In the April General Conference earlier this year Elder Richard G. Scott spoke about the temple. He said:
I have seen that many times individuals have made great sacrifices to go to a distant temple. But when a temple is built close by, within a short time, many do not visit it regularly. I have a suggestion: When a temple is conveniently nearby, small things may interrupt your plans to go to the temple. Set specific goals, considering your circumstances, of when you can and will participate in temple ordinances. Then do not allow anything to interfere with that plan. This pattern will guarantee that those who live in the shadow of a temple will be as blessed as are those who plan far ahead and make a long trip to the temple. ((Elder Scott, “Temple Worship: The Source of Strength and Power in Times of Need,” April 2009 General Conference.))
As Elder Scott suggested, one way to succeed in attending the temple regularly is to identity those things that interfere, and either eliminate them, work around them, or correct them.
So, we come to the poll below (only visible on the website). This poll is completely anonymous. Feel free to explain your choices, or “other” selection, in the comments, and how you plan to overcome your interferences.
Believe it or not, my calling gets in the way a lot. I was able to schedule the temple more often prior to becoming Relief Society President. I’m still working full-time, so juggling home, family, work, and Relief Society responsibilities is more difficult than I sometimes want to admit. I go to the temple as often as I can, however, because I’m much BETTER at all of my responsibilities when I can get there. (And my attitude is better.)
This doesn’t look like it is going to comment on the voting, which is what I am trying to do.
The Provo Temple is so busy in the evenings and Saturdays–the only time I can go–that I know I will be there for close to four hours per visit. After working all day, sometimes that is hard to contemplate.
When I do go, once I get past the chapel wait, my experience improves, because I am taking my precious family names.
With daytime sessions nearly empty, I’ve heard we won’t get another temple in Utah County, because the temple is not being fully utilized. Catch 22!
I just wish we could go more easily – those of you in Utah, please appreciate it! Our nearest temple is over 2.5 hours away, so on the odd occasion we can get a babysitter to look after all 4 (small) kids (once a year if we are lucky) it takes all day to do just one session or similar. We miss going so much, before children we were temple workers and went once a month for 3 years or so. If we had a temple within a half hour drive at least we could take it in turns to go in an evening. You Utahns are luckier than you know with so many beautiful temples so close!
I have trouble arranging transportation, since my husband gets worried about me taking the car in the mornings (he works swing shift), and he’s not willing to come with me on Saturdays because he finds the ordinance rooms uncomfortably full (he’s very uncomfortable in crowded rooms).
In the past, transportation was the biggest issue. We didn’t have a vehicle, and then when we did, we couldn’t afford gas. I am in a better financial position now, so that isn’t so much of a problem now. Even if it is, I try to schedule time during the monthly ward temple day. This allows me to carpool with others. The downside is they leave right when I get home from work, so I have to leave work early or race over there once I get home. Having it in my calendar every month helps me to plan for it.
I accidently forgot to mark in that it’s difficult to find a babysitter. The other problem is that the nearest temple is 3 hours away, and I’m breastfeeding. It’s difficult to find a sitter in a city that far away, but I can’t leave my baby with someone at home all day. It’s a bad situation, because I plan to breastfeed all my children for at least a year–that’s like every other year for a year it will be extremely difficult to get to the temple. We end up going to the temple when we visit my parents in San Diego.
Thanks everyone for taking the poll and sharing your thoughts. I will add another mark to the “difficult to find a babysitter” option for you, Brouge.
I’d like to add there is another reason why it’s difficult to attend. Like quite of few LDS that have been asked, most work near the temple. Because the Temple has strict dress requirements and many jobs make us too dirty to attend. There are no showers thus members have to drive back home up to 50 miles and shower and change to appropriate dress then drive 50 miles back i.e. Kona, Hawaii to Kamuela, Hawaii. This is quite difficult on gas and time. Many of us could go more often if we had appropriate facilities. Then with service projects and callings on our days off it becomes difficult to attend also.
I am 75 years old and go to the Oklahoma City Temple EVERY Tuesday morning. I drive 75 miles, one way, by myself, and attend two endowment sessions and do sealings between the two endowment sessions. If you really WANT to go to the Temple, you will. You make the time for the things you really want to do. Heavenly Father will help you have the needed transporation, money for the amount of gas it takes, and many other blessings if you will just make to effort to GO, at a set time and stick to it. Everyone knows NOT to call me on Tuesdays, members and non-members alike, because they know I leave for the City about 7am and arrive back home around 2:30 – 3pm in the afternoon. And it’s a wonderful day and experience. The more often you attend, the more you learn and understand.
Need a check box for “other family members’ callings get in the way.”
Look, there’s a reason that they changed the policies to disallow moms of children under 18 to serve as temple workers. There’s homework to supervise and lessons/activity days/scouts/mutual to support, and children to supervise that they get to bed early enough to get to seminary in the morning. They may be largely independent, but they want your presence. Add in two full-time jobs and it just doesn’t work so well except once a month or more realistically once a quarter.
