By Hollie Wells
“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.” - Russell M. Nelson
A few weeks ago, I attended a surprisingly stirring Relief Society lesson. This sister cultivated an amazing spirit-filled environment for learning in just a few short minutes. She taught about being intentional in our gospel worship. This isn’t a new concept, I had certainly been in lessons on this topic before, but perhaps it came as a wake-up call to me in the phase of life I am in. I am about 20 weeks through my first pregnancy right now, and those changes in my body and energy affected my day-to-day living so much. I was very nauseous and weak and couldn’t keep pace with my usual life. I still read my scriptures, but it was more routine and less fulfilling than usual. I found it very difficult to make it to the temple: so I stopped making appointments. This lesson stirred me to get back on track and to be more intentional in my worship.
Making temple appointments online is one of my favorite new ways to be intentional about my temple attendance. I can make an appointment a month or so in advance and can have it on my calendar to look forward to. Before I could make an actual appointment, it was up to me to pick a day and go, but it was much easier to shrug it off or justify not going.
I remember when President Nelson urged us to “make an appointment regularly with the Lord” with our temple attendance. This invitation was given at a 2018 General Conference, so long before the church shut down the temples, gradually reopened them, and then kept the appointment system that we have today. Each time I go online to make my appointments, I think of this charge. I love being able to set aside time for temple attendance in this way.
I think of it in the same way I do tithing.
If you pay your tithing first, it is much easier to keep that commitment first rather than spend that paycheck on other things and come to the end of your pay period and realize you don’t have enough for tithing anymore. It becomes an ultimatum, and it doesn’t have to be.
When I preemptively invest my time by making a temple appointment, it is infinitely easier to plan on it and to go than it is to wiggle some time somewhere into my already busy weeks. Again, it can be an ultimatum, or it can be an intentional plan.
It may just seem like clicking a few buttons online, but it really is a sacred appointment you are making. In a busy world and busy lives, it is so important to make time for holy things with intention. Scripture study, prayer, temple attendance, and church attendance, all require careful planning and disciplined and determined following through.