Sunday, July 20, 2008

I See… Temple Strength

For anyone fortunate enough to live east of Washington DC, your temple experience starts about 20 minutes before you get there, as you round that bend on the beltway and are faced with symmetrically-framed gleaming spires of white rising majestically above the tree-lined horizon in front of you. Temple spires reaching upward remind you of your purpose for braving the traffic and gas prices; you, too, are reaching upward, seeking a heavenly experience, grasping for a peace that only God has power to grant, and your faith and prayers tell you that you may find it there.

How wonderful would life be if we knew where we were going? If we knew the end from the beginning? Wouldn’t it be easier to bear trials and afflictions if we knew why?

Every once in a while there are those who are blessed with this type of knowledge that strengthens their faith. Ammon and his missionary companions in the Book of Mormon had some measure of knowledge of what they were about to attempt: preaching the word of God to “a wild and a hardened and a ferocious people; a people who delighted in murdering the Nephites, and robbing and plundering them.” Lucky for them, the Lord told them the reason why they would suffer so much during their mission: “Go forth among the Lamanites, thy brethren, and establish my word; yet ye shall be patient in long-suffering and afflictions, that ye may show forth good examples unto them in me, and I will make an instrument of thee in my hands unto the salvation of many souls.”

The Celestial Room is our opportunity to taste a glimpse of eternity. If we have approached the temple with the right frame of mind, the peace, comfort and inspiration we feel there instinctively reminds us of what heaven will be like if we choose to take advantage of the atonement to get there. We enjoy the privilege of seeing the end, if only for a moment, and knowing why we must endure. Then we can go forth, armed with vivid memories of a temporary heaven, and walk through our challenges. We put one foot in front of another, and before we know it we have made it through another day, week, month, and year closer to our goal. This is temple strength.

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