By Alexis Tanner
Don’t you just love the beginning of a new year? The week after Christmas and before New Years is one of my very favorite weeks. It’s pretty calm after the holiday rush, most activities are canceled, and it’s a time to make goals and reflect on the past year. As you review 2021, how was your temple attendance? Were you able to go as often as you would have liked? This may not have been possible with the restraints of COVID-19, but looking forward to 2022, how will you make time to go to the temple?
How often we attend the temple is determined by so many different factors. Having young children at home, living far from a temple, physical limitations, or a demanding work schedule are just a few things that can keep us from the temple. How often we go will be different for each person. When creating a goal that fits you best, Elder Richard G Scott counseled, “I encourage you to establish your own goal of how frequently you will avail yourself of the ordinances offered in our operating temples. What is there that is more important than attending and participating in the ordinances of the temple? What activity could have a greater impact and provide more joy and profound happiness for a couple than worshiping together in the temple?”
Once you set your goal for temple attendance in 2022, here are some ways to help you get there as often as you would like.
Schedule an Appointment
Our schedules are full. And if there is a little bit of time, it’s often filled with laundry, errands, or working on our to do list. It can be easy to feel like there isn’t any time to go to the temple or to want to attend, but it just doesn’t seem to happen. With the current COVID-19 restrictions, we have to schedule our temple visits anyway. So as you plan your month, schedule an appointment at the temple. If your temple gets full quickly and you have another temple nearby, you can schedule an appointment at another temple even though it’s not your district. Also, the next month of appointments opens at midnight on the last day of the month, so try to book your appointment right away.
Make it a Date Night
As you plan date nights with your spouse, make one of those nights a trip to the temple. What’s a better place to connect with your spouse than the house of the Lord? Then grab a quick treat on the way home. If you can’t afford a babysitter or can’t find one, find another couple you could swap babysitting with so you can each enjoy a temple trip.
One of the best times for my husband to go to the temple is early in the morning before work starts. Those times are often more available when scheduling an appointment as well.
Make it a Trip
If you live far from the temple, you may find that you need to take your whole family. When we lived 3 hours from the temple, we would spend a Saturday at the temple. My husband and I would take turns doing a session while the other took the kids somewhere. If it was summer we would take them to a park and get lunch. In the winter we would find indoor activities like play places at a fast food restaurant or the kids area in Ikea. We had friends that would book a hotel and make a weekend trip out of it and explore the city near the temple.
Go with a Friend
If you don’t want to go to the temple alone, book a time with a friend. This is also helpful for people who struggle to be motivated to attend the temple or for those who don’t enjoy the temple. Make it a positive experience by going with a friend.
As you create goals for the new year, I hope that you make temple attendance a part of your resolutions. If you aren’t able to attend the temple in person, President Nelson said,” Should distance, health challenges, or other constraints prohibit your temple attendance for a season, I invite you to set a regular time to rehearse in your mind the covenants you have made.” Whether attending the temple in person or rehearsing the covenants in your mind, making the temple an important part of our lives is sure to bless our 2022.