The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints now has 146 temples around the world and almost 30 more in progress. Because there are now so many temples, it is possible for many more Saints to attend a temple than in the past. Not every member of the Church has to sacrifice dramatically to attend a temple. However, all of us receive great blessings when we make any sacrifice to go to the House of the Lord.
The story of the Bender family’s sacrifices, described in Elizabeth Maki’s article “The Least I Could Do,” shows us that sacrificing to go to the temple brings many blessings, including increased knowledge of God’s eternal truths.
In 1955, the announcement about a temple in New Zealand brought joy and excitement to the Bender family, natives of Tasmania, a small Australian island south of the main island. The Bender family was very involved in their family history work. For them, it was a priority to one day attend a temple to be sealed as a family and also do temple work for their ancestors. At that time, they hadn’t ever been to a temple because the nearest temple was half a world away.
When they heard that a temple would be built just 1,500 miles away in New Zealand, an island east of Australia, the family decided to save money to fly to New Zealand and attend the dedication. Each family member, the parents and four children, worked odd jobs and sacrificed all they could to earn the money. The biggest sacrifice they had to make was to leave their apple orchard, which was their main source of income, because the temple dedication was at the very same time as harvest season. They put their faith in the Lord that their apples would survive until they got home from New Zealand.
When the time came for the temple dedication, the Bender family was able to attend the dedication and be sealed as a family. From their sacrifices and their experiences at the temple, they learned truths about the plan of salvation that gave them strength—especially when their father passed away three years later at the young age of 43.
What do you sacrifice to go to the temple? Do you give up time out of your busy schedule? Do you have to take an expensive journey?
Whatever your sacrifices, temple attendance will bring you many blessings, including increased knowledge, just as it did for the Bender family.
Source: Church History
—Shelisa Baldwin, Mormon Insights
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View photos of the Hamilton New Zealand Temple.