As a busy wife and mother, I often feel as if I am besieged by dozens of voices calling me to venture off in hundreds of directions. Then there is the voice on top of all the rest, the one that questions which voice is the one that should be attended to first, or even at all. It can be confusing, overwhelming and exhausting. There are times, however, when a person can feel as if she is doing the right thing at the right time and the voices go quiet; when she is taking a shower after a hard work-out (no regrets there), when she is feeding her family a delicious and nutritious meal (I should really attempt that one more often) and, for me, when I am in the temple of the Lord.
When I am in the temple, all the other voices are silenced, including the shrill one that is always questioning my choices and agonizing over the possible negative consequences. “Maybe I should have put off the grocery shopping until tomorrow and done more to help my son with his homework today,” says the voice. “It would probably be better to organize the garage this morning when it’s not too hot instead of taking a much-needed nap.” And on and on it goes. One of the greatest blessings of the temple, in my mind, is the peace and quiet that comes with knowing that I am in the right place at the right time. Always.
This does not mean that there are not sometimes negative consequences to temple attendance. There are things that might not get enough attention or do not get done when and as they should, and there is always a concern when there are people in our home who need our care on a regular basis from whom we have taken time away. Sometimes, the house you just cleaned up for the babysitter is in total chaos when you return home or an important phone call was missed or other things needing our attention are temporarily neglected. Yet, if temple attendance were not a sacrifice, the blessings we receive through our attendance would not be as great.
Everyone who attends the temple sacrifices one or more of the following: time, both that which is spent in the temple and the time spent getting to and from, money for transportation, whether by car or bus or some other means, or to pay a babysitter to be with your children, and/or energy that could be otherwise spent on things or situations that seem more urgent or pressing. However, it is because we are willing to sacrifice in order to serve in the temple of God that we are blessed. Sometimes the blessings are immediate simply through the peace I feel when I am there. Sometimes it comes through the answer to an anguished prayer. Sometimes, still, there are times when pushing aside my everyday responsibilities in order to go to the temple seems to lead directly to trouble and chaos. When that happens, I hold fast to my faith in knowing that blessings directly related to my sacrifice await me and that the burden I endure in order to attend the temple will be relieved ten-fold in some unexpected or unimagined way.
In the end, the sacrifices I make in order to attend the temple are really more of an investment, the dividends of which are worth far more than anything I can produce on my own. Like all sacrifices made in order the serve the Lord, temple service is something that pays us more than we can ever give.