Monday, June 24, 2013

The Majesty of the Temple

Sometimes in the evening while I'm working at my desk, I stop to look out the window at the temple as the sun goes down on another day and I realize again how grateful I am for this little moment in time when we are living in the shadow of the London Temple. I reflect on that often, though the days pass so quickly I often loose track of how fast the time is passing. After having lived here nearly a year and a half, it feels so much like home now that Utah seems a long way away and my thoughts of returning there next year are slightly anxiety-ridden.

The London Temple from our windows in the evening

What a privilege it is to see the temple fill our living room, kitchen and bedroom window views! I never get tired of gazing at it's stately presence. Many of the most important and sweet moments of my life have occurred in temples. It's where I have made solemn covenants with God for myself, with Don, and with my family.

As a child, I watched the Los Angeles Temple rise from the ground.  For many years, I longed for the day when I would be old enough and prepared to enter it's doors. It was always a treat to take the 20 minute drive from Westchester with my family and walk around the beautiful grounds of the temple on a balmy, sunny Southern California day. Eventually, it's the temple Don and I choose for our wedding day -  the day we were sealed for time and all eternity.

Now there are so many temples that are deeply significant to us. Blessed by the magnificent privilege of adoption, our family has knelt across the altar from one another as children have been sealed to us in two different temples. Jenn was sealed to us in the Provo Temple; Amy and Emily were sealed in the Salt Lake Temple. In recent years, both Don and I have worked in the Jordan River Temple and the Draper Temple. What a privilege! We also attend many different temples as we travel and always enjoy the feeling of "coming home" in temples we've never visited before.

Salt Lake City - August 1987

Because of the peace and blessings found in our temple covenants, Don and I made a commitment during the first year we were married that we would try to attend the temple at least once every month. Though we have missed a month here and there, it has always been one of our greatest priorities and one of the greatest blessings to our marriage. Many years ago, we had a bishop who, in a Sunday School class, made a promise that I have never forgotten. Bishop Ricks essentially said, "The best thing you can do for your marriage is to attend the temple more often. It has the power to bless your lives and your marriage." Having tested that promise, I am absolutely certain that it's true!!  The temple blesses individuals, marriages and families - past, present and future.

Throughout history, the Lord has commanded his people to build temples. Temples are literally the House of the Lord on earth. They are holy places of worship where the Lord may visit. Temple work, and the Priesthood power through which we receive authority to perform temple ordinances, sets us apart from the rest of the current religions of the world. In the temple, we make covenants that prepare us to live in God's presence after this life.

These are a few of the things our prophet, President Monson, has said about temples in the last couple of years:
  • The all-important and crowning blessings of membership in the Church are those blessings which we receive in the temples of God.
  • Those who understand the eternal blessings which come from the temple know that no sacrifice is too great, no price too heavy, no struggle too difficult in order to receive those blessings.
  • There are never too many miles to travel, too many obstacles to overcome, or too much discomfort to endure. The saving ordinances received in the temple that permit us to someday return to our Heavenly Father in an eternal family relationship and to be endowed with blessings and power from on high are worth every sacrifice and every effort.
  • The world can be a challenging and difficult place in which to live. We are often surrounded by that which would drag us down. As you and I go to the holy houses of God, as we remember the covenants we make within, we will be more able to bear every trial and to overcome each temptation.
  • In this sacred sanctuary we will find peace, we will be renewed and fortified.

Looking back as we celebrate our 46th anniversary this month, it is now very easy to see how the decision Don and I made so many years ago has affected our lives and the lives of our children and grandchildren. We aren't perfect, and I'm sorry to report that neither are our children and grandchildren yet, but who could have known that such a simple choice could reap such blessed consequences. The blessing of the temple are available to all who will qualify, and it's never too late to gain those blessings.               ~Pat~

London Temple by Suzanne Parry

London Temple by Suzanne Parry

Temple Grounds by Eva Fulop

Temple Grounds by Eva Fulop

Temple Grounds by Eva Fulop

Temple Grounds - by me!

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