Thursday, June 9, 2011

Visiting the un-London Temple

The "London" Temple is anything but London.  It is in the quiet countryside in southeast England.

For one who had a temple within a ten minute drive for most of her life (and an hour max, with traffic, in DC), the thought and practice of going to the temple here, which can take in excess of 9 hours, has been so very frustrating that I have lost the sense and purpose of going entirely.  Instead, my husband and I have taken to going to the temple whenever we are not in London (California, Holland, DC) because it is so much easier and less stressful.

Yet I think I may have finally figured out how to go to the temple here and keep the Spirit - the entire day.  And that's what it takes - an entire day.  Instead of planning the temple as part of a normal day filled with whatever else it is filled with, I have begun to look at that whole day as a temple vacation day.

For last Saturday, it was mission accomplished.  I woke up, had a leisurely early morning with my husband, then walked down to Victoria Station to catch the 11:23 train to Lindberg with a friend in town from Paris.  After 45 minutes of pleasant conversation, we arrived and called the taxi company, who knew immediately that we wanted to go to the temple (it was the first question asked).

We then did a session and ambled back through the countryside to a little teashop in Lindberg, enjoyed a delicious afternoon (herbal) tea, then headed back on the train.  Because I had nothing else planned that day, I did not fret when the train took an extra 1/2 hour getting back into London Victoria.

Now when I hear stories from the prophet of Saints saving up money for years to go to the temple once as a family, I won't feel so bad that the temple is entirely convenient for me.  Perhaps the greater blessings provided by the temple were meant to require some sacrifice.  When we finally figure out how to make it willingly, then I suppose the windows of heaven open wide and far.  I certainly have noticed and been surprised by a few more blessings coming my way this week.  


  1. I have found it to be the same in my life. We have the DC traffic to go through 2.5-4 hours depending on the traffic. So keeping the spirit through that is a must. I could really empathize with you. Thanks for the reminder that sacrifice is part of going to the temple.

  2. You're lucky you live in England! I live in Malaysia and the nearest temple is in either Hong Kong or the Philippines. I've not been to the temple since our sealing five years ago! I'd love to be able to spend one day attending the temple and reaching home that same night.

    Duncan In Kuantan

  3. You don't know me but I came across your blog and I liked what I saw (read). I was born and raised in Utah so I know what its like to live just a few minutes away from a temple. I now live in Texas with my husband and the closest temple is 3 hours away. We definitely took advantage of being so close to a temple. We realize how lucky we were to be so close and love every second we get to visit the temple!! Thanks for sharing :)

    We can be blogger friends if you'd like :)

  4. You have an informative blog. I’ve learned something from it. I do have mine too thanks

  5. I lived in Walton-on-Thames, Surrey for about 8 years. Never was temple attendance easy, but I found that the best way to avoid the stress was to "fool the devil" - act as though I wasn't actually planning on going. I would dress for the day as though I was going to do chores around the house, take my daughter to her primary school, then beat it back home, rapidly change to Sunday best and beat it down the A3 to the M25.

    I found that I could get to the A23 turnoff and make it into Godstone in about an hour. Once I pulled into the temple parking lot, it was all peace and serenity. I was able to put aside the world for a couple of hours.

    Once the session finished, I had to hurriedly dress and get back on the road. The afternoon drive was much more stressful, but never once was I late to get my daughter from school. I also was able to change clothes and look for all the world like I had never gone.

    I know it sounds silly, but any time I announced plans to go or got obviously prepared, all hell literally broke loose. Only by going to these lengths was I able to attend.

    Now that I am in the Provo temple district, I have been going once a week with my mother. It is wonderful to be so close to a temple. Never take it for granted.