How many times have you said it? "Boy, it's difficult to get to the temple."
For a variety of reasons, it seems that attending the temple is sometimes complicated by otherwise rarely-heard-of obstacles. The joy and spiritual uplift from attending the temple, of course, are always well worth the effort of getting there. But getting there isn't always easy.Perhaps that's because the adversary knows the spiritual peace within that holy place, and keeping us from receiving that peace is central to his plan to destroy us.
Satan's plan is, essentially, this: Use any force, power, method or means to turn us away from the Savior and to reinforce the natural man within us. One rather effective method to further his plan is to promote small, but annoying, frustrations - the spiritual equivalent of having a small rock in one's shoe - that can keep us spiritually off balance.
Look around. Do you see a lot of frustration and only a little contentment? Is society moving so fast that we often forget the basic things that bring us happiness and joy? Are we seeking for lasting joy from passing pleasures?
To keep our spiritual balance, we must look to the Savior, who promises us peace - but "not as the world giveth." (John 14:27.)
In latter-day revelation, He further promises that finding those "peaceable things" brings joy and eternal life. (D&C 42:61.) The Lord's holy temples, a sweet respite from an otherwise topsy-turvy world, lead us to that peace.
The inspired words of the Prophet Joseph Smith, as he dedicated the Kirtland Temple, give us great insight to the peace available by attending the temple (D&C 109:12-15):
- We can worship in a place that is sanctified and consecrated to be holy.
- We can feel the Lord's presence continually.
- We can feel the Lord's power.
- We are taught the wisdom of God through our faith.
- We can "grow up in (the Lord), and receive a fullness of the Holy Ghost."
- We can learn to be "organized according to (the Lord's) laws, and be prepared to obtain every needful thing."
Those who attend the temple express these additional blessings:
- We have a better knowledge and understanding of life's purpose.
- We perform selfless service for those unable to help themselves.
- We find respite from the commotion of the world, allowing time for pondering the Savior's teachings.
- We make covenants that further Christlike personal improvements.
- We reverently fellowship with those, who through Christlike love, share our desire to repent and improve.
Temple attendance, then, brings peace by leading us along the path toward sanctification. In the temple we better learn how to follow king Benjamin's admonition to put off the natural man by yielding to the enticings of the Holy Spirit. (Mosiah 3:19.)
As we continue to worship in the temple, and attend to other eternal opportunities, we find it easier to yield to the Holy Spirit's enticings and realize that the natural man is not only God's enemy, but our enemy, too.
As we continue to grow and progress, we can strive for the "mighty change in us, or in our hearts, that we have no more disposition to do evil, but to do good continually," as was reported by those who gave heed to King Benjamin's words. (Mosiah 5:2.)
The process, then, is an eternal round: We make the necessary effort and commitment to keep the commandments, fulfill that commitment, and realize the blessings of a righteous life. Those blessings give us an increased desire to live as the Savior taught and, of course, keep His commandments.
Through that process we shun the imitation happiness the world offers and are encompassed by the love and peace of the Savior. Rather than finding a temporary salve of worldly pleasure - pleasure that leads to frustration - we find joy and peace in the Savior.