head out every week, I’m going for something more: for an enlarged perspective. For understanding about temple work. For comfort. And assurance. And for some glorious epiphany that sometimes comes later, on my drive home or while writing in my journal—or sometimes never. Sometimes I go wondering what I’ll get out of it. Sometimes I go with a specific question in my heart. Sometimes I just go because it’s time to go.

I never leave empty-handed (or empty-hearted). Always I leave a better person. Always there is a fullness inside of me that belies it’s holy brevity—and though I can’t describe it in adjectives or emotions it seems to give a darker outline to the orange leaves against the mountain, and the sky looks bluer and more lovely, and my children have never been more beautiful or brilliant, and all in all God is just good.

Always, there is peace. Always, just spying the Angel Moroni amplified by the waxing sun to full brilliance, I feel a promise of something. And hope. Always, I want to go…

Even if sometimes I don’t understand the full significance of all of it.

Why do you go to the temple? What does temple worship mean to you? How do you get to the temple regularly?  And if you haven’t been to the temple yet, why do you want to go?

I have people in my life who don’t want to go to the temple because of the garment thing. Or the full-tithe thing. Or the coffee. I can’t explain to them how it will make them happy to go because I almost can’t explain it. How do you explain the temple to others?

I want to tell them about the jolt from the Spirit there that is more electric than caffeine, or how the silky reminder of garments will bless them at every moment of the day, and change how they feel about the whimsy of daily pining. I want to urge them the blessings of getting to be sealed to their children forever. But maybe these things move only me and maybe they’re why I go to the temple.

My life is so rich, so full, so satisfying, so much more because of the temple. And so while it’s generally understood that we go to the temple to serve, I can’t help but think of how every minute, it blesses me.

How does the temple bless you? What do the temple blessings mean to you? Do you feel that you grasp the full significance of the ordinances? How does the temple make you feel?

About Brooke Benton

(Blog Team) is attempting inner om with this writing stuff. Proud to claim four loud children, a patient husband and a fat black cat as family, she feels blessed to be their mommy-- their giver of kisses and baker of cookies. She is ever seeking a good novel and wishing for the sand between her toes, palm trees, the ocean.

18 thoughts on “Sometimes, Always, at the Temple”

  1. Brooke, Thank you for that beautiful post. I need to make it to the temple more often. Thank you for the inspiration in your lovely words.

  2. I've had experiences at the temple that have placed thoughts, feelings–epiphanies even–deep in to my heart mind and soul that feel so sacred– I can't even write them here. But I appreciate this post reminding me of those beautifully powerful, yet strikingly tender times.

    ["I can’t explain to her how it will make her happy to go because I almost can’t explain it."]


  3. One of the most inspiring and beautifully written articles on the beauty and peace of temple worship I have read. Thank you for capturing in words the joys and blessings of temple worship.

  4. Garments are so COMFORTABLE.

    Oh, wait, holy brevity. Sorry. Beautiful post, makes me want to go to the temple more, and soon. (I actually have a recently-expired recommend. Shame.)

  5. Beautiful, it says how I feel, that really I go for me. I go especially for peace and to get away from the world. I go to learn more about God's plan, each time I go I look out for something and focus on a different part to get the most out of it. I go because I have to, I am drawn to it. I have felt such comfort there this year and received an amazing revelation the last time, I really thought such incredible things only happened to others but I had something that I will never forget. I go because it increases my testimony. I go because I love it and wish it were possible to go more often. I am lucky to live only a two and a half hour drive away so it is doable in a day, babysitting is the tricky thing. Later I intend to serve a temple mission which is something I hold in my heart for the future.

  6. Great post.

    I don't count the temple as "service" as President Monson just asked us to do. It is more fulfilling for me and also a requirement.

    Not that serving can't be fulfilling and a requirement… well I'm making no sense.

    Anyway, I just see going to the temple as something we do to get closer to heaven in a very serious way. It helps us build a testimony, learn things we need to know, etc.

    The garment can be a pain and a passion killer, but it is also a very spiritual thing, and I try to see it as such (though that becomes difficult when I am trying to tuck everything in ever so nicely)

  7. Beautifully written, Brooke. I go for myself, too. Besides specific answers and increased peace & perspective, my life just seems to go better when I make the effort to go. I'm sure I don't grasp the full significance of the endowment, but I do rejoice when I receive new insights.

  8. I’m extremely blessed, the temple is maybe a mile away, so it is so easy to go.
    I go because I’m compelled to go, I am addicted to the spirit, I love doing things that bring me closer to my great merciful and loving Heavenly Father.
    I go to drink deeply and freely from the fountain of living water; to bask in the powerful spirit there.
    But mostly I go because I feel at peace there; it feels like home to me and I feel very loved and accepted there; somehow I have never really felt connected to the world, in the temple I feel connected with heaven.
    And sometimes, Since I have been so blessed I even go solely so my ancestors can enjoy the very same blessings.
    Which makes me ask the question: is it a sacrifice to do something you love?

