Ever since the Relief Society lesson in my ward a few weeks ago, Ezra Taft Benson’s “Priceless Blessings of the House of the Lord,” I’ve been debating about how to address this topic. Let me preface this with the following: I agree with everyone when we say temples are the House of the Lord. There is a deserved and necessary reverence when talking about temples, when entering temples, and when preparing to go to the temple. Temples are a place where we take on serious covenants, including the endowment and the sealing, and where we can feel close to the Lord to receive personal revelation. Ordinances that take place in the temple are special, and that sacredness is to be kept private and personal.
I have found peace in the temple. I have also been blessed in very personal ways by not only going to the temple, but because other people went to the temple in my behalf; I truly believe that those prayers gave me strength in difficult times of my life.
While I believe all these things to be true, we (as collective members of the church) have a tendency to talk about the temple in exclusively these terms. We often forget to acknowledge that it can take several visits to the temple for it to become a source of spiritual empowerment. Sometimes, people never get to that point (I hate to say it, but it’s true); and I think it’s because we gloss over this very important and very real sentence in the Temple Prep manual: “If you are going to the temple for the first time it is quite normal for you to be a little unsettled. We are naturally anxious about the unknown. We often become nervous over new experiences” (“Preparing to Enter the Holy Temple”).