A new look at serving in the temple

Story by Lana Strathearn.

Cody Mattingly, a freshman majoring in general studies, spends 8:30-11 p.m. every Wednesday night leading a group of volunteers in cleaning the temple.

Mattingly said working at the temple each week as a floor leader has allowed him to experience the temple in a whole new way that not many people get to experience.

Marcos Martinez, a sophomore studying business management, is one of the two full-time temple cleaning employees.

Martinez said that every night, a different ward or stake is assigned to clean the temple.

“The temple assigns all the stakes around this area to this temple, and they get to come and do volunteer service for about two hours,” Martinez said. “It’s usually only once a year per stake.”

Martinez said he encourages members to make their best effort to make it when their ward is assigned to clean the temple.

“When we have people from Island Park who travel about an hour and a half to get here, we get a large-sized group,” Martinez said. “But when we get a group that’s across the street from the temple, a lot of times they miss it. It’s interesting how it works.”

Mattingly said cleaning the temple has been an amazing spiritual experience and is definitely worth the sacrifice of time.

“I definitely feel closer to Heavenly Father and feel the peace the temple has to offer,” Mattingly said. “Even though I’m super stressed, it’s been worth it, and I can always count on the temple in bringing me happiness.”

Mattingly said it was previously hard for him to attend the temple regularly, but having a set time he has committed to work there every week has helped him.

“I really like leading the team,” Mattingly said. “The volunteers are so willing to work, and I get to show them how to do that and do as much as I can to make sure they have a good experience.”

Mattingly said being a temple cleaner has helped him learn team skills, leadership skills, attention to detail, organization, better communication  and preparation.

“I recommend that anyone who has some time at night come clean the temple, whether it’s their ward’s turn or not,” he said. “The experiences you get are so worth it.”

Adrian Hekking, a sophomore studying biology and a weekly volunteer in the temple, said that although it is sometimes hard to go with homework and work and so much going on, she never regrets it when she goes.

“Once you’re there, you forget about all that stuff,” she said.

Martinez said there are many times nobody shows up to clean.

“The bishop doesn’t get the memo sometimes, or they plan to be there and then miss it,” Martinez said.

He said when this happens, floor leaders and employees make a little team and do as much as they can.

Martinez said he encourages endowed members who have a little extra time to become a floor leader.

“First you interview with your bishop, then your bishop contacts your stake president who sends your papers to the temple,” Martinez said. “You then have a small interview with them.”

Martinez said volunteers must be endowed and bring their current temple recommends.

“Most temples require you to dress up and change completely when you get there, but we ask you to come in semi-formal slacks or jeans,” Martinez said.

Martinez said people who want to volunteer outside of their ward’s assigned night should call the temple around 8:30 p.m., then dial 333 for emergency.

“It’ll send it to our radios, and we can let them know if we are in need of extra help or not,” Martinez said.

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