By Hollie Ogden
“The adversary never stops attacking. So, we can never stop preparing!” -Russell M. Nelson
Traditionally speaking, it’s a Sunday school class for members who are nearly ready to go through the temple to receive their own endowment. They learn a little bit about the ordinances and symbols inside the temple, some history and context, about personal worthiness, and the Lord’s expectations. Before members go for the first time, there is a towering emphasis on preparation.
Being prepared for your own endowment is paramount, but should the act of preparing for the temple be reserved only for those who are entering the temple for the first time?
In only a few weeks, my sister and brother-in-law will be getting sealed. I am blessed with the opportunity to go inside the temple to join them. I was a missionary with limited access to any temples when the world was changed by the COVID-19 pandemic. All temples were temporarily closed and attendance continues to be heavily limited. So, this will be my first opportunity to enter the temple in nearly 18 months.
Consequently, my mind has been racing and my heart pounding about the temple! I’ve wondered and prayed over how I can prepare to go there because I want my experience to be highly enriching and spiritual. I want it to sustain me, as the next time I go to the temple is in the unforeseen future.
As I’ve been praying over it, the Spirit has posed me with this stirring thought- why only now have I given so much effort and thought into preparing to enter the temple?
Prior to my missionary service, I found myself in the temple sometimes as frequently as twice a week. It was part of my routine and became habitual. It was still sacred and spiritual time to me, but I took no thought beforehand.
This thought from the Spirit has chastened me. I’ve found myself committed to prepare for the temple intentionally and effectively, this time and onward.
So, when should I prepare for the temple?
The answer is something along the lines of “all times, in all things, and in all places.”
We are encouraged to prepare for the sacrament each week, I believe the temple should be no different. In a recent sacrament meeting, a speaker challenged us to begin preparing for the next Sunday’s sacrament as soon as we had taken it that day. It is something that should always be on our mind and heart. I think it should be no different with temple preparation. We should be constantly thinking about our covenants- baptismal and temple- and of our loving Savior who makes it possible to live them. The temple is all about Him, so when the Lord says “Look unto me in every thought,” temple worship is part of that.
Watch for next month’s article for ideas on how to prepare for the temple!