Recently I’ve made some effort to go to the temple more often. The goal is to go multiple times a month, either to an endowment or initiatories. Since I live about 7 minutes away, this is actually a do-able goal.
Do I learn by going to the temple? Absolutely. Not every time, but on occasion if I pray and focus enough I will gain an insight into the ceremony and how it relates to us and God. But these are infrequent enough to be only a secondary benefit.
I also help others by doing temple work, but I admit that since I currently have no family names, I dwell on this aspect only sporadically.
For me, the temple’s primary gains come in remembering, in the way that the sacrament is supposed to function. I remember my covenants and relation to Christ and God and re-affirm those commitments. I evaluate how I am doing and how I can do better. Perhaps if I were more successful at doing these things during the sacrament, some of the other purposes of the temple might be more central. But I actually have a pretty rough time making sacrament time as effective as temple time. I am easily distracted by everything going on around me (by which I mostly mean my children) and I cannot get in the mode quickly enough to do what I can do in the temple. The temple ceremony’s length becomes an advantage. And since I know I am going nowhere for an hour and a half, and I know exactly what is going to happen in that time, I can engage in the ritual even as I relax and contemplate how to improve.
I also found it interesting that Elder Oaks, in his talk on pornography, specifically mentioned the power of temple worship in resisting temptation:
“Remember your covenants and be faithful in temple attendance. The wise bishop I quoted earlier reported that ‘an endowed priesthood bearerâ€™s fall into pornography never occurs during periods of regular worship in the temple; it happens when he has become casual in his temple worship’”
What aspects of temple worship do you most benefit from, or wish you were better at?