Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Home can be a Heaven on Earth

We went to the Boise temple dedication via satellite here in Twin Falls on Sunday.  Benson was baptized just a couple of weeks ago so it  was so great to have five of our six kids with us at the dedication.  Jackson went to a friend's house.

While we were waiting for the dedication to start, I had some time to sit and quietly think. I remembered another dedication we attended years ago.

We moved to Memphis Tennessee in 1999 and we were lucky enough to live just five minutes from the temple construction site.  It was during the spring of 2000 that the temple was completed and ready for dedication.   When the day finally came, we arrived at the stake center next to the church knowing that there probably wouldn't be room to accommodate everyone inside the temple for the actual dedication ceremony.

As we were ushered in, our friends were seated in the front row of the gym and we were just a couple of seats behind them on the second row. As we waited I started to feel anxious.  Somehow the knowledge the the familiar face of  Elder Faust was so close and yet so far away in the temple next door made me feel left out and slightly homesick.  After a few minutes, the ushers came in and escorted the first row of the gym out of the room.  We soon realized  that there were some empty seats inside the temple and they were going to take some of us from the gym to fill the empty seats.  I felt a rush of happiness and a thrill of anticipation at the prospect of actually entering the temple.

A few minutes later the ushers came in and escorted the guests in the newly filled front row of the gym out to the temple and another wave of just-arrived guests filled the emptied seats.

This happened several times.

Each time the ushers came in I hoped and expected that they would take our row into the temple.  Each time they took only the front row.

By the third time the row in front of us emptied my face felt flushed and I could feel my blood pounding in my ears.  I couldn't even hear the beautiful music being played and I certainly didn't feel any peace.  I was just mad and squirming in my seat as the late arrivals in front of us kept being escorted into the temple.

Finally the ushers took the first two rows out of the gym.  I sighed a breath of pent up frustration and un-fairness-induced anxiety as we walked up to the steps of the front doors of the temple.  As we paused to put foot protection over our shoes one of the ushers came out and told us that the temple was full and we would have to return to our seats in the gym in the next door.  When we returned to the gym our second row seats had been filled and we were seated at the back of the room.  I had hot tears pouring down my face and I finally turned to prayer in desperation.

I prayed that I would be able to hear the music being played.    I prayed that I would be able to find some kind of peace.  I explained to my Heavenly Father that I was homesick and wanted to see and hear and feel the familiar presence of someone I had grown up watching and listening to with my family.  I explained to my Heavenly Father that I desperately wanted to feel the spirit in the most holy of all places on the earth.

As I prayed a had a rush of peace and a clear answer;  "You don't need to enter the temple to be in one of the most holy places on earth, your home is just as holy."

This was new doctrine to me.  With two-year-old twins and a six-month-old baby, my home felt exhausting and cluttered and somewhat frumpy.  At the time I had never really considered the sanctity of the home.

 Home is where covenants are kept.  Home is where families become bonded and truly sealed.  Home is where prayers and love and work are offered to the Lord.  The hymn Home can be a heaven on earth has  new meaning for me.

It has been twelve years since that time in my life and I can say I have never ever forgotten that important lesson.  Just last night Rustin and I sat down after dinner with our six busy, happy, noisy kids and Rustin said, "I am so glad we have six kids.  There is no one in the world I would want to sit around the table with more than our family."  I agree.

I am so glad that  I was reminded of a lesson burned into my soul long ago.  While I love and attend the temple often, my home really is one of the most sacred places I know.


Jamie Hatch said...

Thanks kim, that's a beautiful story that none of us should forget. Thanks for sharing.

Lisa said...

Hi Kim,

This is Ashlee's friend, Lisa (Ahlborn). Thank you so much for sharing this. As I was reading, I felt flushed with the unfairness of the situation and then humbled with understanding. It was just what I needed to read. I've told Ashlee more than once that I love reading your blog and getting a laugh and and lift. Keep up the good work!