Monday, March 23, 2009
Draper Temple Dedication
I don't believe the rules of sacred speech apply to temple dedications as they do to temple ceremonies. However in a spirit of reverence I wish to share some impressions that I had while attending (via satellite) the Draper Temple dedication Sunday March 22nd, 2009. I have not attended a temple dedication since the mid 90's when I attended the San Diego Temple dedication. I was surprised however at how much I remembered and what a great experience they both were.
A. Roger Merrill Sunday School General President and Elder Jensen of the Presidency of the Seventy were two of the earlier speakers followed by Elder Nelson of the Quorum of the Twelve and President Monson who also gave the dedicatory prayer. Brother Merrill and Elder Jensen both spoke of how the temple is a haven and mentioned how that section 87 and 88 go together as the "war and peace" sections of the Doctrine and Covenants. In section 87 the Lord warns of wars to come including the Civil War, and in Section 88, often referred to as the "Olive Leaf" section on how individuals can obtain peace. Both Brother Merrill and Elder Jensen spoke of this necessity to enter the halls of the temple as the Lords way of protecting the spirit, morale, and faith of the saints regardless of what might be happening in the world.
Feeling the effects of a struggling economy, and a nation still in Iraq and other conflicts throughout the world, I couldn't help but realize that while I watched the temple dedication I didn't worry about those things. Never once was I wondering about what Obama was going to do next, or how the stock market was going to react to the AIG bonuses. I didn't worry about foreclosures, hunger, or the cleanliness of my home. I was pondering the goodness of a loving God and what a blessing it is to be a part of the Lord's church. I didn't plan for it to be that way, it just happened. I felt peace. Admittedly, peace is not something I have felt for sometime now. Perhaps that is why is stuck out to me so much.
Symbolically I was given another level of understanding from the experience. Unlike the 70 degree day before, Sunday was a day of changing weather for the Salt Lake Valley as a storm was coming over the Wasatch mountains promising snow and rain. After leaving the stake center I couldn't help but notice this looming storm that was heading towards the chapel where the services were broadcast. These were very dark, gray clouds, darker than usual. Perhaps because they were shown in contrast to the sunny skies that rested over my head, or perhaps because I needed to be reminded that outside such holy places, there is very real and dark storm covering much of the world. I didn't fear the storm because I have shelter, but there are many who don't have such a level of comfort because they don't know where to turn for peace or refuge.
I took the Draper Temple dedication as not only a sign that I need to seek the peace that the gospel brings more often, but I should remember to be a beacon of that peace to others as much as possible or until I start to get annoying with it. I also should remember that regardless of what happens in the world of politics, law, and the societies in which we find ourselves, there is a temple within reach. And that attending the temple, a place where Obama and Pelosi cannot enter, I too can feel the peace that I forgot how much I needed.