Conquer the World

Conquer the World
"They that await upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles"

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Temples, Freedom, and Happiness

This past weekend has been a blur, and yet a blessing. Last Saturday, September 17, was a special day in two ways. First, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints held a ceremonial groundbreaking for the Pennsylvania Philadelphia Temple. President Henry B. Eyring presided during the meeting. It was a great opportunity for the people in the Philadelphia area to learn more about why temples are so important to members of the Church. A widely known member of the Church, President Vai Sikahema (Counselor of the Cherry Hill Stake Presidency), spoke of the sacrifice his family made to go from his home in Tonga to the temple in New Zealand when he was a young boy. They sold many of their possessions to make the trip, all so they could be sealed together as an eternal family.  Other powerful speakers followed, bearing strong, personal testimonies of the importance of Temples in God's plan for you and me.

Here is an artist's rendition of what the temple will look like:

Cool eh?

One thing the speakers tied to the temple, Philadelphia, and the Gospel was the second way September 17 is important. I was unaware until it was announced, but it just so happens that Saturday was also 'Constitution Day'. We also celebrate the creation of the constitution on this day. God's hand was truly in the organization and founding of this country. The Constitution gives us the rights, God given rights, to worship how and what we may. Without it, the Church would have no opportunity to build temples, and touch heaven on Earth. I find it no coincidence that these events happened on the same day. The temple being built is simply a result of what happened so many years ago on the same day. How can you not see God's hand in all things? He is there, I know that.

One speaker, Elder Jensen, put the temple, and the importance of it, into perspective with the use of a parable first given by President Boyd K. Packer. He said:
"A merchant man seeking precious jewels found at last the perfect pearl. He had the finest craftsman carve a superb jewel box and line it with blue velvet. He put his pearl of great price on display so others could share his treasure. He watched as people came to see it. Soon he turned away in sorrow. It was the box they admired, not the pearl."
Though the temple will be a beautiful building, with wonderful grounds, and a edifying feeling to all who are close, the true reason we build temples is to learn more of God, and of our place in this life. We touch heaven, and learn how we can be more in tune with the will of God. Who wouldn't want that?

Each of us feel happiness in our life. That is part of God's plan. We are to, however, seek out those things that make us eternally happy. That is what we learn in the temple. Jesus Christ our Savior, and our families are spoken of. That which our hearts truly hold dear is brought to the front of our minds.

We all fall into the false sense of happiness, and seek it out in the wrong places. I came across a definition given by two brothers whom we all love and learn from. Laman and Lemuel describe to their brother,
"Behold, these many years we have suffered in the wilderness, which time we might have enjoyed our possessions and the land of our inheritance; yea, and we might have been happy." (1 Nephi 17:2 emphasis added)
I know that as we direct our minds towards those things that are eternally important that we will be truly happy. Many times we do feel that we are happy when we are doing something wrong, but look at it this way, Do you still feel happy about now, as you look back on it? Let us all look forward with faith, and hold that which is truly important close to us.


Elder Scott Mathie said...

How has going to the temple, or how can it, bless you and your family?

Kristen Weller said...

For me, attending the temple is an opportunity to focus on 2 things: my personal relationship with my Heavenly Father, and my marriage. I like to take time- while in the quiet of the temple- to reflect on how I am doing in those two areas. What a blessing to have a place to be so close to heaven!