Wednesday, December 26, 2007

The House of the Lord

As we were taking the sacrament to the homebound a couple Sundays ago, my brother Matthew mentioned that when he has his driver's license, he plans on attending the temple every Saturday, or as often as he can otherwise. It was one of those bag of bricks moments, where an idea suddenly hits you and you wonder why in the heck you never thought of it before. At that moment I decided that, since I'd be taking a day off from work every week in order to prepare spiritually for my mission, I could use that time to go to the temple. Yeah, obvious idea, right?! Props go to my brother for reminding me of that.

So today I made my first weekly visit to the temple. I hadn't been since August, and before that, February, and so on, so I was clearly due for a change in habit. I was excited for this, and still am. I mean, I get to chill at God's place every week! How awesome is that?! :-D

The Highams went with me this morning, only adding to the happiness of the visit. It was great to see them, and it was even better that we were meeting in order to do the Lord's work. To add even to that, we were all there because we wanted to be there, so we had the right attitude, which made it a lot easier for the Spirit to guide us.

This was one of my most powerful experiences in the temple. Each visit is extraordinary in its own right, and each time I visit the temple I feel something incredible that goes beyond description. But today was just . . . wow. I don't know if it's because I'd just spent a whole day previous in intense study, but whatever the reason, I just felt so open to the Spirit today.

The climax was right before and during the baptisms themselves. In light of my recent study of Joseph Smith's Lectures on Faith, I was reading through Hebrews 11--one of the greatest discourses on faith ever given. The Prophet's words added a lot more understanding to the passage, and because I was in the temple, that understanding not only impacted me deeper, but other things clicked, too.

That was a powerful feeling--it always is--and it was while I waited for my turn in the ordinance that that beautiful, familiar witness came to me. It permeated my entire being: a heavenly feeling of peace, love, understanding, and clarity, that whispered softly into my heart as if that were my ear, "It's true!" There was no room for any manner of doubt that this was truly the Lord's work; that this was His house; that He loved me and knew me by name. My mind had not been so clear in ages, my heart so full, nor my step so light.

I had a fairly busy day after leaving the temple, but contrary to my usual days of equal business, today's just seemed to deal with itself. Time was no longer a problem; unlike usual, I never showed up late for any of my appointments throughout the day. I could think so, so clearly, and despite all the tasks on my plate, I stayed in a constantly cheerful mood and so remain. After all this, and more, how can I ever deny the divinity of God, and the holiness of His house? Life is easier when you live the Gospel. It's as simple as that; if you don't feel in control of your life, read the scriptures . . . pray . . . go to the temple! The Lord will handle the rest if you simply obey Him. Because of these and other myriad blessings, I'm excited to start my new pattern of attending the temple every week. And in between visits, life will run a lot smoother, and I will be a lot happier. Who ever said it was easier not to try?!

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