Sunday, November 6, 2011

The Fable of the Porcupine

I am grateful to my friend Sister Marie Hartmann for sharing this fable with me. I hope you enjoy it as much as I have.

It was the coldest winter ever. Many animals died because of the cold. The porcupines, realizing the situation, decided to group together to keep warm. This way they covered and protected themselves; but the quills of each one wounded their closest companions. After awhile, they decided to distance themselves one from the other and they began to die, alone and frozen. So they had to make a choice: either accept the quills of their companions or disappear from the Earth. Wisely, they decided to go back to being together. They learned to live with the little wounds caused by the close relationship with their companions in order to receive the heat that came from the others. This way they were able to survive.

The moral of the story is: The best relationship is not the one that brings together perfect people, but when each individual learns to live with the imperfections of others and can admire the other person's good qualities.   

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

A Blessing of Personal Revelation

“I believe that the busy person on the farm, in the shop, in the office, or in the household, who has his worries and troubles, can solve his problems better and more quickly in the house of the Lord than anywhere else. If he will leave his problems behind and in the temple work for himself and for his dead, he will confer a mighty blessing upon those who have gone before, and quite as large a blessing will come to him, for at the most unexpected moments, in or out of the temple will come to him, as a revelation, the solution of the problems that vex his life. That is the gift that comes to those who enter the temple properly, because it is a place where revelations may be expected.” (Elder John A. Widstoe, Temple Worship, A Lecture, delivered under the auspices of the Genealogical Society of Utah, at the Assembly Hall, Temple Block, Salt Lake City, Tuesday evening, October 12, 1920.)

Sunday, October 23, 2011

"If you understood the ordinances of the House of the Lord, you would crawl on your hands and feet for thousands of miles in order to receive them!" (Spencer W. Kimball as quoted in Temples of the Ancient World: Ritual and Symbolism, p. 58-59)

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

“The House of the Lord”

“The House of the Lord is a place where we can escape from the mundane and see our lives in an eternal perspective. We can ponder instructions and covenants that help us understand more clearly the plan of salvation and the infinite love of our Heavenly Father for his children. We can ponder our relationship to God, the Eternal Father, and his Son, Jesus Christ. We learn from the Doctrine and Covenants that a temple is a place of thanksgiving, “a place of instruction for all those who are called to the work of the ministry in all their several callings and offices; 

That they may be perfected in the understanding of their ministry, in theory, in principle, and in doctrine, in all things pertaining to the kingdom of God on the earth. (Doctrine &Covenants 97:13–14.)

"Regular temple work can provide spiritual strength. It can be an anchor in daily life, a source of guidance, protection, security, peace, and revelation. No work is more spiritual than temple work." (Joseph B. Wirthlin, “Seeking the Good,” Ensign, May 1992, 86)

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Becometh as Christ

One of my favorite passages of scripture is Mosiah 3:19 from King Benjamin’s magnificent sermon which succinctly states the purpose and challenge of life. Recently when re-reading this scripture, I substituted the word sanctified for “saint” since sanctification is the process of becoming saintly and Christ for “child”. These substitutions gave me some new insights. Making these substitutions, King Benjamin said,

For the natural man is an enemy to God, and has been from the fall of Adam, and will be, forever and ever, unless he yields to the enticings of the Holy Spirit, and putteth off the natural man and becometh…[sanctified] through the atonement of Christ the Lord, and becometh as…[Christ], submissive, meek, humble, patient, full of love, willing to submit to all things which the Lord seeth fit to inflict upon him, even as…[Christ did]submit to his father.” (Mosiah 3:19)

For me this process of developing the Christ-like attributes enumerated by Benjamin is a gradual process best described as occurring “grace for grace” (Doctrine and Covenants 93:20). This refining process takes place when we humble ourselves, follow the Spirit, and rely on Christ’s grace. The Lord told Moroni:

And if men come unto me I will show unto them their weakness. I give unto men weakness that they may be humble; and my grace is sufficient for all men that humble themselves before me; for if they humble themselves before me, and have faith in me, then will I make weak things become strong unto them.” (Ether 12:27)

I view regular temple attendance as crucial in the development of these Christ-like attributes. The temple is a holy and sanctified place where the Spirit is present in abundance (Doctrine and Covenants 109:12-13). Paul taught that, “The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance…” (Galatians 5:22-23). These are very similar to the attributes specified by King Benjamin. In the temple, I am in the presence of the Spirit and I can more quickly develop these ennobling qualities. Perhaps this is what it means, “to grow up in” the Lord (Doctrine and Covenants 109:15). Is it any wonder that the Spirit entices me to attend the temple?

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

The House of the Lord

 “[The temple]…is a creation of beauty— A symbol of strength A haven of peace A sanctuary of service A school of instruction A place of revelation A fountain of truth A house of covenants A temple of God.

“Inside the temple a… sense of peace is experienced. The world is left behind with its clamor and rush. In the house of the Lord there is tranquility. Those who serve here know that they are dealing with matters of eternity. All are dressed in white. Speech is subdued. Thoughts are elevated.

“This is a sanctuary of service….

“[The temple is] a school of instruction in the sweet and sacred things of God. Here we have outlined the plan of a loving Father in behalf of His sons and daughters of all generations. Here we have sketched before us the odyssey of man’s eternal journey from premortal existence 

“The temple is… a place of personal inspiration and revelation. Legion are those who in times of stress, when difficult decisions must be made and perplexing problems must be handled, have come to the temple in a spirit of fasting and prayer to seek divine direction. Many have testified that while voices of revelation were not heard, impressions concerning a course to follow were experienced at that time or later which became answers to their prayers.

“[The] temple is a fountain of eternal truth…Here are taught those truths which are divine in their substance and eternal in their implications.

“For those who enter these walls, this house becomes a house of covenants. Here we promise, solemnly and sacredly, to live the gospel of Jesus Christ in its finest expression. We covenant with God our Eternal Father to live those principles which are the bedrock of all true religion.

“This is a temple of God. The entablature on its face declares “Holiness to the Lord—The House of the Lord.” The first phrase of this statement is a declared recognition of the Almighty and a pledge of holiness and reverence before Him. The second is a statement of ownership. This is His house….

“And here I have entered to do that for which this house was designed, always leaving a better man than I was when I entered.

“So it has been with countless thousands of those who have come to…[the] temple where is felt the divine love of the Redeemer of the world." (Gordon B. Hinckley, “The Salt Lake Temple” Ensign, March 1993)

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Come to the Temple

“Come to the temples worthily and regularly….[So that] you may freely partake of the promised personal revelation that may bless your life with power, knowledge, light, beauty, and truth from on high, which will guide you and your posterity to eternal life. What person would not want these blessings…..” (David B. Haight, “Come to the House of the Lord,” Ensign, May 1992).

Thursday, August 4, 2011

The Temple--A Place of Personal Revelation

“Temples are places of personal revelation. When I have been weighed down by a problem or a difficulty, I have gone to the House of the Lord with a prayer in my heart for answers. The answers have come in clear and unmistakable ways.” Ezra Taft Benson