One More Lesson From COVID 19

At the beginning of this year I set a goal to attend the temple once a week. My temple attendance has always been spotty. When my kids were young it seemed I was always pregnant or nursing, and so it was difficult to go, and of course I was taking care of little kids. I also struggled with migraines and on my good days I had so much catching up to do that temple attendance was at the bottom of my list. I felt guilty about not going very often but I really was in survival mode in those days.

This year seemed to be the year for me to actively access the blessings of temple attendance. I wanted to attend once a week recognizing that some weeks it just wasn’t going to happen. Some weeks I would still be struggling with migraines, or traveling, or watching grandkids. But I knew that most weeks I could do this.

Even though I set this goal, some weeks I would forget about it, which is really a poor excuse for not going. I would realize, as I looked back over my week, I could have easily gone and decided I needed be more proactive about it. For me that meant scheduling it in my calendar at the beginning of the week. That solved the problem for me and it actually helped me be more organized about other things too.

By the end of January I was doing really well and getting to the temple most weeks. Since I do a lot of family history, I have a lot of family name cards to take with me to do the proxy work. One of the things I really like about the temple is that it displays God’s love for all of His children. When I go to the temple I am able to represent someone who is dead, who was unable in this life to learn about the gospel of Jesus Christ. That way the person I am representing has a chance to receive the necessary ordinance work. This tells me that God loves all of His children and gives everyone a chance to access the blessings of the temple.

One of the reasons I wanted to start going to the temple more is because President Russell M. Nelson promised us that we would receive additional strength and blessings by serving in the temple. He also said in October 2018, “Our need to be in the temple on a regular basis has never been greater. I plead with you to take a prayerful look at how you spend your time. Invest time in your future and in that of your family. If you have reasonable access to a temple, I urge you to find a way to make an appointment regularly with the Lord—to be in His holy house—then keep that appointment with exactness and joy. I promise you that the Lord will bring the miracles He knows you need as you make sacrifices to serve and worship in His temples.” Since I deeply feel the need for some miracles in my life, I wanted to do as President Nelson asked.

It’s interesting to me that he used the word “plead” in the above quote. One time I went through one of his talks and marked how many times he said plead, urge, exhort, encourage and invite. His word choices amazed me and I took more seriously what he was saying. I feel his sincerity and also his urgency to help us become better disciples of Jesus Christ. One of the ways to become a better disciple of Christ for me was to attend the temple once a week.

After two months of regular temple attendance I noticed something one day. I felt stronger spiritually. I felt like I was better able to resist temptations and better deal with some of my personal weaknesses. I just felt stronger. It wasn’t after any particular temple trip that I noticed this, and I didn’t have any great revelatory experiences, but I just felt stronger. It was like God was giving me a glimpse of the power of the temple, and I definitely felt like I was receiving the promised strength from temple attendance.

Someone recently asked me what I thought about the COVID-19 pandemic. I didn’t really have an answer for her because it seems my life hasn’t changed that much. I still do a lot of family history, I continue to play games with my daughter and help her with homework, I do housework and meals. I have a scripture project that I’m still working on. I definitely miss church and meeting with the good people of my ward, and going out to dinner or the movies. But when I really thought about it I realized what I really miss is temple attendance. I had set a goal and was actively pursuing it, and I was reaping the promised blessings. I was going even when sometimes it was difficult but I was doing it. Not only did I feel strengthened but I was achieving a goal, and that in and of itself was a good thing.

The restrictions from the virus won’t last forever. Someday we will be back to our every day lives and I will pick up my goal and again start attending the temple once a week. Life will get back to normal. This virus has presented me with the opportunity though to recognize and reflect upon the blessings I have received from my temple attendance. It has also given me the confirmation that President Nelson knows what he’s talking about. He really is a prophet of God! I hope to always remember these truths.

https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/study/general-conference/2019/10/57nelson?lang=eng

https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/study/general-conference/2018/10/becoming-exemplary-latter-day-saints?lang=eng

 

4 COMMENTS

  1. Danielle Poulter | 10th Apr 20

    I thought I would be interested to hear what you had to say on this subject, and I was right! I really loved your insights, especially about President Nelson’s use of compelling verbs and injunctions in his talks. I noticed the same thing in this Conference’s messages from him. I appreciate you pointing that out.
    I’m in the stage of life of little kids and finding it hard to get to the temple. Once when I was a young mother (I think only my first child had been born) I attended a Relief Society training and visited with a more mature woman there. She said she hadn’t attended the temple with her husband in years. It was too hard to find a time that worked for both of them, so they just attended separately. I was shocked. I ONLY attended the temple with my husband, and considered it slightly blasphemous to go separately if it could in any way be avoided. Now I live a short walk from the temple, and could go by myself in the afternoon or in the summer, since my oldest is responsible enough to be in charge of the kids for that long. President Nelson’s talk encouraged me to make an appointment and go regularly, like you have been doing. Your post here reminded me of this quote from Sunday morning’s session from: “Every minute of that time [in the temple] will bless you and your family in ways NOTHING else can.” Your experience was a confirming testimony of that truth.
    I’m like you in that my life isn’t TOO different under quarantine than it used to be. Less driving, less errands, more time with my family, so really, a quite enjoyable change. But also like you, the one thing I miss under these circumstances is being able to attend the temple. And getting together with extended family. So two things. 🙂
    Anyway, thanks for taking the time to respond to my request. I really enjoyed reading your post and have been pondering it for the last few days. I really appreciate your insights.

    • Somethingsihavelearned | 10th Apr 20

      Thank you so much for your comment. I really liked what you had to say and I read it and then reread it. I appreciate the quote you used by President Nelson. I find him to be an insightful prophet and it amazes me how frequently he speaks about temple attendance. I think it is great that you are making an effort at attending the temple even with little kids. I think I mostly gave up on even trying when my kids were all young. My mother-in-law once said to me that there are different seasons in life and the time would come when I would be able to go more frequently, and she was right! And like you I also miss my family. I have grandkids that are babies and I’m worried they will forget me but thank goodness for FaceTime! Fortunately this time of staying at home due to the virus will end and we can both resume temple attendance, Thanks again!

  2. Nicole Nebeker | 21st May 20

    Thanks for sharing!

    • Somethingsihavelearned | 21st May 20

      Thank you!

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