That’s the problem… how often is often enough? It feels like nagging every time it’s brought up.
I’ve lived both in Utah and in the mission field. (Believe me, those of you who live within minutes of a Temple, if you ever live eight hours from a Temple, you will no longer take one for granted — and I did take the Temple for granted when we lived ten minutes from one!) Later, after living eight hours from a Temple and still going to the Temple once a month — even living that far away from one — we finally got a Temple within 35 miles of our home, I then went to the Temple twice a week — as many members of our ward did — including mothers of school children. (My husband joined me there in the evenings at least twice a month.) Then we moved to an area where we were two and a half hours away from a Temple. At that time, my husband and I were called to be ordinance workers for two years. We drove two and a half hours each way, twice a month and did two back to back shifts. We left before eight a.m. in the morning on Saturday and didn’t get back home until after midnight. (There were several other couples we knew in our Temple district who had a similar — or worse — schedule and still served as we did.) My husband worked at least a 50 hour work week and had to be to PEC before 7:00 a.m. every Sunday morning after we got home from the Temple after midnight. We then moved to an area where we were five hours from a Temple and still volunteered to be ordinance workers. As the 75 year-old who commented above said, you will make time to do what you want to do!
Interesting comments. I believe Satan will do all he can to not only prevent us from attending the Temple, as we should, but also doing anything productive and worth while; he strives to fill our lives with things that seem important, things that shout at us for attention and end up taking most of our precious time, things that seem to feed our selfish natures, when the promptings of the Spirit consistently and quietly strive to reach out to us. We need to train ourselves to listen more to the promptings of the Spirit and shut out the things of the world; shut out the “shoutings” of Satan. Then the things of God will become more precious to us, we will naturally begin to perform the works that we should be doing; those things that our Father would have us do, His will, not ours. In the process we become sanctified, but we must take steps to turn to Him and turn from the world and its teachings and influence. Just a few thoughts….
My husband and I had made a commitment to go to the temple every single Thursday morning now that our youngest child is in first grade. My husband is self employed so this works for us. However, we soon found that as soon as we made that commitment, all the powers of the adversary seemed to be rising up against us. You name it, come Thursday morning we would inevitably have a flat tire or a sick child or some other type of emergency. What we have found is that we have to just go anyway- unless we or one of our kids are sick. This is really the law of consecration in action for us, because we have had to learn to just get up and bull forward in order to get to the temple- leave the dishes in the sink, the bed unmade and all the other seemingly “needful” things on the back burner until we get home. Often, we get to the temple only to find that it is so full and busy, we have to sit and wait for an hour or more. This is another sacrifice because we know that we may not get back home in time to accomplish anything we thought was needful that day. But we go anyway. We sacrifice a day for it, and somehow it always seems to be made up to us. Our weekends are happier and more productive, our marriage is stronger and our family is blessed in ways we never imagined. It has changed our lives.
I remember once not long ago, after a particularly hairy morning trying to get out the door to the temple, we sat in the temple parking lot for an hour- my husband comforting me while I cried and cried about why it always seemed so hard to get there. I felt so defeated because by the time we had arrived at the temple that day I was so flustered and upset, I didn’t feel I had the spirit anymore and didn’t want to go inside, feeling unworthy to be there. But my husband sat there in the car with me patiently and reminded me that we had all the time we needed that day. The kids were in school, the house wasn’t burning down. Nothing was so important that we needed to get back to. I realized then that most of my frustration about getting to the temple was because I had always been in a hurry to get there, get it done, and get home. Once we realized that we really had to just ignore everything temporal, slow down and dedicate the whole day to focusing solely on the temple, all the hard things about going seemed to vanish and the windows of Heaven have been thrown open wide to bless us for our efforts.
Stephanie, you are an inspiration! Well done for your consecration, that is such a good lesson you relate in putting the important things first! Thank you for sharing.
Checked “other”: traffic. Even though we’re only about 25 miles from the DC temple, on a good day that’s an hour one-way in traffic, and closer to two on a bad day. So 2-4 hours transit time, 3-4 hours temple time, plus 1 hour getting something to eat–that’s a full day right there. Just not possible to do on a weekeday.
That could have fallen under “transportation problems.” Thanks for taking the poll!
I live in KwaZulu Natal, here in South Africa. Our temple is in Johannesburg, a 6 hour drive away. We, as a ward, go to the temple once a year, and we look forward all year to that trip. There are not that many active members in our ward, yet almost every active member is on that bus when we leave to go. We have just come back from a very productive (as far as names carried and ordinances done) and spiritual trip, and are already looking forward to the next one. we are also looking forward to having a temple closer to us in the next few years. I must admit that when we have been to the temple sometimes, that I have noticed very low numbers of local people. What the problem is, I do not know.
