Featured Stories

Women of Covenant: The Power of the Temple Does Not Reside in the Building

Mount Timpanogos Utah Temple
Mount Timpanogos Utah Temple© 2020 by Intellectual Reserve, Inc. All rights reserved.

This story appears here courtesy of TheChurchNews.com. It is not for use by other media.

By Holly Richardson, Church News

Editor’s note: This narrative is part of a Church News series titled “Women of Covenant,” in which women of the Church discuss their personal experiences with priesthood power and share what they have learned through following President Russell M. Nelson’s counsel to “labor with the Spirit to understand God’s power — priesthood power” (“Spiritual Treasures,” general conference, October 2019). Read other articles in this series.

I love the temple and was heartbroken when a global pandemic caused them to be temporarily closed.

Sister Wendy Nelson, in her book “Covenant Women,” invites us to try a 21-day experiment: make a sacrifice of time to attend the temple. I took on this experiment and have a testimony that the Lord will multiply my time and my abilities if I put Him first by making a sacrifice of time to attend the temple.

The blessings of time management and increased capacity are notable and extend beyond my capabilities as a wife and mother. Last year, in the middle of a hectic semester of classes for the PhD I am pursuing, I had many assignments due within one week, including two big papers. I did not know how I could possibly get everything done, so I went to the temple every day that week. In the end, I submitted all of my assignments on time. It was truly a miracle.

I had come to rely on the temple as one of my primary sources of spiritual strength. When they closed, I moped around for longer than I should have. Elder Dale G. Renlund of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles said recently, “Limited access doesn’t change the impact the temple can have in our lives.” I started to look for the power of the temple outside of the temple.


I found some things that work for me. First, I was reminded that the power of the temple does not reside in the building, but in the power of our covenants. I missed the quiet peace of the temple and so began extending my meditation time so I could be still and listen longer. I’ve increased my time in nature, where I feel God’s presence. I’ve spent more time in scriptures and journaling.

One day in August, when I was wishing I could just put my friend’s name on the temple prayer roll, God gave me an uncomfortable insight. I had been using the temple prayer roll as a crutch as the easy way out.

I had gotten into the habit of putting names on the prayer roll the names of those who I felt needed additional prayers and support. I told myself I had done my part and thought about how great it was that so many people were praying for my friends. I forgot about other help I could give.

That day in my garden, I realized I had not actually been exercising my faith on behalf of my friends and family in specific and personal ways. I had generally not been praying for them by name or asking specifically for the blessings they needed in their lives. I had been leaving that to the temple and its patrons.

My prayers changed immediately. I’ve started praying for people each day by name and by need. I do not toss off a “bless our family” and call it good. I spend the time necessary talking to God about the people I love and for whom I am praying for. My love for them has increased as I have done so.

It has also led me to ask myself: What other parts of temple attendance have become more rote than they should be? How can I make my time in the temple richer and more meaningful once I go back? And what more can I do to use the power of my covenants even when I cannot attend the temple in person?

I don’t know all the answers, but I am working on finding what works best for me. I’m looking forward to returning to my happy place.

Copyright 2020 Deseret News Publishing Company

Style Guide Note:When reporting about The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, please use the complete name of the Church in the first reference. For more information on the use of the name of the Church, go to our online Style Guide.