  9. I took out my endowments 11 months ago (my husband isn't a member). For me it has been an adjustment–I'm pretty sure the ladies at the distribution center would vote me as "can go longest between laundry days" winner.
    Joking aside, I love to go to the temple. I've never gone and not done a name that wasn't from my own family, so there is a sense of service in that aspect, but mainly I go for me. I crave that feeling for me. I love how you described it.
    Do I understand it all? Nope. But I will say on the first day, I kept thinking, when are we going to get to the deep doctrine? There was virtually nothing that I hadn't heard and been taught my entire life. So, I go, and I listen and pay attention, and enjoy the fact that I finally know all the details–those first few months it was a stress to make sure everything was 'correct'. I just love the feeling that is there. I feel the Spirit there in a way I have never experienced it previously in my life.

  10. I love to go to the temple to just 'be still and know that He is God.' To know that He loves me, knows me, and has comfort, inspiration, and revelation for me.

    I LOVE to see people I know there — it's especially serendipitous when it is a chance meeting. I just feels like what heaven must be like.

    I go solo, with a friend, or now that we finally have them, on ward temple nights.

    I made a goal back in January this year to go to the temple once a month, and I then followed that goal by writing on my calendar, each month, what night I was going to go. There have been months when I've switched the day I go, either because of conflicts or because I wanted to go with the ward, but it makes it so much easier if it's already on the calendar.

  11. How can I even begin to convey what the temple means to me? How every time I pull into the parking lot I get a little thrill (as I inevitably sprint to try and make the session on time), how every time I catch a glance of the temple I am filled with a sense of awe and reverence at the quiet magnificence of that building? How I get emotional when I talk about how much I love the temple?

    I'll try.

    I love the temple because I began my family there. I love it because as long as I can attend the temple in good faith, it means that I am doing my part to ensure that my family is a forever one. I love it because I don't understand it all, and there is something wonderful about the promise that there is always something new to learn. I love that when I am in the temple it feels familiar to me, like I am home.

    I love the temple because of how I feel inside.

    And I love you. Can I go with you next time?

  12. I love the temple for so many reasons.

    I love the peace.

    I love the suspension of time.

    I love the miracles that sometimes have happened there.

    I love being ministered to by angels in the form of temple workers busily serving and helping. And wondering what other angels are there, watching and waiting.

    I love that I can learn something pretty much every time I go.

    I love the promises associated with temple service and covenants.

    I love teaching my children to love the temple.

    I love even being on the temple grounds.

  13. Oh, Brooke! Beautiful!! I'm sorry once again for another miscarriage. You sweet thing.

    I love the temple so much, there aren't words. I go every week. I go because I feel so compelled by the spirit of Elijah to do the work. I love it, love it, love it. My life has been blessed beyond measure since I started weekly temple worship. I agree, I wish I could explain it to those who take it lightly, but until they are touched by that spirit that pushes you each week, they won't. I am doing family history as well and I feel such an urgency to find these people. Once you start taking family names, temple worship changes dramatically. It goes to a deeper level.

    We have been sick in this house and I missed Tuesday. I am hoping everyone is better by tomorrow, because on the weeks I miss, I notice a PROFOUND difference in my life. The temple is such a huge part of my worship that I can't bear the idea of missing it. Too many people waiting for their saving ordinances for me to find reasons not to go. Of course, you can't go with sick kids in your house & a hubby out of town… 😉


  14. My garments feel like a warm, protective covering…and I miss them on those few occasions where wearing them is not appropriate.

    As for the temple, I receive the greatest personal revelation there, the "pure intelligence" kind, where it's almost like a conduit is opened to heaven.

    Considering how much I always gain from temple attendance, it makes no sense that I don't go more often. Sometimes, I let the world get in the way.

    I need to do better.

  15. i hope someday i'll feel like you guys do about it. so far it just hasn't been anything like this for me. but i'm trying to figure out what i'm not doing or doing wrong so that it's not a bummer experience. part of that might just mean to quit hoping it's a good experience (!?). for the last few years whenever i've gone, it just makes me sad that my family isn't unified on the religion front, and i can hardly bear the ache when i'm there.

    so i still love the temple in theory…just like i have since i was a small child. but i'm still waiting for the break-through to happen so that it becomes a place i love being, and feel love in.

    i'm grateful to all those who shared their love of it…and figure i'm still just "seeing through a glass darkly" at this point. but someday hopefully, the temple will become clear to me. like the other areas of the gospel that i've hung on to that have become delicious to me. it is the testimony of others that has kept me hanging on. thank you! ♥


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