Monday, March 8, 2010

Loving Reminders

I was able to teach a lesson to my Elders Quorum for the first time yesterday, and it was quite an experience. Though on a bit of short notice, I was able to adequately read the text and seek the Spirit's guidance in formulating what I would say and questions that could be asked. I am delighted to say that it went rather well, with great participation and discussion and a sweet Spirit that accompanied me as I taught. Truly, we can't be edified unless we all get together and share what the Spirit gives us. What a rich experience it was to feel the blessings of being in this calling.

We also were able to have a wonderful temple prep. class taught by Bro. Risenmay in our ward. The talk of saving ordinances, the covenants accompanying them, and the symbolism ingrained in all of them was a truly uplifting and inspiring occurrence. I realized how badly I needed to start regularly attending the Rexburg temple and of the peace and power that would come to me as I did so. Thanks to the Standard Works, the help and insights of others, books, and resources such as , I am able to prepare myself in some way for the day that I receive my own endowment in the Boston Temple.

Finally, the day ended off with the CES broadcast talk given by Elder Rasband. As he talked about the influence of righteous friends and of those who will truly stand by you in all aspects of life, I couldn't help but think of all of the true friends I have in my life to look up to, some of them even younger than I am. Truly, such friendships are a tender mercy of the Lord, and Joseph was right when he stated that
“Friendship is one of the grand fundamental principles of ‘Mormonism.’ … It unites the human family with its happy influence.”

What a glorious Sunday it has been.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

As I Have Loved You

Let me just start by saying that the Rexburg Idaho temple is a true jem, a towering beauty of the Lord's majesty. It was a pleasure to be able to walk on the grounds in the first week or so. The incredible Spirit that resides there and the wonderful symbolism of staffs of wheat only added to its grandeur. There was one day that I finally got to enter into that sacred edifice to do work for those who passed on, and it was a day unlike any other.

I could feel the warmth of the door handle in contrast to the brisk weather outside as I walked into the waiting room. Within minutes I was in a beautiful chapel that had no more than a glass partition between it and the baptismal font, allowing people to see first-hand the ordinance of vicarious baptism as they waited and contemplated.

It was while I was waiting there and immersed in the scriptures that someone caught my eye. Perhaps he stuck out since the majority of those who were sitting in the chapel were students at BYU-Idaho. This blonde-haired, deacon-age boy, fully clothed in his white jumpsuit, sat in front of me between his two sisters as they got comfortable. What happened next would be very tender to me and would end up affecting me for the rest of that day, as it still does now.

For some reason I felt drawn to watch him as he reminded me of some people I knew back home. It was then that I saw him lovingly massage the back of one of his sisters as he calmly rested his head on the shoulder of the other.

Something that might seem so insignificant to the average person struck me so deeply. It was then that I understood what the temple was all about. It was about uniting our families in the bonds of love, and not just through the sealing ordinances, though such is surely of importance. It was even more. It was becoming one, Zion, through service, through simple acts of kindness and generosity, through becoming like our Savior, Jesus Christ. This young, truly loving brother to his older sisters truly understood what it was to have the pure love of Christ. All it took was something so seemingly simple to convey that to me. I could not help but feel love for him and his family, people I barely even knew, as tears of quiet gratitude welled up in my eyes.

Moroni 7:45-48
"And charity suffereth long, and is kind, and envieth not, and is not puffed up, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil, and rejoiceth not in iniquity but rejoiceth in the truth, beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.
Wherefore, my beloved brethren, if ye have not charity, ye are nothing, for charity never faileth. Wherefore, cleave unto charity, which is the greatest of all, for all things must fail—
But charity is the pure love of Christ, and it endureth forever; and whoso is found possessed of it at the last day, it shall be well with him.
Wherefore, my beloved brethren, pray unto the Father with all the energy of heart, that ye may be filled with this love, which he hath bestowed upon all who are true followers of his Son, Jesus Christ; that ye may become the sons of God; that when he shall appear we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is; that we may have this hope; that we may be purified even as he is pure. Amen."

Amen, indeed.