When I broke the news on Facebook and Instagram of a policy change allowing single men over 30 and separated/recently divorced individuals to become Temple Workers, I had no idea what would happen next!
I received an outpouring of messages across media and I beat the news agencies by a full day in reporting this story! Multiple leaders contacted me, and I’ve heard the stories of several people whom this policy had affected like myself.
I don’t know why this was denied to people. Over the years, I’ve counseled with multiple single/divorcing/divorced individuals that want to serve and disheartened. Previous to August 23, you could work in the Temple, but as a Volunteer. In fact, I’ve been serving as a volunteer through the summer. It’s not so bad, except your name tag states “Volunteer” and some have likened it to the scarlet letter or a rejection sticker. It is incredibly difficult to be a singleton in a Church that really emphasizes marriage and family. When you go from being part of a duo to a singleton, it is incredibly demoralizing enough without any extra onus placed upon you. Yes, there’s often enough blame to go around in these circumstances, often returning to singleton status comes with great personal tragedy. I know mine did. Also, you are limited in what you can do as a volunteer, though I found great joy in the many things I could still do because I just wanted to be in the Temple.
Lifting this policy and allowing only one’s personal worthiness be the rule for working in the Temple is fantastic. After all, if you have a Temple Recommend and/or are a current volunteer, it means you are a member in good standing. Why limit anyone that is in good standing? In talking to my own Temple President, he expressed joy that now we would only look at personal worthiness and not marital status. I agree whole-heartedly!
We are closed briefly in DC due to routine maintenance and cleaning, and in that time my Bishop and I have been navigating the process to move me from volunteer to worker. The President, my shift supervisor, my Bishop and I all agree that while the Temple will only remain open a few short months before an extended renovation, it’s still worthwhile for me to move to full worker. I am thrilled!
The only thing causing me any sadness is I’m sure I’ll just get in to the swing of things when we close for two years in March. Oh well, when it reopens, I plan to resubmit and be a worker again! I truly love the Temple. It’s the House of the Lord and it is the only place on earth that I find any peace. Best of all, I’m no longer going to be held back by circumstances outside my control!
If you are in the DC area and able to attend the Temple, Wednesday afternoons are the best day to come. Especially if it is the 2nd or 4th Wednesday of the month. I’m not saying it’s not great every day, just that it’s a little bit better because on those days I am there and I want so very much to greet you and serve you. I’m the one with the pink cane and the great big, goofy smile.