Monday, September 22, 2014

Mormon Monday: Temple Dedication and the Spirit

Yesterday, we attended the Ogden Temple re-dedication.

When we build a temple, we try to make a building fit for our Heavenly Father to dwell in. That's why we try and make it beautiful and use the best materials possible. We want to give the Lord our best.
It was a beautiful event, and the Spirit was very strong. The Ogden temple was dedicated before, but after renovations, it was re-opened to the general public for tours. We weren't able to attend the open house (where anyone could enter), but they broadcast the re-dedication in our area.

When a temple is dedicated, it becomes a House of the Lord. It is meant to be a sanctuary from the world and all outside influences. This is why is it so important to be keeping the commandments and as clean as possible before you enter the building. This is why it is so restricted. The feeling in the temple is a very calming one. As the scriptures say in John 14:27:
 27 Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.
Often times, people may claim that they've never felt the Spirit of the Lord. This may be true for some of them, but you'd have to try awfully hard to never be in a place where the Lord's Spirit can dwell. I think more often, people just don't recognize the Lord's Spirit when they feel it. Galatians 5:22-23 say:
 22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering,gentleness, goodness, faith,
 23 Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. 
When we feel peace, love, and joy, we are feeling the Spirit. He will testify of truth and guide us and strengthen us.

When we are baptized as members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, we are baptized and confirmed or born of water and of the spirit (John 3:5). To be confirmed is when you are given the gift of the Holy Ghost through proper authority. This is a promise from the Lord that when you keep His commandments, always remember Him, and take the Savior's name upon you, you will be accompanied all your days by the third member of the Godhead. Previous to the confirmation, you can feel the Spirit occasionally, but after the confirmation, He is with you always.

When I was a kid, I was baptized and confirmed at the age of 8. However, I went through a point, where I thought that I had lost the Spirit through wickedness. I was about 11 at the time. I remember being really concerned about it, but I continued to try to do my best.

I would get reassurance from time to time that the Spirit was still with me, but I thought that I had never felt Him really powerfully.

Then, one day when I was 18, I entered a building where the Lord's Spirit could not come. Suddenly, inside of me, I felt a hollow feeling. I felt almost sick. I was only in this building for a short time, but right afterward the group I was with went to one of our church buildings. As I walked through the doors, it was as though a great wind flooded back into my heart and I felt peace. I realized that I had never lost the Spirit. I was just so used to having Him with me, that I didn't recognize the feelings when I felt them. I couldn't identify the Spirit in my life.

Since then, whenever I teach lessons at church or in my home, I try to point out to those around me when the feelings that the Spirit kindles are present. It has helped me notice how frequently I feel Him, and I think it also helps those around me learn to identify Him.

I am so grateful for the blessings of the temple. When ever I enter the Lord's holy house, I am flooded with peace and calm. There are very few places like it in the world today. The world is so noisy, that unless we stop to listen, we often won't hear or feel the still, small voice of the Spirit.

I encourage everyone to listen. I'm still learning how to know when He is speaking to me, but I know He does. I am so grateful that the Lord cares enough to take notice of our lives. I know He loves all of us, regardless of the choices that we have made, and He wants us to return to Him.

I say these things in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

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