Observations of a Temple Open House Usher


By Lauren Madsen

When my husband and I were asked by our bishopric to be speaking ushers in our city’s temple open house this June, I was equal parts excited and terrified. I am terrible at memorizing, and our assignment was to recite a one minute narration to open house visitors in the largest sealing room. During our three hour shift we explained and testified to guests, over and over, about the sealing ordinance that binds families together forever and the love Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ have for each of them. A few thoughts have come to mind as I reflect on this sacred experience.

Whom the Lord Calls, He qualifies

In my youth memorizing texts was easy. My brain was like a sponge and it quickly soaked up whatever I wanted it to. Unfortunately as an adult things aren’t quite like that anymore. I have served in the stake young women presidency for the past three years and am still trying to get the new young women theme down (but if anyone asked me to recite the theme of my youth, I definitely could!). Over the past several weeks, I practiced the prepared words for the temple open house and prayed each and every time that the Lord would help me. I can wholeheartedly echo the words of President Thomas S. Monson, “When we are on the Lord’s errand, we are entitled to the Lord’s help. Remember that whom the Lord calls, the Lord qualifies.” Gratefully, my husband and I were able to deliver the message of forever families well over one hundred times.

The Blessings of the Temple Are for Everyone

As I watched each person enter the sealing room we served in, I observed all kinds of reactions. I could tell some individuals knew what to expect when they came in, like it wasn’t the first time they had seen a sealing room. Others looked at every part of the room with wonder and curiosity, as if they might have been thinking, “What is that in the middle of the room?” or “What are those big mirrors for?” I saw smiles and tears as families and individuals sat in the beautiful room—a room that is made beautiful not only because of the exquisite decor, but because of the eternal meaning behind it. 

During our time in that holy place, I was given the unforgettable feeling of Christlike love for each and every open house visitor. It didn’t matter what they were wearing, or what reaction their faces held. It didn’t matter their age, or situation in life. I wanted every single one of them to know about Heavenly Father’s plan for His children. It reminded me of something President Boyd K. Packer said: “The ultimate end of all activity in the Church is to see a husband and his wife and their children happy at home, protected by the principles and laws of the gospel, sealed safely in the covenants of the everlasting priesthood.” Everything we do should lead us to the temple, and everything we do should also lead us to lead others there too.

We Have Something Remarkable

In the October 2022 General Conference, President Russell M. Nelson reminded us, “Let us never lose sight of what the Lord is doing for us now. He is making His temples more accessible. He is accelerating the pace at which we are building temples. He is increasing our ability to help gather Israel.” I wonder if it’s easy for some of us who have grown up in the church to take for granted what we believe and what we know. The phrase “families can be together forever” is so much a part of our vocabulary from the time we are born that perhaps we sometimes forget what a stunning truth it really is. Our Savior Jesus Christ made it possible for us to overcome death and continue cherished relationships. What could be more beautiful than that? What good news would be more life-changing than that? Ushering at the temple open house reminded me that I have a knowledge of something that many others do not, and it is my opportunity and privilege to share it in any way I can. 


  • Jean Fly

    I REALLY ENJOYED MY SERVICE TIME IN THE WASHINGTON D C TEMPLE. IAM NOW 88 and my3rd son and his wife now have the pleasure in theRICHMONDTEMPLE

  • Claudia A

    What a beautiful message. Thank you for sharing. I am anxiously waiting for my turn to serve in the temple under construction in my stake mot far from my home. In the mean time I am a Senior Service Missionary where we provide inspiring experiences that bring joy to all people as they discover, gather and connect their families past present and future.

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