Friday, January 10, 2014

The Temple in my Home and Life

I happen to live fifteen minutes from the Portland, Oregon Temple.   In fact, I only turn five times between it and my house it is that much of a straight shot to get there. 

Waters of life...yes, it is cloudy too!
The temple has been a great source of comfort to me over the years that I have gone.  If you want to try something amazing, take your patriarchal blessing with you to the temple and read it.   To sit on the temple grounds in the presence of the Lord's House and to read my own piece of personal scripture (which is longer than some of the shortest books of the Book of Mormon and the Bible - maybe I'll call it a "book") is an amazing experience. The revelation gained in those times about my blessing are some of the strongest I have ever experienced.

Have you ever been to the temple and come out back into the dreary world and wished you could stay?  Me too.  Especially in Oregon when you walk outside and can almost be guaranteed that it is going to be cloudy, blustery and cold, the temple seems especially inviting and the fall of Adam and Eve seems even more poignant as you walk out the doors - well, here in Oregon at least. 

It is such a refuge in there.  Such an amazing place of peace from the cares of the world.  Where time stops and eternity meets, where heaven and earth join, and where miracles happen especially when you are spiritually in tune.

But we've been told that our homes are to be second only to the temple in holiness....well, that's a tall order!

I have however sincerely taken to the Lord to repent of my sins, actively repenting of that which I do wrong, searching for that which I do not that I should do that is right, and humbling myself as I never have before, seeking others' forgiveness and forgiving others and seeking to understand, step by step, but at a pace I have never kept before in my life as I build a steady foundation of faith in my life. 
At age six I thought this was weird....now I do it too

Now, my home is just as much a refuge as the temple ever was in its own way.  My life is a temple
and a refuge!  The things I need in life for my spirit? Are here at home.  For my eternal progression?  Here at home.  My children are growing in the gospel. I can bless my wife and children with my patience.  I have even slowed down to where I no longer race through the house when I get home.  I'm at more of a Mr. Rogers pace as I carefully put everything where it goes and strive to keep my house organized making life more peaceful and a house of order, take in what my family is doing as I enter, and appreciate what is going on in my home.  (I always did think it strange how he took the time to take his shoes off and change his sweater when he got home as a kid, I actually think of Mr. Rogers now when I come home and go through things much more slowly now, deliberately, and just enjoy being home and taking stock of things).

Normally I might go to the temple to escape home-life so that I could re-charge and return and build a better home-life.  Now, I can go to the temple and not just bless the temple with my presence as the temple work does need bodies to continue, but I can bless them with my spirit as I go.

It has taken me nearly forty years to feel like my life was on track or headed to be on track and not a train off the tracks out of control barely hanging on.  It has taken twenty years of discipleship in the Lord's church to do so as well.  But it has only taken a few months of dedicated devotion and willingness to do whatever it takes at any cost to humble myself and be able to reach for blessings I could not obtain without that humility and diligence to be comforted as I never have before.  And I'm not going back and not going to lose what I've gained through a lack of diligence.

And so, this morning as I thought about desiring more blessings from the Lord and thought of attending to the temple today, I looked around and saw what I have been building unawares - blessings I've never had before and my own temple and refuge right here in my home and my personal life. What I wanted was right here.  I don't have to go to the temple to obtain it anymore, I go to the temple to enhance it and add to it.

Thank you heavenly father. 

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