If doesn’t get on my calendar, I don’t go. I have to put it into the schedule months ahead. I work 3 days a week, so I try to go every other Friday AM after I take the kids to school. But the month it isn’t penciled in, it gets filled with other stuff. There is a temple in our city, so it isn’t like I’m driving for hours to get there.
I do think there are times in our lives when we are better able to go–like Pat, for example. My guess is when I’m not busy raising little kids, volunteering in classrooms weekly, etc, my time will be more discretionary to go more. My parents serve weekly in the temple–something they weren’t able to do when I was little b/c the temple was an overnight’s stay away.
I imagine it is harder when you have two schedules to work in. My husband isn’t a member so I’m just going on my own time, not needing to go when he can go, etc. Sometimes I go with women from my ward, but really, I prefer to just go by myself. I pay better attention.
As an excommunicated and divorced member, I do not have a temple recommend nor some body to go with. My testimony of temples is, however, undimmed. My father in law would ask young couples in the sealing room, if they would go to the temple as often as he did. Undaunted, many would commit, finally realizing that he was not asking them to spend their days in the temple as he did, but to go at every opportunity. Many retired couples, gather in their last days to live closeby the temple, so they can be regular attenders and workers. There is a time, for sure, but where is your heart?
You may not have a special experieince every time you go there, but you will have special experiences there. So you get to choose whether you have such experiences often or by the decade. If it takes 3 hours driving to get to the temple, then you slice your investment by doing two sessions instead of just one. If you want to do other work, they most often can accomodate. Temples brought my grandmother from her Swiss Alps and temples will bring her grandson back to it’s granite walls.
I think one important thing to remember is to not judge others. Everybody’s life is different, and really it comes down to individual circumstances. It’s like the widow and the mite. She gave what she could, as small as it was and in the Lord’s eyes, it was more than the rich that gave hundreds more than her. We have to look inside ourselves to know what we can do and where we can improve. It’s the spirit of the law. It’s not like Heavenly Father is going to say when we get to heaven, “Did you attend the temple at least X amount of times?” People with many small children will probably find it harder to attend as often as a retired couple with less dependents relying on them for daily needs. I believe that is why the apostles preach to just improve ourselves and make a better effort, not specific requirements. Anyway, just some thoughts!
Nursing babies is the hardest for me. I have had 9 children in 16 years so the temple has been hard to get to at times. I now take one of my older children with me and they stay in the foyer with the baby while I go through a session.
Well for me, I have a busy week. I work a 9 to 5 volunteer job for the Red Cross as a AmeriCorps VISTA worker. I know I am doing good work their and my first time at the Temple, as I went about three ago. I actually took a day off from work. Now it’s not that I don’t want to go, I do. But it’s just finding the time to go. I get home from work and the first thing I end up doing is falling asleep. My only free days are Saturdays and Sundays and it’s hard to find any time to do it. Although I know the Temple is calling me back as I had a really profound dream this morning about going.
I have enjoyed reading the comments today, even though most are a few months old. I teach Gospel Doctrine and this week’s lesson is on coming to the House of the Lord.
I was inactive after high school for a few years and when I started to go back to Church, I felt as though I would never be worthy enough to go to the Temple again. I had gone as a youth and also had been sealed to my parents when I was a young child. For quite a few years, I felt like my situation was hopeless, and then through the diligence and patience of a wonderful Branch Pres., I was able to overcome challenges. Don’t let me forget, also a Priesthood blessing.
I love the temple and go as often as I can. I live 5 hours from the DC temple, which can be a real challenge to attend on account of the surrounding traffic. It is one of the most beautiful temples, however. (I’m biased :-))
The Raleigh temple in NC is less than 3 hours from me and so me and some of the other RS sisters go more frequently there. We definitely have to prepare to go because we have to make appointments to attend there, we cannot just show up like at some of the larger temples, and if we wait too long to prepare, the sessions are full.
I think the Lord understands especially the mothers of young children. That, to me, has to be the hardest time to find to go to the temple. But stay worthy, keep an active temple recommend, and one day, those children will be older and you will be able to manage your time a little better. Still not easy, but more doable.
I am so thankful for all the temples we have and still hope for one closer to where I live, but in order to have one built, I need to keep going and encourage others to do so. Good luck to everyone!
I loved reading all of these comments. My husband and I are a little bit older now and I feel our difficulties of getting to the temple over the years have changed. I remember going through each of these stages from babies to work and busy schedules. My husband is self employed and works a tremendous amount of hours per week. We go to the temple on the spur of the moment. One of the best things I have done is to have a designated “temple dress” that I wear to the temple. I don’t have to think of what to wear and it is a “no iron” dress that is easy to slip on in a hurry. A somewhat different temple service that I do that has brought numerous blessings is “indexing” from my home computer on the “familysearch” website. I feel I am helping to do temple work by providing the names for church members to find their ancestors names, so they can take their family names to the temple.