Friday, November 14, 2008

Temple Trip

I am looking forward to this weekend at the temple very much. I haven't managed to make it into the temple despite having been very close to about seven of them in the last several months. We just never managed it on our trip out west, and our one weekend to go last month got swamped by other things. My last visit was in Los Angeles while at the AOM Conference.

People ask me, "Why do y'all [you guys] go to the temple so often?" That or they ask, "So your church makes you go to the temple every month?" Obviously there is a different tone to the second question, but sometimes the asker basically means the same thing. Recently, though, I was asked by someone who really wanted to know. I told her what I try to convey to anyone who asks, but most simply ignore me.

We go to the temple because, to us, there is no place on Earth where we can feel closer to our Heavenly Father. Inside, we are away from the world with all its distractions, and we can simply focus on a relationship that is so special, yet so often neglected (on our parts). The temple is a beautiful, peaceful place, but more important is that it is a sacred place, set apart from the world to give those who wish to a chance to commune with the Lord. Suggesting someone makes me go is like saying someone makes me eat a favorite food, or that someone makes me read a good book. I simply have never seen it as an order, but instead as a blessing coming from simply choosing to be in one of my favorite places on Earth.

Nobody has to make me breathe for me to want to do it, and nobody has to make me want to be nearer to God. I want to be, and I would love to be there all the time. Unfortunately, we are commanded that we cannot expect to be there always. When Jesus and his disciples were on the Mount of Transfiguration, the disciples wanted to stay there forever, enjoying the peace and tranquility of the place and the moment. Christ told them they could not remain. He commanded them that they might return to be with the people and share their testimonies that others might know of the gospel message. So in short, if there is a commandment, it is to go forth and be out among the people of the world. Simply put, we're told NOT to stay at the temple all the time. We just go back as often as we can to renew that closeness, and perhaps to recharge a bit. Why wouldn't we want to do take that opportunity?

-- Robert

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