Modern revelation is what modern prophets are all about. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is guided by modern day revelation. This weekend was a perfect example of modern revelation.
On Saturday, two vacancies in the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles were filled. I had guessed right on Elder Gong, and Elder Sorres was no surprise either. These men have been called as special witnesses to Jesus Christ.
Saturday night a change in procedure was announced. Effective immediately, the High Priests will meet with the Elders’ Quorum, and there will be one presidency over the Elders’ Quorum that can consist of Elders or High Priests. Only High Priest serving in the Stake Presidency, Stake High Council or Bishoprics or Patriarchs will attend High Priest Quorum meetings.
This is an inspired change and will help in getting things accomplished in the church.
Sunday’s announcement was Home Teaching and Visiting Teaching will no longer be called such, but will be called “Ministering”. I encourage anyone wondering about it to read the talk by Elder Holland.
This too is an inspired change to help usher in the Second Coming. Other things were announced in association with these two big changed. They are all exciting. As a result of both announcements, the next few weeks will see much change.
President Nelson announced 7 new temples. The big ones are one in Russia and one in Bangalore, India. India is the one that surprises me. I didn’t realize we were that close to building a temple in India.
It makes me wonder how close we are to building a temple in some of the Arab Nations.
There’s a beautiful place in the Town of Palmyra called the Secret Grove. It’s off Stafford Road where Temple Road tees in to Stafford. It’s worth a visit. Okay, it’s really the Sacred Grove, but there are many people who don’t even know it exists. Plus, I was doing a little play off how people think of our temples as “secret” instead of “sacred”.
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has a lovely historic site on Stafford Road, about 1.5 miles south of the Village of Palmyra. There you find the Sacred (not secret) Grove, a re-creation of the Smith’s log home, and their actual frame home. It is open to the public and it costs nothing, nor do they ask for donations.
Spotted with benches along the trail, the Sacred Grove is a favorite of many people. Many people have their own “favorite” bench in the Sacred Grove. Mine (picture above) is a quiet place of solitude.
The temple is another sacred place I like to go. In view of the Sacred Grove, the Palmyra Temple is a special temple. All temples are special, but the Palmyra Temple is extra special. Positioned on a hill east of the grove, the temple has a lovely view of the Sacred Grove. Moroni, with his back to the grove, is a symbol of the gospel being spread from the grove to all the world.
Get it done 2016. That’s my hopes. I started back in on my book I was working on.
It was raining cats and dogs when I woke this morning. This bummed me out a bit because I was hoping to go outside and take a few pictures.
After a few hours, the rain stopped and I decided to get it done. I drove down to Patty Shack, ordered a burger, and took some pictures for my book.
And, here’s the burger I ordered… and ate…
From there, I just drove down the road and ended up in Perinton and took some landscape pictures for my church assignment. It felt good to get outdoors.
After returning home I uploaded the images to Create.LDS.org (the ones that were suitable). As the church builds its stock image database more tithing dollars can be used for things like temples and chapels. (Anyone who wants to know how to do this, I’ll be happy to teach them.)
Being full from my big burger at lunchtime, I decided to simply make some peach cobbler for dessert. I managed to use up some peaches that were in the fridge as well as some old cookies that are getting too dry to enjoy. The combination worked out well and we got rid of some leftovers.
We are still here in spite of some doomsayers. I appreciate the announcement that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints issued about why they stress preparedness… and it had nothing to do with 9/27/2015. I had a chance to look at some of the news stories from the weekend today, as well as all of the moon photos people posted on social media over the last couple of days. (Whew! I think if I see one more blood-moon photo I’m going to vomit.)
One such doomsday supporter has decided to set away from the public eye (understandably so). I just think of the scriptures that tell us no man knows the hour. I find it odd that so many Christians would buy in to someone “predicting” such events when the scriptures are very clear on the subject. I admit, the scriptures tell us to watch for the signs, but I think we need to be careful how we react to the signs.
It’s been a day of doing paper work (uhg). Now, I enjoy writing, but I hate dealing with red-tape. Needless to say, I got through all my red-tape dealings for the day just in time for a relaxing evening at the temple.
The temple has been closed for two weeks for its semi-annual cleaning. I’ve missed it. I hungered to get inside and bask in that feeling of safety and peace. The feeling is indescribable. Imagine, if you would, the security gate at the airport. Now, image that metal scanner as having some high-tech ability to remove all your worries and cares when you pass through it. Well, that’s kind of what I feel when I enter the temple.
