Thursday, October 23, 2008

Temples





My husband and I had the opportunity to go to the Bay area. While there we visited the Oakland Temple grounds. I was in awe of the beauty of the landscape and view, as I had never seen the Temple before other than in pictures.
Upon our arrival, the first thing I noticed was the music of the Mormon Tabernacle choir reverently signing hymns over a speaker. I have never heard of this at the Temple and I was immediately filled with a sense of reverence for the sacred ground in which I stood upon.

This past week, I have taken the opportunity to really ponder and once again realize just how blessed I am to not only attend the Temple but to work in such a Sacred environment.
I enjoy my work in the Jordan River Temple. At one time I volunteered as a receptionist for a few years, but I now work in the cafeteria. It’s interesting to me to see the people who come and go through the doors of the dining room of the Temple. To me, working there is much more than just a job, it’s part of my Temple experience.

The Temple represents many things. It is a House of order, glory, prayer, fasting, thanksgiving, learning, faith, refuge, and so on. With each of these descriptions, a multitude of blessings can be ours.

Seeing how the Temple was a house of thanksgiving for one particular young man touched me. He couldn't have been more than twenty-three years of age or so when he walked up to me and handed me two hundred dollars and said, “This is to pay for their dinner,” He pointed to the long line of people that had formed to get their dinner when he started to turn and walk away. “Wait, I don’t know who you mean,” I said. Often times a family member will walk up and hand me money to avoid confrontation of who will pay for the others dinner in their group, but this time I had no idea where this young man’s family began or ended. He stepped closer and said, “I came into some money today and wanted to show my gratitude. I’m sorry, but it’s all the cash I had on me. I just wanted to pay for as many people’s dinner as that money could buy.” He turned and stepped to the back of the line. He was all-alone. He had come to the Temple to show his gratitude for the blessings he had received that day. With thankful heart, he bought 38 people dinner with that money. Elderly people, single people, couples, and workers benefited from this young man’s expression of gratitude. It made such an impression on me. The outpouring of love and appreciation was inspiring. Tear filled eyes were in awe that a young man would be so generous. When told that their cup of soup and roll had been paid for, an elderly couple said, “Who would do that for us?” They were so shocked and humbled, they just stood there speechless, unsure whether to accept the meal or not. A sister who came alone said, “No, there must be some mistake. No one would pay for me. I came by myself.” She started crying. A couple kept asking, “Really? Really? Just because? Please tell us who would do such a kind thing. We have to say thank you.” They were so impressed. The reactions of the people were incredible. That young man touched so many hearts with his gift of gratitude.

The Temple is indeed a House of Glory. All you have to do is step inside and know it is a place where our Heavenly Father’s Spirit can dwell. I think it’s crucial for us to remember that you cannot enter there with a worldly attitude and expect to have a Spiritual experience.

There are days it is hard for me to go to work. I need to be home getting something done or I feel a need to be with my family. There are days when my job has it’s own unique challenges, but how I love to be at the Temple! The people with whom I work and come in contact with have influenced my life in many ways. As a House of service, my family and I have been on the receiving end of that service so many times I couldn’t possibly list them all here. (In a later blog, I will tell you about the M&M project) As struggles have fallen upon myself or my family due to surgeries and medical conditions, we have been the recipients of meals, money, prayers and fasting. Within the cafeteria, we look for ways to serve each other and it has caused us to bond and become a close knit Temple-family.

The Temple is a House of refuge. It doesn’t matter how frazzled my day is outside of the Temple, when I walk inside, a calmness comes over me and I know all will be well. I love the people I work with, the people I serve, and the environment in which I am so blessed to be a part of.

The Temple is also a house of protection. The Temple is one place on earth where we can go to find peace, solace, and comfort. If you are overwhelmed, with a prayerful heart, you can enter unto the Temple, and find strength from the scripture in D&C 109:22
“Thy servant 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 over them.”

I am reminded of a quote by President Vaughn J Featherstone: “I promise you that all who faithfully attend to Temple work will be blessed beyond measure.
Your families will draw closer to the Lord, unseen angels will watch over your loved ones, when Satanic forces tempt them. The veil will be thin and great Spiritual experiences will distill upon this people.”

My work at the Temple has been a tremendous blessing in my family’s life and mine. As I come in contact with the people who enter the Temple to do their Temple work, in whatever capacity it may be, whether they are patrons, workers, volunteers or employees, I find my life is more richly blessed.
I am incredibly grateful for the eternal blessings the Temple provides us as we make a commitment to be obedient I am thankful I have a constant reminder in my life that in this world we have a greater purpose and that eternal happiness can be ours.
I am so grateful for the House of our Father where I can find peace, solace, inspiration, and learning. The Temple truly enriches my life.

5 comments:

sunnyannie said...

Yay! I get to comment first!

Jeri, thanks so much for this inspiring story about the goodness of one man in the Temple. I hope it makes up for those who are not so Christlike. I wonder if he knows quite how many people he has blessed? Not just the 38 diners, but you, me, and all those who have been impressed by his kindness.

Cheri J. Crane said...

Beautiful blog, Jeri. And I agree with Anna, I'm so glad you shared the story about the generous young man. Truly a Christlike act of charity.

And I'm with you---I love the temple atmosphere. There are days when I wish I could live within those sacred walls. ;)

Jennie said...

Jeri, well said. Working in the temple is something I never anticipated, but now I value this experience as one of the choice blessings in my life. It's working with people like you, with your kind and generous heart, that enriches this already fulfilling spiritual calling.

Nancy Campbell Allen said...

Jeri, wow. What a beautiful blog! Thanks from me, too, for sharing that story. What an incredible guy. I'm also always amazed at how stresses seem to melt away when you enter the temple and take a deep breath. I'm glad you've been able to form such wonderful friendships with your coworkers.

Mormon Soprano said...

What a beautiful post. Your stories and testimony of your temple experience has deeply touched me. Thank you for your service. You will be blessed