There are two temples approximately 15 miles from my house in either direction. Two more will be built even closer than that in the near future. I have been privileged to have quick access to the temple my entire life. But these last few months have given me a taste of what it’s like for many around the world who can’t easily drive a few minutes to the temple. I’ve also reflected on my pioneer ancestors, many of whom had received the blessings of the temple, but were forced to leave their sacred sanctuary.
I’m grateful now to see some temples returning to one phase or another. So whether you are waiting for your local temple to re-open, or waiting for one to be built nearby, we can all access the blessings of the temple without access to the temple.
Seek personal revelation.
One of the greatest blessings of the temple is that it’s a place of revelation. But it’s not the only place we can receive revelation. Harold Glen Clark said, “The standard works and...modern-day prophets are revelations. In the temple, as in our private prayers, we may also receive revelation directly from God.”
We must keep that direct line of communication with God open at all times, especially when we don’t have access to the temple. The heavens are open and He is always there ready to pour out more knowledge and blessings to His children.
FamilySearch.org defines indexing as a “volunteer transcription effort that makes valuable genealogical records freely searchable online.” When you index you help connect families by typing up historical documents so they can be published.
Once these records are published and searchable, it becomes much easier to find names to take to the temple. You don’t need access to the temple to help connect families on both sides of the veil.
Read and record your ancestor’s stories.
When I was 11 years old, my grandfather died at age 88. The only memories I have of him is of him quietly sitting in a chair while we would visit and play in his yard. Recently, I was chatting with my cousin who is 25 years older than me. She shared so many stories about my grandpa I had never heard. My love grew for him so much that day, especially because the stories reminded me of my dad.
You can access the blessings of the temple by reading and sharing the stories of your ancestors. If you can’t find any, discover more about your ancestors by talking to other relatives. And be sure to record them!
Tell your story.
When we think of doing family history, it’s not uncommon to think about researching your ancestors and recording the past. But it’s much more than that. Allan Packer said that “Family history also includes the present as we create history by living our lives. We shape the future just as our ancestors have shaped our lives. We shape the future for our descendants by the lives we live and stories and pictures we share.”
Tell a short family story of your own, invite your parents, siblings, and other family members to share their family stories, and record them digitally.
Create a Christ-centered home.
A few weeks ago, I published an article detailing different ways we can all create a more Christ-centered home. From creating a spiritual environment to providing uplifting physical surroundings, we can all do our part to make our homes a holy place.
Without access to the temple, we can each take extra measures to increase our spiritual capacity and create Christ-centered homes. Let us make them places where we would be comfortable to have the Savior come.
Becky Squire is a writer and speaker. She has been published in several media outlets including the Ensign, LDS Living, and the Today Show. She's also the founding editor of Latter-Day Woman Magazine. Follow Becky Squire on Instagram