Speaking of which, there was a cute story in Meridian Magazine about temples contributing to the leading cause of death in Utah. (You can read the story by clicking here.) And, to the author’s comments, I’ll add that while sitting quietly in the Oakland temple about nine years ago, I memorized the entire 36th chapter of Alma. It was kind of a self-challenge that if I ever became a temple ordinance worker, I’d have to be able to remember a LOT. Well, I did it and it was a boost to my confidence that I could memorize the temple ordinances.
I’ve already mentioned the feeling of peace and safety. Years ago, I recall going to the Oakland Temple and I had so much on my mind. I walked in the entrance, showed my recommend, and as I passed the recommend desk and started heading down the hall, it was as though I knew everything was going to be okay. (Again, going back to my analogy about the metal detector.) It wasn’t gradual, it was an immediate feeling.
To quote Janice Kapp Perry:
I love to see the temple.
I’m going there someday
To feel the Holy Spirit,
To listen and to pray.
For the temple is a house of God,
A place of love and beauty.
I’ll prepare myself while I am young;
This is my sacred duty.
I love to see the temple.
I’ll go inside someday.
I’ll cov’nant with my Father;
I’ll promise to obey.
For the temple is a holy place
Where we are sealed together.
As a child of God, I’ve learned this truth:
A fam’ly is forever.
My first love of the temple came when my family moved to Fair Oaks, California, and we drove to see the Oakland Temple one weekend. At that time, there were only 9 temples in the world. I thought, of those nine, the Oakland Temple was the most beautiful.
A few years later, when I was 12, I remember going with all of the young men and young women from our ward to do proxy baptisms. I think we each did 35 names that day. It was an all-day affair. But what I remember most of all, is the feeling I had when we entered the temple. At 12 years old, I didn’t have a lot of cares and worries, but I remember the feeling of peace.
Today, there are close to 175 temples operating, under construction, or announced. Many people in the world live within a couple of hours of a House of the Lord (another name for a temple). These sacred edifices are attended by worthy Latter-day Saints. (By worthy, attendees must go through two interviews (two witnesses) and attest to there having kept certain commandments (namely moral cleanliness, abstaining from illegal drugs and not abusing other drugs, abstaining from family/spousal abuse, being honest in their business dealings, just to name a few) and obtain a written document signed by themselves and the two interviewers. We call it a “temple recommend”.)
Temples are not our “meeting houses” where we hold church on Sunday. Like Solomon’s Temple of old, it is a place where sacred ordinances take place. Now, Jesus’ atoning sacrifice put an end to the killing of an unblemished lamb. No, there are no blood sacrifices that take place in the temple. Instead, the temple is where we receive instruction. We come with a broken heart and contrite spirit, and we covenant with God to keep his commandments. In return, specific blessings are promised to us. And, it is no surprise to me that those 90-year olds talked about in that Meridian Magazine story have made it to 90.
It was also nice to enter the temple and be greeted by friends. One of our summer (soon to be going home) missionaries came up to me, shook my hand, and said, “I am so glad to see you.” His smile warmed my heart and I though how we only met a few months ago, and we only see each other at the temple, but I can call this man friend. Later I learned that his grandson had been seriously injured. As I took notice of him and his wife during the evening I learned that their presence in the temple was bringing them them same sort of peace I feel when I’m there too.
I love the spirit that resides in the temple. I look forward to my next visit.
They asked us to name that temple when posting temple photos to the church database. I can fully understand. The other day I was assigning search words and I couldn’t tell what temple I was looking at as they didn’t show enough of the building. And, because they didn’t add the name in the search words, how was I supposed to tell.
When it comes to pictures, I like to see a meaningful caption telling me about the photo. Perhaps the photo might be a graphic to support a story, but in most cases, it is nice to see something that tells a little about the photo.
After the temple Elizabethe had turned on the TV and then started a movie. I asked, “Why are you starting a movie this late?”
She responded that the State of the Union was on and she needed something to get the “bad taste” out of her mouth.
I managed to find a shorter show to watch but while flipping channels, I heard a small bit of it. I personally find it sad that so many people distrust this administration as well as most of our elected officials. I hope 2016 brings some REAL HOPE and not just HYPE.
While I didn’t watch the State of the Union, I’m sure the morning will bring a lot of commentaries about what was or was not said. Either way, there will be no change until people repent.
I guess that could be the theme for a conference talk or Ensign article – Return to the Temple. Tonight they made some special accommodations for me and I was able to go to the temple. Of course, I basically had assignments where I could sit all evening, but it still felt good to go to the temple again.
We have some new temple missionaries who are from the Blackfoot, Idaho, area. It was nice to talk to them. When I explained where we lived they knew exactly where I was talking about.
