Accessing the healing power of the atonement through the Temple Prayer Roll

Preston temple

My sister and I have had a complicated relationship for the past forty years. Recently, I started to pray for her welfare and happiness. I also decided to put her name down on the prayer roll of the temple for eight weeks. During this period, I felt impressed to invite her to spend some time with me during the Christmas holidays (2019). This was a difficult thing for me because we have barely spent more than an hour together during the past ten years. On the day we decided to meet, I prepared a meal, and we agreed to watch a Christmas movie together. From the moment she arrived at my home, I could tell she was different. She was happy and bubbly, and we talked like we used to four decades ago. The visit was so enjoyable that I invited her to return the following week, where we ate a meal together and watched another Christmas movie. Later I scheduled two more visits that were just as successful and enjoyable as the first two were. 

A few days later, I was reviewing a journal entry from 23 years ago. In that entry, I had recorded some of the words of a Priesthood blessing that I had received because I was so upset about the poor relationship that I had with my sister. As I read the terms of this blessing, I was shocked by what Heavenly Father had told me so long ago. This is what he said: 

“The Lord loves you very much. You will be as Nephi of old. You will have the wisdom and strength to counsel your family. With time, you will be able to resolve your relationship with family and friends.” 

These words immediately reminded me of a talk given by Henry B Eyring called, A Law of Increasing Returns ( In this talk, Brother Eyring said:

“The simple fact is that there is a God who wants us to have faith in him. He knows that to strengthen faith, we must use it even with our family members. And so, he gives us the chance to use it by letting some of the spiritual rewards we want most be delayed. Instead of first effort yielding returns, with a steady decline, it’s the reverse. First efforts, and even second efforts, seem to yield little. And then the rewards begin, perhaps much later, to grow and grow.”

That is how I felt as I thought about how my relationship with my sister has improved dramatically over the past two weeks. It is no accident that this improvement in our relationship had happened when I was praying for my sister, and I had placed her name on the temple prayer roll.