Sunday, September 21, 2014

Go up to the Mountain of the Lord

Serving so directly in the area of Family History, we are surely getting a stronger witness of the place it plays in the BIG picture.  We are coming to realize that we are doing as much to "hasten the work" as are the young Elders and Sisters.  Gospel principles are being taught not only here in this life, but in the life after this, and God's children on both sides of the "veil" are accepting Christ as their savior and desiring to take upon them the sacred, saving covenants that will bind them to Him.  Both Ann and I love doing the Family History research that is a prerequisite for those covenant ordinances.  Finding those "lost cousins" has been a labor of love, especially now as we preserve the documents that will verify so many links in the Family of Man.

Bountiful -- April
To prepare for our service here in Indiana, we both felt drawn to do as much temple work as we could while we were still close to so many.  As I will share here, the Lord taught me as I visited his Holy Houses.

Bountiful was the beginning, the temple where we first felt the promptings to serve a full-time mission.  That seemed fitting, since it was back in March, 2011, in the Bountiful Temple that I first saw Ann all in white and knew that she was a Queen in the Lord's Kingdom, and I would do well to ask her to be at my side.

Washington DC--May
In visiting family before beginning our service, we were able to worship "coast to coast" in the Washington DC Temple and the Los Angeles Temple.  In DC my resolve to show the Lord greater love and gratitude was reinforced.  And I am trying to do that by serving him and doing his will.

In the LA Temple I felt the promise that as I served diligently that the power of temptations would be diminished and that I would find strength to stay obedient and faithful.
Los Angeles -- June

Mt. Timpanogos -- July
While we were in the MTC we enjoyed the Mount Timpanogos Temple (Provo's was closed the week we were there).  It was our first temple experience as missionaries, with the added meaning of "consecration" being driven deeper into my awareness. We made our last visit to Bountiful the next week as we were being trained by Family Search (the Salt Lake City Temple was closed).

Winter Quarters
Planning our travel from Utah to Indiana, we put temple worship high on the itinerary.  We made the choice to go the north route to spend a day in Omaha at the Winter Quarters Temple,  Winter Quarters has held special meaning to me over the years as I've visited there and felt the whisperings of the Spirit.  I was hoping for a similar feeling this time.  It came to me as Ann and I, acting as proxy for the mother and father in several of our ancestral families, were sealed to their children.  It strengthened my testimony of the importance and correctness of our calling, to assist in this work which Joseph Smith called "the most glorious of doctrines."

Next came two days in Nauvoo's historic temple.  As Ann and I spent that time together in the Lord's house, I was reminded by the Lord of the strong blocks of faith and testimony on which we are building our marriage and eternal relationship, and that if we remember that foundation rather than dwell on our differences or challenges, we would be able to grow even closer together.

Indianapolis Under Construction
Our first week in Indiana we visited the construction site of the Indianapolis Temple that will be completed mid-2015.  The members here have waited a long time and are quite eager.  We hope to enjoy its dedication and to be able to worship and be taught there for a few months before we return to Utah.

Chicago -- August
The members here are in the Chicago Temple district, and many of them regularly make the 3-hour trip north, even serving as ordinance workers.  August 16, we made the drive north and spent the day, worshiping and serving in as many ways as we could.  That day I was taught that our best efforts, no matter how far they may fall short of our own or other's expectations, are sufficient in the eyes of the Lord.

Louisville -- September
Louisville's temple is about the same distance south, without the metropolitan traffic and toll roads. The first weekend in September we drove down on Friday, got a good night's sleep, and arrived at the temple early Saturday morning.  We stayed through the afternoon.  I came away with a greater resolve to be true and faithful to the covenants I have made with the Lord, that anything outside of those bounds, anything that would jeopardize my worthiness to enter holy temples, would cause me sorrow.  

We'll strive to spend a day each month to "go up to the mountain of the Lord, and to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths."  (Micah 4:2)
Indianapolis -- to be completed in the Spring of 2015