Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Temple Standard

This entry is part of my general conference application series.

Temple Standard, by Scott D. Whiting
Of the Seventy

My team at work was moved to new offices today. As part of the move, I packed all of my office belongings into boxes and began the task of finding places for everything in my new office. I quickly realized that I've accumulated a lot of unneeded papers and magazines! This move was a great opportunity to review the things that had been stored, get rid of some and properly file others, and resolve to not let clutter into my new, clean workspace.

As I sorted the piles of things, I thought of how I've been letting too many piles accumulate at home. My desk and other conspicuous places now have stacks of papers and magazines that need to be addressed. My office move makes me want to finally go through these piles at home.

After reviewing Elder Whiting's talk, I'm thinking that I might need to clean up even more personal clutter in my life. In his talk, he shared the story of touring a temple under renovation and observing feedback given on finding grit on a wall and a misaligned piece of glass in an interior leaded-glass window. These observations were given with under the reason that such are "not temple standard."

Later, after the renovations were complete, Elder Whiting toured the temple again and saw that the concerns had, indeed, been addressed, but that both would have been covered by something by design (wallpaper and a potted plant, respectively). Here are the questions that arose in his mind:

Why would walls with a little grit and a window with a little asymmetry require additional work and even replacement when few human hands or eyes would ever know? Why was a contractor held to such high standards?

His answer came upon seeing the familiar inscription on the outside of temples: Holiness to the Lord, the House of the Lord."

As I think of cleaning my office space, my living space, and my personal life, I wonder, "How clean is clean? Am I clean enough, or do I need to do more?" I try to live a temple standard, but I'm sure my life has some grit and a misaligned piece of glass or two. Here is reassuring counsel from Elder Whiting:

Gratefully, the temple standard that we are asked to meet is not that of perfection, although we are striving for it, but rather that we are keeping the commandments and doing our best to live as disciples of Jesus Christ.

My wife's family (me included) at the Jordan River Temple in December.

I would like to say that I'm doing just fine, but I think that this time of office changes and cleaning (and reviewing Elder Whiting's talk) will help me to take a look inside of myself and see if I can get rid of some of the grit from the walls and make sure that all the pieces of my leaded-glass inside are properly aligned, metaphorically speaking, of course.

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