Tomorrow they are delivering Elizabethe’s Christmas present. She’s been bugging me for years to get a head and footboard for the bed. So, they deliver it tomorrow. (She already knows that’s her Christmas present.)
Today she starts measuring the bedroom to see if it will fit.
Okay… I’m not returning her Christmas present. Do you know how long it took me to find something suitable that we could afford?
Now I’m faced with… “What if it doesn’t fit?”
I guess it is a guy thing. I’m okay with the bed just sitting in the middle of the room because that is the only way it will fit in the room. I mean… she wants a headboard. She’s getting a headboard. No, we’re not knocking a hole through the wall to make it fit.
I’m heading back to Nashville today. As I was driving, I was reminded of the song Donny and Marie used to sing, “I’m a little bit of Memphis and Nashville, With a Little bit of Motown in my soul.” I also found it odd that most of the FM radio stations were talking-head programs, but they do have a few good ol’ rock-n-roll stations. (What happened to the day when AM was talk, and FM was straight music?)
Locating the Nashville Temple took me way off the beaten path. At first, I thought I was heading the wrong direction, but the street names all seemed correct. I finally found it.
After checking into my hotel I decided to just relax and take a nap. After that I headed to Jack-in-the-Box for lunch. Once I ate my lunch I took a good long nap.
I had about 1 hour so I thought I’d drive down the road and check out the Grand Ol Opry. I’m not into country western music, but the place is iconic. Why not check it out?
I was there for about 30 minutes. I stuck around just long enough to get a few pictures and a souvenir. As I’m getting in my car, the couple next to me were getting out of their car. The man had a black badge that read, “Elder Wood”.
I said, “Hi, Elder Wood. I’m Elder Walton.”
We got talking and when he found out I was from Palmyra, he said, “We have some friends serving a temple mission there. Do you know John Morgan?”
I laughed and responded, “Yes. I’m his landlord. The Morgans rent a room from us in our house.”
What a small world!
It was then back to my hotel to grab the stuff for my presentation. Of course, I left something at the hotel and once I got to the venue, I had to turn around and go back and pick it up, but I got there on time and had a wonderful time.
After my presentation they treated me to dinner at Ruby Tuesday. I had a wonderful visit with them.
I did way too much today. Going to church (this includes my duties as organist), fixing dinner for the elders, and then going to Stake Priesthood Meeting (again, being organist) has thoroughly exhausted me. Being ill all week and then doing so much in one day has taken its toll.
I think I’ll sleep in tomorrow.
When the missionaries came over I made burgers and macaroni salad. The salad had everything from the garden – tomatoes, broccoli, beans, etc. It was a way of using up a lot of veggies. Plus, the burger allowed us to use up a big tomato and onion.
Before Stake Priesthood Meeting started, President Clark allowed me to take a group photo. Using a remote control for my camera, I managed to get a few shots, and here are the best expressions in the bunch…
As they were singing the opening hymn I couldn’t help think that there is not a better group of men in all this region as were gather together tonight. At my vantage point as organist I could see former mission presidents, bishops (current and past), dozens of return missionaries, future missionaries, new converts, members from pioneer families, friends, future friends, full-time missionaries, temple workers, members of the temple presidency and more. What a righteous group of men to be associated with.
Our stake presidency talked about the 107th section of the Doctrine and Covenants. I like what President Clark said when reading about some of the visions and angelic visitations during the Kirtland period. He said, “I believe these things happened.” I agree. I believe that too, and I believe such heavenly manifestations are available to all who seek them.
After our general meeting we had our annual High Priest Quorum Meeting. President Broadbent taught our lesson, and it was along the lines of what we studied today in our individual quorums and groups. He talked about the visit of Elijah and the promise made in Malachi.
Stepping back a few hours… early in the day a visitor to priesthood meeting mentioned missionary work in conjunction with temple/family history work. He asked if there was harm in liking one more than the other. It was right at the end of the lesson so I didn’t get a chance to comment, but I commented to him in private after the class.
Here’s what I basically said…
The two are connected. The entire goal of bringing someone in to the gospel is for them to receive the crowning ordinances in the temple so they will have all the necessary ordinances for their salvation and exaltation.
I love that new converts to the church can obtain a limited-use recommend, go to the temple, and start on the work for their ancestors. I love that families with youth an take their youth to the temple to do baptisms for the dead. I love that anyone can go on-line and research their ancestors and prepare their work for the temple. It’s all connected and it all goes back to “turning” the hearts of the children to the fathers and the hearts of the fathers to their children.