Sitting at my desk within the Church History Library, my eyes began to swell with tears as I clicked through the pictures of the new temple in Peru. It was one of the most beautiful temples I had ever seen, and I could not begin to comprehend the joy the Saints of that beautiful country must feel knowing they had a new temple. Along with the spiritual blessings that the temple would bring, it also was a magnificently beautiful building—astoundingly beautfiul. I thought to myself, “The temple is the great equalizer.”
There are many ways in which the temple is the great equalizer. First, sacred temple clothing. As we enter the temple and participate in ordinances, we are all dressed in the same clothing. Those performing baptisms and confirmations wear the same clothing as their peers. Those performing endowments and sealings wear the same clothing. The workers are dressed in similar clothing as the participants, creating no hierarchy, simply unification. As we enter the temple, we leave behind the designer labels and styles of the world and replace it with simplicity and beauty. To me, it has always felt humbling to remove the outfit I so carefully chose and replace it with my temple clothing. Above all else, I love that it removes labels of fashionable and beautiful. In the temple, we are all beautiful before the Lord.
The other striking equalizer of the temple to me is simply in the design and construction of the temples. Different countries have different standards of construction, but for temples, the Church uses the same standard of materials and designs in the United States as they do in Kenya. A temple constructed in a developing country is constructed the same as those in developed country. No material is cheapened, nothing is left out. From temple to temple, you can see this in the workmanship and beauty of the temples. In a world that is all about quick and cheap, temples are methodically and expensively constructed, for they are the house of the Lord.
I love the temple. I love that across the world, Saints within the temple are dressed the same and sitting in similarly beautiful buildings designed and constructed with utmost care. It is a unique thing to feel so unified with people across the world, but the Church allows us to feel and recognize that global connection. Next time you enter the temple, I pray that you will take a moment to think of your brothers and sisters around the world worshiping in equality with you.