By Anne Maxson
My kids often tell me about their adventures playing Capture the Flag during recess. When I arrive at the school early, I sometimes catch a glimpse of them playing. I see the kids sprinting to the opposing team's side, zig-zagging through the other players, trying to make some headway to their goal. Oftentimes, as soon as they return to the safety of their side, they put their hands on their knees, taking big, deep breaths as they recuperate and catch their breath. Some kids even just collapse the moment they cross the boundary back into the safety zone.
For me, I find a parallel to the temple. In the temple, I am able to find comfort and recuperation. It is a place where I can feel safe enough to slow down after zig-zagging through the tasks and obstacles of the day. I can take some deep breaths and recuperate from the pace of life. Often as I start down the steps when leaving the temple, I take a deep breath and just focus on the strength and peace I felt during my time there.
When I set goals regarding my personal temple attendance, sometimes I think, “Wouldn’t it be nice to be there all the time?” However, despite the comfort that we find in the temple, it is in our time outside the temple that we have the opportunity to demonstrate and live the covenants that we have made there. Similarly, in Capture the Flag, you can’t win unless you venture across the line of safety.
Thankfully, we are promised that we can keep the blessings of the temple with us even when we aren’t physically inside the temple. This became even more important during temple closures during the pandemic. At the October 2021 General Conference, President Nelson shared the following:
“As you are true to your covenants made in the temple, you will be strengthened by His power. Then, when spiritual earthquakes occur, you will be able to stand strong because your spiritual foundation is solid and immovable.
“And to each of you who has made temple covenants, I plead with you to seek—prayerfully and consistently—to understand temple covenants and ordinances. Spiritual doors will open. You will learn how to part the veil between heaven and earth, how to ask for God’s angels to attend you, and how better to receive direction from heaven. Your diligent efforts to do so will reinforce and strengthen your spiritual foundation.”
In Capture the Flag, wouldn’t it be nice to have additional safe zones while heading into enemy territory? In our battles in life, we can carry the spirit with us as we leave the temple and we can strive to make other places within our sphere of influence “holy places” that also allow us to have the ability to recuperate a bit from the rigors of everyday life. What can you do to increase the holy places in your life? How can you reflect more upon the power and peace that comes from attending the temple?