It is Thy House, A Place of Thy Holiness D&C 109-110
Naturally, this week's lesson got me thinking a lot about the temple. As a matter of fact, with the number of times I've thought and talked about the temple lately, I'm pretty sure the Lord is trying to tell me something.
I've talked before about how during the time the temple has been closed, I made a point of keeping my temple recommend current so that when the temples opened again I would be ready to go back. So the big question is, why haven't I? I can honestly say I don't have a good reason.
So studying this lesson, I was really feeling it... all the feels of guilt that I haven't gone, and some of the pain of how much I've missed it. I could spout off a list of reasons but none of them are good. And if I'm being honest, I sort of struggled with the lesson a little.
It was on my third time through Section 109 that I finally really got the message that I needed this week. And it can all be summed up in the anxiety, anger, and fear for the future that I've been feeling for well over a year now. I'd say anxiety is the strongest of them all.
A Neighborhood Fable
There is a little neighborhood not too far from me where, a few years ago, everyone was all friends. When one of the elderly residents had a serious medical issue, the others rallied around them, spoke of their love for each other, supported the couple going through the ordeal, and it could honestly be said that they were a united community.
And then 2020 came. All the neighbors retreated into their homes, behind closed doors. Their associations with each other ceased for a much longer time than anyone expected, and somewhere behind those closed, locked doors, people started to lose their compassion and love for each other.
And as everyone finally emerged, the bickering began. Arguments ensued about community newsletters, birdfeeders, flags and sheds. People that used to be friends called their neighbors names on social media, marched over to people's houses to start arguments, and the complaining of a few turned into a pitchfork wielding mob intent on destroying a single person with whom they disagreed.
Sadly, I call it a fable, but it's a true story, and it isn't the only story of it's kind out there.
Contention in our midst
Everything that has happened in the past year and a half may not have been orchestrated by satan himself, but he sure did know how to take advantage of a good thing when he saw it.
As my husband waited for food in a fast food establishment tonight, he witnessed a grown man humiliate and berate a poor young manager because his food was taking too long.
There are stories all over the news of disagreements that end in brawls--in schools, on airplanes and in the airport, at government meetings. It's appalling that so many people have lost their ability to be civil.
And isn't this exactly as satan wants it? To drive us indoors, locked away, dividing us and isolating us and stealing away our compassion for our fellow human beings.
Despair doesn't have to be inevitable
And it has led me to feel a lot of despair that we can ever overcome it. I can proudly say that I am not participating in the incivility, but it doesn't mean I haven't been a victim of someone else's participation. If this is the "new normal" I don't want any part of it.
So this week, there were a few verses that literally leapt off the page at me. They aren't together, but they go together in my mind:
And we ask thee, Holy Father, that thy servants may go forth from this house armed with thy power, and that thy name may be upon them, and thy glory be round about them, and thine angels have charge of them...
and prepare the hearts of thy saints for all those judgments thou art about to send, in thy wrath, upon the inhabitants of the earth, because of their transgressions, that thy people may not faint in the day of trouble.
Section 109: 22, 38
I need to get to the temple
I realized that, for purely selfish reasons, I NEED to get to the temple as soon as possible.
If I am to be armed with Heavenly Father's power, have His name upon me, and have His angels guiding and directing me to prepare me to deal with these "days of trouble", I need to get myself to the temple to give Him the chance to bless me with these things.
Every blessing I ever get is predicated on me doing my part first, and I'm not doing it. I'm sitting around waiting and hoping for things to get better instead of preparing myself to deal with the idea that maybe they won't. But even if they don't, I can set myself apart from the world and all this contention by getting myself back to the temple.
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