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Why can we not kneel to pray in the temple?





Dear Patty,

You can kneel in the temple, but it should be done at an altar designed for this purpose. They generally have a short padded “stoop” for you to rest your knees on. The stoop is also at a slight incline to facilitate easy kneeling and rising. The altar itself is set to a height conducive to resting your elbows so that you can enjoy a comfortable kneeling posture.

Sometimes during our quiet ponderings in the Celestial room, we feel prompted to pray and wish to do so in a manner most reverent. In my senior years, I’ve come to realize that if I intend to humble myself to the ground, I must also have a contingency plan to raise myself back up! (In my youth I thought my grandma was cheating by not kneeling for family prayers. Now she has nothing but my sympathy.) The longer I remain grounded, the greater my discomfort becomes – and I’m in good health! As I look around the temple, I find that it is largely staffed by retired seniors, and I wonder how many would be able to assist me back up, or if I would have to wait for the kind sister to shuffle hastily and reverently to fetch two or three brethren to come assist me, without toppling themselves. As the discomfort intensifies on my knees (if I’m not prone yet) my prayer equally intensifies but shifts from one of gratitude to desperation!

So, dear Patty, as much as I would love to kneel to pray in the temple, I think it’s simply a practical policy to encourage those attending to pray seated or standing and reserve the kneeling for those areas that have been built to accommodate it.





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