Monday, September 12, 2011

Come to the Mountain of the Lord (Isaiah 2:3)

I have a new calling in my ward, which is Relief Society teacher! I am really excited about this calling because I love teaching and RS is not as intimidating as Sunday School for some reason to me. This past Sunday I team taught with another girl in my ward about the temple and family history.
The Orlando temple I went last year.

Provo Temple

The temple as described in the bible dictionary is "literally a house of the Lord, a holy sanctuary in which sacred ceremonies and ordinances of the gospel are performed by and for the living and also in behalf of the dead. ( 1Peter 4:6; 1 Cor 15:29) A place where the Lord may come, it is the most holy of any place on the earth. Only the home can compare with the temple in sacredness." I thought the last statement to be extremely poignant that our homes could even but actually are comparable to these beautiful buildings. I believe it is because of what we learn in both can help us become the people God has intended us to be in reaching our full potential to be like Him.
In the true to the faith it teaches us also that the purpose of all that we do in the church is to "point us to the Savior and the work we do in holy temples." I know that when I have the temple as my focus or goal in life it helps me keep my covenants I have already made and gives me an eternal perspective on life. I thought it was interesting how even the temple grounds can symbolize Christ and help lead us to Him. There is usually some form of water or trees on the grounds. To me the water represents Christ (John 4:14) and the trees are the ordinances that we perform to be like Him and return to His presence.  I think both are summed up together in the verse from 1NE 11:25. It all really just represents the Love of God and His mercy.

Rexburg, ID where my friend Ann was married this summer.

I love what President Monson said about temples in his last talk, "temples are more than stone and mortar. They are filled with faith and fasting. They are built of trials and testimonies. they are sanctified by sacrifice and service." I believe that all of those things helped build temples but also what keeps them operating today.

Bountiful, UT temple where my friend Ashley was married in August.

I also love what he said about blessings of going to the temple, "... we will be more able to bear every trial and to overcome each temptation. In this sanctuary we will find peace; we will be renewed and fortified." Now that is power from on high!

 This summer was packed with blessings. One off those special blessings was going to different temples all over the world. I had the opportunity to go to the temple in Tonga, D.C., and Palmyra. Each place offered the same blessings of peace and genuine love felt from my Heavenly Father, but expressed through different experiences. In Tonga I was blessed with the beautiful singing of the Tongan members within the temple. Their love of the gospel and others was evident in the spirit their singing brought into the room. It was one of such pure love for the people of Tonga and the group of nursing girls I went with as well.

In D.C.  I was able to sit for a long time in quietness as we waited for more people to come. I was so excited to go to this temple because this is where my parents were married and sealed! I finally was able to go into the baptistry this time!

Kristen, Hollie, Karl, and me at the temple. (the bus pulled up right before we took our picture of course!)

DC temple with my friend Hollie

     I also went to the Palmyra, NY temple The whole inside of the temple has stain glass windows depicting images of the sacred grove and you feel the sacredness of both places because of the presence of the Lord found in each. There is also a large window directly facing the Sacred Grove in the temple. This temple trip was particularly special to me because it included some of my closest friends. They sacrificed the opportunity to do a session to come do baptisms instead, which meant a lot to me. It was incredible to be able to serve with these people all summer and then to do so in the temple was such a joyous experience. It truly was one of those perfect moments filled with pure friendship! I will never forget it!

    What connects all these temple experiences for me all over the world and for the past year that I have attended the temple I have always been given Hungarian names. I lived in Hungary for three and a half years so I was always excited to get names from there. When I started noticing a pattern I began to wonder why? It may be because temples all over the world were working on Hungarian names for the past year, but I believe there are no spiritual coincidences. When I was in Palmyra some of the counselors had been in the temple all week doing work and had never once received a Hungarian name till I came. Either way I know and feel of the love that Heavenly Father has for me each time, which is such a blessing to me.

One night we were there for a devotional on the temple grounds. The temple President told us to lock the temple gate when we were done. Needless to say we were really excited to be the only ones on temple grounds and to be able to lock the temple gate! It was a unique experience!
Jason, Karl, and Dax our priesthood holders that the temple workers thought were youth.

Palmyra temple grounds.

View of the temple from the where the sacred grove is.

Beautiful Sara and Jenna on our rainy temple day.

Part of the B.C. team that went to the temple that day.
Some of my besties!