Working in the Temple and Serving in the Church


By Lauren Madsen

“I like to think of each of us as part of a compound gear as we serve together in the Church—in wards and branches, in quorums and auxiliaries. Just as gears combine to provide greater power in compound, we have greater power when we join together. As we unite to serve one another, we accomplish much more together than we could on our own. It is thrilling to be engaged and unified as we serve and assist in the Lord’s work.” --Elder Carl B. Cook

I remember the long walk down the hall in the temple basement. As I approached the locker room, I was more than a little curious about where I would be serving on my first day as an ordinance worker. I had been added to the list of workers later than most of the others, and hadn’t attended orientation meetings to learn procedures before the temple officially opened. My shift coordinator greeted me with a smile, and handed me a small paper with my assignments for the day. Everything was in abbreviations, and I didn’t know what any of them meant. What was “OFF”? Did that mean I had a break for my very first half hour? What did “BRD” mean? Of course, my coordinator was happy to answer my questions, but I still felt some anxiety at how much I needed to learn. My first hour I would serve in the office, my second hour I would serve at the baptism recommend desk. With no real idea about what I would do in either place, I sat and listened through our shift’s training meeting and then set out for the office.


For the next two or three weeks, my assignments remained the same. My fellow workers were patient with me as I continued to learn, and I grew to love them and those specific areas of the temple. Before I knew it, a new month began and I went from being comfortable and content with the familiarity of my assignments to a bit hesitant and uncertain again. Deep down I knew it would all be okay, but part of me wished I could just stay where I had been. Change is hard, but also a great teacher.

Some months I have served at the veil or in the initiatory, and over time I’ve felt joy and satisfaction in helping patrons through an ordinance. Other months I have worked in the laundry folding towels and in housekeeping sanitizing high-touch surfaces, where I have also felt joy. I learn my job and try to do it well. There is a consistent pattern, beginning with newness, growing through experience, leading to confidence. And then starting all over again. It is something I have experienced in ward and stake callings as well. 

Whether my service occurs right inside the front doors at the main recommend desk, or in the restroom wiping counters and sinks, I serve not to be seen by others, but because I love the Lord and want to do my part to build His kingdom on earth. No matter what my current assignment or calling might be, I can serve with love for God and His children, and I can feel His love reaching me at the same time. Each assignment in the temple is necessary in order to further the work of salvation, just as ward and stake callings are. We need everyone, from the nursery leader to the building specialist to the bishop and stake president.  

No matter where we serve, in the temple or in our congregations, we can say (or sing!) with great gratitude and conviction: “Onward, ever onward, as we glory in his name”.


  • Debra Lizbeth Pagan Conde

    Me gustaría trabajar como Obrera en el Templo por lo menos 2 veces en semana..

  • Jace

    I loved this article. I am hoping to work in the temple some day after my last kiddo is out of the house and my current calling as a branch president ends. I love serving in the temple as a patron currently and look forward to being a temple worker some day!

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