By Kerry Smith
Not having the temples readily available this past year has helped us understand the true blessing it is to have them in our lives. We miss the days of just being able to pop in whenever, if you happen to live close by. Even if that’s not the case, and you have to drive a distance, it’s been a greater effort to attend the temple since the pandemic started.
Still, it’s possible to attend the temple. Let us show you some tips to schedule your visits and attend safely:
- Visit churchofjesuschrist.org to schedule an appointment.
- Be flexible. If a particular temple is busy, try another one near you. If that’s not possible, select in advance a time you can go. It may not be your usual time, but you should be able to find something. If not, check the night before you want to attend. Patrons often cancel their reserved spots last minute and you can select those.
- Go solo. If it’s an option, single appointments, rather than couple appointments, are more available.
- Cancel if you can’t attend. If you are unable to keep your appointment, please be courteous and go online to cancel it, giving others the option to attend in your place.
It’s also worth noting, if you have an appointment for a certain ordinance at a temple, you are unable to set another appointment for the same ordinance at that temple until the first is completed. Then is a good time to check at another temple.
- Use caution. Please don’t attend the temple when you’re sick, even if it’s not covid. Hand sanitizers are placed throughout the temple for your use. Lather up in the bathrooms too.
- Wear a mask properly. Disposable surgical masks are designed to wear the colored side out, with the white, soft inside close to the mouth. Because patrons want to wear all white, many wear the disposable masks improperly, lessening their protection.
If you have a white cloth mask, consider doubling it or wear an N95 mask, which is the best face-mask protection, especially for 65 and older patrons. The temple does not specify that masks be white. Do your best and stay protected.
If you happen to attend the temple and discover that someone isn’t wearing a mask or is wearing it improperly, you can social distance a few seats (one seat isn’t the recommended 6 ft). Be sure to talk with a temple worker if you have questions or need help finding adequate seating.
- Arrive on time. Early arrivals should note that the temple can’t accommodate crowds as it’s not safe to do so at this time. Some individuals arrive as much as 30 minutes early, hoping to do other ordinances. Though it’s well intended, such accommodations aren’t available during the pandemic.
Enjoy the Spirit of the Temple at Home
For those who have lost a spouse or loved one, temple attendance is often key to the healing process. A friend of mine lost her husband and faithfully attended each week for years. She needed that spiritual boost! Then came the pandemic.
She soon realized she could reflect upon temple blessings and promises at home. While resting on their favorite patio swing one day, she felt her husband’s presence and knew this could be her special spot, her temple at home. Phrases from the temple came to her mind, and she has enjoyed reflecting upon them many times as she sits and swings.
There can be a sacred relationship between our homes and the temples. “Only the home,” as mentioned in the Bible Dictionary, “can compare with the temple in sacredness.”
May you be blessed as you schedule to attend the temple as best you can this year. We pray the pandemic won’t last forever but are so grateful the covenants we make in the temple do—for all eternity.
Kerry Griffin Smith is a visually impaired author who enjoys uplifting those around her. She is a former writer and editor for Church Magazines. You can find her sharing impactful and clean books at mrsladywordsmith.com, as well as Facebook and Instagram.