By Alexis Tanner Lane
When the Nauvoo temple was being built, everyone was encouraged to help. The men built the temple while the women provided clothing, bedding, and supplies for the workers and their families. In fact, a women's organization was formed to help support this effort which is what sparked the beginning of the Relief Society.
When the saints reached the Salt Lake Valley, they were anxious to build another temple and continued to sacrifice their time and skills to chisel out the granite, haul it to the temple site, construct the temple, and decorate the inside with draperies, tapestries, and furnishings. There are many stories of different individuals who helped in one way or another build the magnificent Salt Lake Temple that took 40 years of incredible dedication and hard work from the early saints.
Today things are a bit different. We no longer build the temples ourselves, but hire people in the construction profession to build the temples. So how can we help support our local temples and make sacrifices for the House of the Lord?
Did you know that you can donate money towards the construction of temples? On your digital tithing slip, you can click on the “Other” drop down menu and you’ll find a Temple Construction option. If you have a physical slip, you can write in Temple Construction in the “Other” section. There are currently 168 dedicated temples with 35 under construction and 28 have been announced. We can help these temples be built with our donations whether they’re near us or across the world.
Invite Others to Open Houses
As more temples are completed, if you live near one of these temples, make sure to invite your neighbors, friends, and coworkers to the open house. This will help the community get a better idea of what we do in our beautiful temples and why they are so important to members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Volunteer on Temple Grounds
Many temples are in need of volunteers to help with the flowers and gardening on the temple grounds. Ask your Relief Society President or Elder’s Quorum President if there are any opportunities to serve at the temple nearest you. Once the temples are fully open again, they also need help cleaning inside the temple after hours. I’ve heard this is quite a wonderful experience.
Do Temple Work
With our busy lives, sometimes it can be hard to get to the temple, but as we sacrifice our time to do the work for our ancestors and others from all over the world, we will be blessed. Once the temples are open fully again, make time for temple attendance. President Ezra Taft Benson said, "I promise you that, with increased attendance in the temples of our God, you shall receive increased personal revelation to bless your life as you bless those who have died."
As we wait for the temples to open completely, try to do family history work and prepare names to take to the temple. Or you can do indexing so that others can find their ancestors too. I hope we can each find ways to support our local temples as we remember what President Thomas S. Monson said, "My brothers and sisters, temples are more than stone and mortar. They are filled with faith and fasting. They are built of trials and testimonies. They are sanctified by sacrifice and service."
Alexis Tanner is a mother of five, podcaster, and writer. She loves reading, family history work, taking her kids on adventures, and podcasting with her husband at the Parenting In Real Life Podcast. You can find Alexis on Instagram @alexistannerlane.