This article was originally published in LDS Living by Arianna Rees. Below is an excerpt.
A few weeks ago, I had a very mediocre temple visit. I was stressed about all of the things on my “to do” list, and had a nasty headache, so needless to say, by the time I went inside, I felt frazzled. I drummed my fingers impatiently on my armrest, and when the session ended, zipped out as fast as I could. It wasn’t until I was in my car driving home that the remorse set in and I realized that I had spiritually wasted my trip.
I’ve tried to make a habit of going to the temple weekly, but every once in a while, I’ll have a week when my visit feels lackluster. I’ve realized that attending the temple is a lot like fasting, in that being inside and involved requires us to make certain sacrifices. Instead of giving up food, we give up time, which can sometimes be difficult. Also like fasting, attending the temple can be less fulfilling when we have the wrong attitude about it. Temple attendance, however, can be an edifying experience that blesses both the person doing the ordinances and the person we are doing them for.
In order to truly appreciate the spirit of the temple as well as the covenants we make there, we need to go into it prepared and, while inside, be more involved with the experience. With a greater effort on our part, our temple trips can be more consistently inspiring. Here are a few things you can do to improve your temple experience.
1. Clear your schedule of as many things as possible before going.
Though many of us try to make the temple a priority, sometimes we can go to the temple haphazardly, throwing it into our already busy schedules as if it’s merely a task to be done instead of a chance to give ourselves to the Lord. Sandwiched between things we need to accomplish, our temple trips can be made with too much haste, and we can be too distracted while inside.
One thing that helps me focus better in the temple is completing as many errands as possible before going in, even if it puts my temple opportunity at the end of the day. Without the weight of everything I have to do on my mind, I can truly put the Lord first while in His house.
Sometimes squeezing a temple trip into a busy day really is the only way to get ourselves there. If so, we should consciously decide to leave our mental “to do” lists outside so as to get a more focused and gratifying experience inside.
To read the rest of the article go to LDS Living.