Thoughts From Beyond the Veil

Here’s a dozen thoughts I had the other night, working as a veil worker:

1. God, please help me be worthy of your house and to do my best.
2. I hope I remember everything.
3. Oh no! I don’t remember everything!
4. Never mind, I do.
5. How do they keep this carpet so clean?
6. Are these words mostly for us, or for the dead? I think they must be for us. This is a public communion. We’re coming together to show our devotion to the Church and to each other. We’re here to all show each other that we mean to pass through that veil to return to God, and we’re here to do it together.
7. Wait… did that guy just skip a word?
8. They’ve cancelled more sessions this week. I wonder if there’s a decline in attendance in this area. I hope not.
9. That old man shuffling by in his temple robes… he looks stronger and more alive than I’ve ever been.
10. So much of this is repetition, precision, a chain of order… then beyond the veil, nothing but peace and wide-open creative thought.
11. These are good people.
12. This is beautiful.


  1. jothegrill says:

    Thank you. Those are beautiful thoughts

  2. Temple work is truly rewarding.

  3. Seriously, though — the carpet. Soooo clean.

  4. Really wonderful. I was sealed in that temple, so I can picture it exactly.

  5. Costanza says:

    Thanks Steve. These are nice thoughts for a Friday afternoon when I am miserable with a cold and they have cheered me up a great deal. And I agree, the carpets are strangely clean…almost too clean. Hmm, I bet this is the mysterious core of Dan Brown’s next novel.

  6. Thomas Parkin says:

    “Most of the world is carpeted and someday … we’ll do the cleaning.”


  7. john scherer says:

    Thanks for this. My most recent thoughts in the temple were of disappointment. I was traveling for work and knew I’d be near the temple, so I grabbed what I thought was my garment bag on my way out the door. It wasn’t until I was in the dressing room that I realized I had grabbed the bag with my wife’s attire in it. Worse even was that this was a temple without clothing rental. So close! I still enjoyed being there for the short time that I was.

  8. 13. Why do they still rent those silly one-piece 70s jumpsuits?

  9. “he looks stronger and more alive than I’ve ever been.”
    Is it wrong to take this as an indicator of spiritual greatness? I always think when I see such folks that their vitality is Christ-infused.
    Or it could be good genes I guess. :)

  10. Brian, my husband will ONLY wear the jumpsuits. Says they are the most comfortable thing ever.

  11. Steve Evans says:

    I heart jumpsuits. Makes people look like they’re going to manufacture silicon chips or something.

  12. Veritas, I’ll admit that the jumpsuits are comfortable, but an extreme fashion disaster. Not that we go to the temple be fashionable, but their should be limits, even in the temple. :-)

  13. Kevin Barney says:

    Oh, come on, Steve, we all know you were really thinking about Spider-Man 3.

    Many years ago I went through a live session at the SL temple, and because I’m tall and they didn’t have regular pants to fit me, they gave me this jumpsuit thing to wear. But that didn’t even come close to fitting me right; I’m sure I looked like a clown.

  14. Steve Evans says:

    Kev, Spidey 3? now, now. I was thinking about the ATHF Movie.

  15. Seriously, the jumpsuits are so Devo. I love them. I wish I could wear them.

    I’ve had a guy doze off on me at the veil. Clearly contemplating the cleanliness of the carpet too intently.

  16. I used to clean those carpets behind the veil, and…uh, it must just be really good carpet because all I ever did was vacuum it every night. Occasionally I’d see a grease stain (from when the Provo temple still had escalators) but nothing a little stain remover couldn’t tackle.

  17. Kev, looking at your picture online, I’d say you definitely looked like a clown, maybe Pennywise…

  18. Let me reveal my low-brow approach to these things by pointing out that the shoes that walk on the area in question never go outside. Therefore, the carpets tend to stay much cleaner than they might otherwise.

    Now I will re-descend to dissy Hell.

  19. I’m thinking about going back to the temple. This scared the hell out of me. No offense.

  20. Steve Evans says:

    “This scared the hell out of me. No offense.”

    um, none taken?

  21. Thomas Parkin says:


    Am I allowed to say this in the bloggernacle? And I wonder if I can say it without sounding like … whatever.

    If you can work it out with the bishop, if you are feeling the desire, come back to the temple. Ques 4 and 7 are tough ones – because they are telling. But I could always answer them in the affirmative, though guilty of much worse things. I was very far from perfect, and even much further than I am now, when i went back. The blessings of preparing to return don’t have much to do with orthodoxy – at least as it is generally considered. You need not give up your ability to think – but can be quickened in the inner woman. :) You have everything to gain. I imagine there will be more than a little working against you – but God is faithful – rely on him more than the bishop or yourself. I couldn’t say here everything that has happened to me in the temple over the last couple years – only that they are things that I don’t believe could have happened anywhere else.

    I might add that my first time back in the temple after many years did not feel like the homecoming I’d expected (but you may well not expect) – it was very awkward for me. But I got me feet under me soon enough.

    Very very best to you.


  22. My thoughts as a veil worker:
    I love reaching to an elderly woman and looking at the veins and wrinkles in her hand, and thinking of all the years she has been coming to the temple.

    I love reaching to a young woman who’s scared she’ll get something wrong and smiling at her with an assurance that it’ll be okay.

    I love helping pregnant women.

    My thoughts as a veil patron:
    After my best friend died, I went to the temple on the night of her viewing, hoping (though I’ve never had a vision) that I’d see her. I didn’t. But the words at the veil said RESURRECTION in every part of the body, and promised everlasting life. I broke down halfway through and had to be guided word by word. I was glad someone kind was there to guide me.

  23. There is an incredible moment, when the veil is parted and the patron is led through. I see the person’s face with the words still fresh in my mind. If it is our stake’s week, more often than not I recognize the person. I better understand why ‘this is my work and my glory.’

  24. Polyester.

  25. Its been a while since I’ve taken the oportunity to attend a temple session. These thoughts are very refreshing. I enjoyed them. The temple is a wonderful peaceful place to be and the best possible place to reflect on life. I don’t understand how individuals can decide that this temple experience is a farce. Its the best place to be.

  26. Steve, I cannot tell you how glad I am you dont work at the Temple I attend, cuz if you did, I would totally get you in a one armed head lock and give you noogies with the free hand, celestial room or no, until you admitted you are Tyler Durden. And would probably get my recommend shredded on the spot for it, but it would be so, so worth it.

  27. I’m just glad to know that my mind isn’t the only one thinking about things other than what’s going on in the Temple. I’ve had a few of those same thoughts.

  28. I used to feel guilty when my mind wandered. But then I realized that I was thinking more about NOT thinking about the “wrong” things than I was thinking about the “right” things. So I just make sure I make a mental note of one particular thing I want to think about and then whenever I wander, I can always just come back to that one thing.

    This also made me realize how sparsely I’ve gone to the temple recently.