Did you know that Utah has 17 operating temples and 11 more that will be built in the coming years? That is a lot of temples. So, I decided to try a Utah temple tour and visit as many of these temples as I could in one day. Here’s what I learned and how you can do it too.
As a born-and-raised-in-Utah member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, sometimes I forget how amazing it is to have so many temples in close proximity to my home. So, I decided to try to visit as many temples as I could in one day. I can tell you right now, it was an amazing experience. Here are some tips and tricks I learned along the way.
What are LDS temples?
Temples are literally houses of the Lord. They are places where individuals can go to make sacred promises with God, feel His Spirit, and escape from the hectic demands of day-to-day life. There are temples 282 temples all around the world that are either operating, under construction or announced. They are very sacred places and I consider it a privilege to attend the temple on a regular basis.
Map out your route
The best approach to a Utah temple tour is to start from north to south or south to north. Since I live near the point of the mountain, I started at the Timp temple and then headed south and then back up north. I had to backtrack a little bit but it wasn’t too bad. Here’s a map of the temples that I visited. At any given time, some temples are closed for cleaning or renovations. So, I wasn’t able to go to the Provo and the Salt Lake temples.
Schedule your appointments in advance
I thought it was going to be hard to schedule 10 different appointments in one day, but it wasn’t! I scheduled all of the appointments on the same day about a month in advance and it worked out perfectly. Because I had appointments, I was able to get in and out of each of the temples without waiting more than 5 or 10 minutes.
Here’s the schedule that I followed:
You’ll also want to consider the time of year. I did my Utah temple tour in December and I was just lucky that it wasn’t snowing. If you do it in the winter, you might risk having to cancel because of inclement weather. By the time I finished at the Logan temple, I still had to drive two hours through the canyon to get home.
Bring a friend
My mom was supposed to join me for the last few temples on my list, but she wasn’t able to come at the last minute. Going by myself made it easier to do the appointments more quickly because I wasn’t waiting for anyone else, but it also made it for a longer day. I didn’t have anyone to talk to. Overall, I drove more than 200 miles across the valley, which can be hazardous as well. It would be safer to have another driver to switch off or to help keep you awake while driving.
If you can’t find anyone to join you for the entire day, try meeting your friends or family at specific times and temples throughout the day.
Do initiatories at each temple
Of all the ordinances that you can do at the temple, initiatories take the least amount of time and it is easier to make appointments for them. Some of busier temples like the Draper, Provo, Mountain Timpanogos and Jordan River temples might have a 5-10 minute wait but if you don’t go on a weekend, you should be fine.
You can do other ordinances, but you just might not be able to fit in 10 temples in one day. I talked to a temple worker that said he met a group of youth who had done baptisms at six temples that same day.
Bring your own temple names
Towards the end of my Utah temple tour, I was getting tired. So, I was glad I brought my own temple names. I just brought in one or two names and asked the workers if I could just do those names. I was in and out within 15-20 minutes. Plus, it is a more rewarding experience if you bring in the names of your own family ancestors. Doing service for those on the other side — especially those in your own family — will bring so much spiritual upliftment in your own life and theirs.
Don’t make it a race
It’s easy to forget the whole purpose of a Utah temple tour if you’re in such a rush to get to each temple. When I first started, I was worried about getting to each temple in time. But after a while, I just relaxed and tried to enjoy the day whether I was running late or not. In the end, I was ahead of schedule and finished about three hours earlier than I had expected.
I hope this blog post will help you as you plan your upcoming Utah temple tour. You won’t regret it! Let me know how it goes in the comments below.
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