Monday, January 25, 2016

the house of the lord




on friday evening i had the chance to attend a session at the perth temple, for the first time in a really long time. it was so wonderful to be there! to learn and to think in the quiet rooms. i have made a resolution to attend at least once a month this year (writing it down here, as a goal unwritten is simply a wish!) so i am officially one twelvth of the way there!

it's funny though, how you hear things you need to, when you need to... the relief society lesson on sunday was based on a talk entitled: shipshape and bristol fashion: be temple worthy in good times and bad times. it spoke of the importance of always holding a current temple recommend, regardless of whether your circumstances allowed you to attend the temple or not. 3 points i thought particularly important were 1. to practice righteous self control and conduct at all times 2. honouring the sabbath will increase righteousness and be a protection for the family 3. divine protections are provided when we are righteous. exactly that. when we are righteous. heavenly father loves his children, but he excepts us to be obedient and turn to him.

a sister in our class spoke of an experience where she had attended the wedding of a close family friend, had waited excitedly in the waiting room and then passed her recommend to the clerk at the desk, only to discover it had expired the day prior. she said she felt as one of the foolish virgins, who had not brought their oil and had been left outside. what an awful lesson to learn! but what a lifelong reminder to be prepared at all times to receive the blessings that can only be found within the walls of the temple.

i am so excited to attend the temple each month and know that i can and should do so, as this year will truly bring me closer to my father in heaven. 

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I hold before you two credit cards. Most of you are familiar with cards such as these. The first is a bank credit card. It permits me to secure merchandise on credit and then pay for my purchases at one time. It is a valuable thing and something to be safeguarded. If stolen and dishonestly used, it could cause me great loss and perhaps considerable embarrassment. In accepting it from my bank, I enter into a contract and become bound by obligations and agreements. In accepting the card, I agree to meet the conditions under which it was issued.
It is issued for one year only and must be reissued each year if I am to enjoy the privileges afforded by it. It is not really mine. The bank retains ownership. If I fail in my required performance, then the bank may shut off the credit and repossess the card.
The other card which I have is what we call a temple recommend. It represents a credit card with the Lord, making available to me many of His greatest gifts. The bank card is concerned with things of the world, the recommend with things of God.
To secure a temple recommend, the receiver must also have demonstrated his eligibility, and that eligibility is based on personal worthiness. Once granted, it is not in place forever, but must be reissued each year. Furthermore, it is subject to forfeiture if the holder does anything which would disqualify him for its privileges.
Eligibility for a temple recommend is not based on financial worth. That has nothing whatever to do with it. It is based on consistent personal behavior, on the goodness of one’s life. It is not concerned with money matters, but rather with things of eternity.
The bank card opens the door to financial credit. The temple recommend opens the door to the House of the Lord. It is concerned with entry into holy precincts to do sacred and divine work.
This recommend which I have and which so many of you have is a precious and wonderful thing. It makes one eligible for an exclusive and remarkable privilege—the privilege of entering that House which says on its wall, “Holiness to the Lord—the House of the Lord.” Live worthy to serve in that House. Keep it holy. Do your part to keep from the Lord’s House any unclean or defiling influence or person. Enjoy its beauty. Enjoy the wonder of the things that are spoken there, the beauty and the blessing of the ordinances there administered.
To those who have not yet been to the temple, may I suggest that you take advantage of the opportunity of being baptized in behalf of the dead. And then let that sacred experience become an anchor to your lives, that you so conduct yourselves at all times and in all circumstances that, at the proper time, you may secure a special and restricted credit card with the Lord, even a recommend to His holy House, there to enjoy all of its blessings and privileges.
-Keeping the Temple Holy: President Gordon B Hinckley (Ensign May 1990) Read the full talk here



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