Former President of Large Dallas Texas Hospital Explains Why Working in the Temple Is Real Work

by | Jan. 18, 2020

LDS Living’s All In podcast became aware of Britt Berrett, former president of an 898-bed hospital in Dallas, Texas, when someone who serves with him in the Dallas temple reached out and recommended his friend Britt as someone who exemplifies what it means to be “all in.” On the episode this week, host Morgan Jones spoke with Britt about his experience serving in the temple and the lessons he has learned from that service—service that is really hard work.

Read an excerpt from their conversation below. You can also listen to the full interview here or read a full transcript here.

Britt Barrett: I serve in the Dallas temple, and anyone that has served knows that it's a lot of work, I mean, it's service. And I really struggled with memorizing, and for some reason, I can speak in large groups of people, but if you ask me to remember your name or your phone number, I've got to write it down. And it was really, really, really hard. And I just kept at it, I just kept at it, and it's been a tremendous blessing to just keep at it. A good friend, he's from Vancouver, Canada, where I grew up, he talks about the commitment that you need, that you have to be purposeful and intentional. But you just got to keep on slugging away. And that's, I guess, what I've done. I've just kept on accepting roles and responsibilities and directed to do that. And when I'm at capacity, I don't know if I've reached my capacity because Heavenly Father always fills in the gaps. So as I was trying to learn all the roles and responsibilities of serving in the temple, He just kept on helping me and giving me comfort when I was a little discouraged because I wasn't doing all that could be done. He just filled in the gaps and I think that's a truth. I think that's—I just think you just keep doing.

Morgan Jones: Yeah, I can vouch for what you said about temple work. I worked in the Salt Lake temple last year, and I was so amazed by how much work it actually is. That, like, when we talk about someone taking a temple shift, we're not talking about just, like, sitting and smiling. You're, like, working the whole time.

BB: Wasn't that surprising? Because when we visit the temple, it's such a beautiful, peaceful experience. And you figure all those things happen behind the scenes flawlessly, but if you're serving in the temple, you put your track shoes on because you're moving. At least the men I work with have become some of my dearest friends. I just love them, they are amazing. I dropped the average age about 40 years.

MJ: Imagine what I did for the average age, Britt.

BB: (Laughs) Well you know, right now, missionaries that are either preparing to leave or have recently returned are able to serve, and they are so better prepared, having experienced the covenants in a way that's powerful and purposeful and meaningful. But they add to that experience, I bet they just adored having you work with them side by side. I think that would have been a great experience.

MJ: It's such a treat and I think that's the thing that's so neat is to see these people, many of them who are retired, and they don't quit. They don't just go off and ride off into the sunset, they then go and work in the temple, and I'm like, "We're getting our steps in ladies," you know?

BB: One of them said to me, he said—he's from Gilmer, Texas, "Brother Barrett, I'd rather wear out than rust out." And there are five or six of them that come in a van every Tuesday, and they drive from an hour and a half, almost two hours every Tuesday, and they serve so faithfully. And they jump in the van and they head back to Gilmer after the time is served, and they are wearing out, they are not rusting out, guaranteed.

Lead image courtesy of the Berrett family
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