Are you going to or are you worshipping at the temple? BYU Education Week identifies the difference

PROVO, UTAH — Latter-day Saints must make a choice whenever they step across the threshold of a dedicated temple: Am I merely “going” to the temple — or am I “worshiping” in the temple?

Active temple worship is what allows people to take the lessons, revelations, peace and blessings of the sacred edifice into their own homes and lives, taught Stan G. Crippen in his 2019 BYU Education Week class entitled “Bringing the influence of the temple home with you.”

One of the most important elements of serving in the temple “is what you take home with you,” said Crippen, an educator, family therapist and temple sealer.

Drawing upon temple-related counsel from President Russell M. Nelson and other Church leaders, he offered instruction on how people can discover life-defining things about themselves, the priesthood and the gospel inside the walls of the temple.

Attendees walk between sessions during BYU Education Week on Aug. 23, 2019, on the BYU campus in Provo, Utah. The annual event was held Aug. 19-23, 2019.
Attendees walk between sessions during BYU Education Week on Aug. 23, 2019, on the BYU campus in Provo, Utah. The annual event was held Aug. 19-23, 2019. Credit: Rebekah Baker

 A convert, Crippen said the promise of eternal families is what led him to the Church and, ultimately, the temple. Every visit to the temple doubles as a reminder of why it has been called “the Lord’s university.”

The temple is a place of inspiration, revelation, equality and instruction. And each temple is anchored to the Atonement of Jesus Christ.

“It’s where we learn we are all children of God and that we are all alike. … It’s also a place of refuge from judgement that you can take with you.”

 Regardless of their professional, economic or family backgrounds, everyone worshipping in the temple is dressed alike and serving a common purpose. Such unity allows patrons to accept that their fellow temple-goers are trying to do what’s right. They are doing their best.

That’s a benevolent characteristic that people can take home with them from the temple.

An attendee of BYU Education Week takes notes while attending a class on the BYU campus in Provo, Utah, on Aug. 21, 2019.
An attendee of BYU Education Week takes notes while attending a class on the BYU campus in Provo, Utah, on Aug. 21, 2019. Credit: Rebekah Baker, BYU

Crippen marveled that the temple has increasingly become a part of Latter-day Saints’ daily lives. Thanks to the proliferation of temple building in recent decades, most members live within 200 miles of a temple. And limited-use recommends now allow youth to serve in the temple as often as they would like.

 As President Nelson has taught, the temple provides a vaccine from the daily ills of the world; it’s a place of instruction on how to live one’s life outside of the temple. The Lord is willing and anxious to offer revelation to His followers as they increase their purity and obedience, earnestly seek truth and feast daily upon His words.

 The teachings found in the temple, promised Crippen, are “the greatest personal, marital and family therapy that exists.”

 He recommended that spouses, family members and friends who have spent, say, a morning worshipping in the temple together, take advantage of the drive home to discuss what newly-revealed teachings they plan to add to their spiritual toolboxes.

Youth sit on the grass and sing together just outside the Richards Building between Education Week classes at BYU.
Youth sit on the grass and sing together just outside the Richards Building between Education Week classes at BYU. Credit: Spencer Williams

The temple also offers protection from the dangers of the world. All who make sacred covenants and receive instruction can enjoy an added measure of safety and peace in their daily lives.

 Finally, temples teach that “the priesthood belongs to the family” — and that both men and women can be blessed by essential priesthood ordinances.

 “As we bring the temple into ourselves — and not just ‘go to the temple’ — the temple can change our lives,” said Crippen.