Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Sacred Homes, Sacred Temples

This entry is part of my general conference application series.

Sacred Homes, Sacred Temples, by Elder Gary E. Stevenson
Of the Seventy

We took a tour of our home for Family Home Evening this week. We wanted to notice in what ways items in our home reminded us of the temple or pointed us to Christ. This was after a brief discussion on the sacredness of temples, and that “only the home can compare with the temple in sacredness” (link). It was a fun exercise for the whole family; I particularly liked seeing the children quickly look around each room to point out the things that reminded them of Jesus.

The idea for this exercise came from Elder Stevenson’s talk where he recounted a talk he heard where listeners were invited to take a virtual tour. He commented, “Wherever your home may be and whatever its configuration, the application of eternal gospel principles within its walls is universal.” I was pleased that the children identified items in each of the rooms on our tour that helped them remember Christ.

We applied another aspect of Elder Stevenson’s talk on our trip to the temple last month. In a similar temple lesson from an earlier Family Home Evening, Maryann taught, “As we touch the temple, the temple will touch us” (from President Monson). While at the temple, we reverently gathered outside the Celestial Room and touched the temple, offering silent prayers and paying attention to our feelings. In that quiet moment, she reminded us of what she taught in the Family Home Evening. It was a wonderful moment.

She also asked us to do as President Packer admonished (as quoted by Elder Stevenson):

Say the word temple. Say it quietly and reverently. Say it over and over again. Temple. Temple. Temple. Add the word holy. Holy Temple. Say it as though it were capitalized, no matter where it appears in the sentence.

Temple. One other word is equal in importance to a Latter-day Saint. Home. Put the words holy temple and home together, and you have described the house of the Lord!

We love the temple, and we love our home. I like the description of the house of the Lord offered by President Packer as the combination of sacred homes and sacred temples.

When we went to the temple this month, Maryann and the children had a great time on the grounds waiting as I was inside. They returned to the Celestial Room walls and thereafter took pictures to remind them of the experience. (You can see additional pictures and read more on Maryann’s blog: here.)