An open door

A lone, more than a thousand miles from any relatives, a single adult member of the Church felt somewhat displaced. The feeling of "having no place to go where I really belong" began to weigh heavily upon heart and soul.

Many acquaintances and friends were counted and treasured, but still there never seemed to be the feeling that any door was always open. Nearly every visit to the homes of friends was made only after an invitation had been extended by them or a telephone call to them confirmed that the time would be convenient or that a guest could be accommodated with ease."I began to yearn for a home to go to where I knew I really did fit in, a place where I could go without special invitation and still have a sense of not being in anyone's way, of not intruding upon anybody's personal time or upon some private family event," the single member said. "I craved the feeling of knowing that I would be welcomed and that my presence would bring joy. I longed to know that there was a household where my absence would be regarded as a void.

"One day, this thought suddenly came to my mind: There is such a house! There is a house in which I am welcomed warmly, I am really needed, my presence brings tremendous joy to others, and in which my absence does create a void. I can go to my Father's House!"

Since then, this member has attended the temple with a feeling of acceptance and belonging, and an assurance that in the temple no one is an unexpected or uninvited guest but that each is a valued member of the family, a brother or sister in the household of God.

Much has been said and written to encourage Church members to be worthy to obtain temple recommends and go to the temple often. Certainly, couples find that each visit to the temple helps deepen the bonds of their marriage, but all members ought to realize that temple covenants are made one by one. One does not need a partner to go to the temple or serve therein.

Many single adult members might not be aware of the wide range of experiences in which they can participate as temple workers or patrons. From serving as volunteers in taking names for prayer rolls to being proxies in various sacred ordinances, single members provide valued service in temples.

One temple president said: "The temple is a marvelous place for single members to feel needed. We welcome all worthy members, including those who are single. We encourage worthy and sufficiently mature single adult members who have not yet come to the temple to make appointments with their bishops and begin in earnest their preparations for the temple experience. We hope that those who have already been to the temple will return as patrons as often as possible.

"Single members, through their faithfulness, may participate in the sacred ordinances in the House of the Lord, including sealing ordinances. As they participate in ordinances, they become more familiar with the promised blessings and the associated covenants which are made in temples.

"We like to see single members accept callings to serve in the temple. Depending upon individual qualifications and circumstances, they may serve anywhere in the House of the Lord, from being receptionists at the front door to functioning as ordinance workers who, during the course of their service, have the opportunity to be in the celestial room. There are many acts of service that single members may render in between. Every service performed in the temple is important, whether it's folding or mending clothing in the laundry, washing pots in the cafeteria, playing the organ in the chapel or baptistry, looking after young children who have been brought to the temple for sealings, assisting patrons who come in wheelchairs or on gurneys, or serving as ordinance workers.

"No position in the temple is unnecessary. Each act of service is needed. It would be hard to imagine anything on earth that a single member can do that will bring greater feelings of peace, joy, satisfaction, self-esteem and belonging than coming to and serving in the House of the Lord."

In a world where there is much stress, materialism, conflict, bickering and negativism, temples of the Lord are as refuges from the storms of life. Single members may find as much comfort and solace in temples as do married couples. Temples are ideal places to help put everything in perspective.

The Lord instructed Joseph Smith pertaining to the building of His House, saying that it, among other things, was to be "a place of thanksgiving for all saints. . . . " (D&C 97:13.) Single members of the Church are encouraged to be worthy and to go to their Father's House, a temple of the Lord. There, as they join others in thanksgiving, they will realize that they are always welcomed warmly.

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