A recent trip to the temple to do baptisms for the dead caused me to reflect on my first temple excursion as a young deacon well over twenty years ago.  This recent trip also caused me to wonder about our youth’s attitude (as well as our own) toward the temple.

I admit having a poor memory of my childhood and youth, but I do remember fairly clearly the reverence and respect that I (and I believe most of the youth) had for the temple.  I lived in Texas at the time, and the nearest temple was Mesa, Arizona.  We boarded a bus for a long trip to the temple.  I vaguely remember staying in a dorm room for the night.  I remember how careful we were to whisper, and the awe that we all seemed to have to be at the temple.

A few days ago, I was mildly surprised at the lack of reverence that some of the youth seemed to exhibit.  While waiting in the little chapel at the baptistry, for example, one of the young men was slouched down on the bench and had his feet propped up on the hymnal holder on the bench in front of him.  The level of talking also seemed to contribute to a general lack of reverence.

I couldn’t help but wonder if the recent proliferation of temples, their proximity for many of us, and the increased frequency in which we attend temples has somehow decreased our reverence and awe for these special buildings and for the ordinances that are performed there.

For me, our reverence (or lack thereof) for sacred things is somewhat a reflection of our own spiritual maturity but is also a reflection of our respect for others.  If we understand that our reverence affects another’s ability to worship, perhaps we will make a greater effort to be reverent ourselves.

So, if anyone actually reads this, what do you think?  I know generalizations aren’t always helpful, but do you think that our reverence for temples and other sacred things is diminishing?  If it is, why, and how can we help improve reverence?

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