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Bernard Gui

The Joy of the Temple

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2 hours ago, Bernard Gui said:

A wonderful essay from the Temple Institute of Jerusalem about the singular joy of  the temple....

https://www.templeinstitute.org/newsletter-08-09-17.htm

I love being in the temple and experiencing the joy of being with God. The sentiments in this essay make me even more thankful for the temple. Sometimes I take it for granted. When I read this I feel a kinship with my Jewish brothers and sisters which they may not appreciate or understand. 

How about you? What makes it a place of joy for you?

For me I like stepping out of the world and all its cares to reflect soley on God and others. I also like the connection between temple doctrines, the scriptures, LDS doctrines and its connection to ancient Israel. 

Edited by Darren10
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20 minutes ago, Hamba Tuhan said:

Where to begin?

I remember entering the temple for the very first time, filled with anticipation, and immediately feeling like I'd 'gone home' despite the seeming newness of everything. I did two endowments that morning, the first one, of course, for myself, and then another one for a complete stranger who, I knew, also happened to be a brother. I never wanted to leave. I remember approaching the front doors of the temple and looking out into the world and trying to come up with a plan that would allow me to stay inside ... forever.

Then there's the revelation that comes in and because of the temple. Nearly two years ago, I went with the most unsolvable of burdens and prayed with earnestness throughout the session. In answer to which, I heard distinctly and clearly, 'Hamba, prepare yourself for what I have planned'. Immediately I was filled with peace and the almost 'pulsing' assurance that God had this one figured out. That peace stayed with me throughout  the end of 2015 and well into 2016, but by the end of February, I started worrying again. Where was this plan that God had said he had? Had He really spoken to me? I was five weeks away from complete disaster.

Off to the temple I went with my ward. Again, I prayed like mad. Nothing. Silence. The next day, I was travelling home by myself and took the opportunity to vent. 'Where art Thou?' I asked with a mix of desperation and rising resentment. I prayed for more than an hour as I travelled. 'Where wast Thou when I was in Thy house last night?'

And then the voice again, this time returning question with question: 'Hamba, do you really have faith in Me?'

'Thou knowest I do!' I asserted angrily, trembling with indignation. Then immediately came into my mind all of my fears and worries and doubts. So I spoke aloud again, this time with a different attitude: 'Lord, I believe ... help Thou mine unbelief'. And again perfect peace. I still had no clue what was planned, but I spent the next few weeks consciously forcing myself not to fear, not to worry, not to shrink.

My Bishop's wife asked me what I was going to do. I told her, 'Nothing'. 'So you've given up then?' 'No'. 'So what are you going to do?' "I've done all I can; now I'm going to be still and wait for the arm of the Lord to be revealed'.

And then the miracle. Miracles upon miracles. Literally 36 hours before disaster, all was resolved. Looking back, it had all been perfectly planned. A dozen threads all came together at the very last moment and in the only possible way.

And then there's the peace. Nowhere else in the entire world feels so luxuriantly undisturbed. I revel in it. Going back to the temple after last year's miracle was an opportunity to exult in it ... and to offer up sincere gratitude.

And then there's the joy. I've already written in this forum about spending last weekend in the temple with an elderly couple whom I've worked with for nearly three years. She came back to church, and he was baptised last year, and now they are sealed to each other and to their deceased parents. I visited them last Sunday to take them the sacrament, and the joy was flashing in their eyes and radiating throughout their small home.

Oh, it's good. So very, very good.

I will not pry as your life is your story to tell, but, do understand....I am very curious about some of the details behind this story. :)

I am very glad things worked out for you. 

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2 hours ago, BlueDreams said:

In short, just about everything. 

3 things come to mind immediately. 

1. The knowledge. I became a temple worker because I wanted to know the temple inside and out. I wanted to fully understand it. It has been a wonderful experience that has expanded my knowledge and given me insight into women's stewardship. It is like a key that has unlocked parts of the scriptures and made everyday life pieces of a temple experience. The knowledge has made the temple be carried with me, wherever I go. Seeing more the intricacies and hand of God in daily simple things.

2. The people. The temple workers have often been instrumental in my healing when I was at some of my worst moments. The first time I really remember this was when I was a patron. I had had my heart broken painfully so. I'm not a crier, but I needed to let go. But I couldn't anywhere else. The only place I felt secure enough to do so was in the temple. I went for initiatories and I entered the booth to find 3 older women (which is a little less common in the provo temple). They became like three gentle Mothers as I began to crack at the seams. One held my face and told me gently there was no better place to cry. One cared for me. And one cried with me. It still chokes me up to think of that beautiful and gentle moment as I went around this circle of love and care and beauty then stillness before I started again. The next was years later when I was angry and hurt....particularly at God. But I had to work the next day in the temple. Yippee. The assistant to the matron saw me in one of my posts and asked me how I was doing. I told her not great. Again, she cared for me in a way that made me start to tear up. Then she gently touched my face and wiped away my tears, telling me that it was good to cry because it cleansed the soul. The scripture about Christ coming and wiping away all tears came to mind. She was literally Christ's hands that day.  Before I could leave my spot she ran to write down a scripture for me to read later.  That scripture was a catalyst that allowed me to sit in the sealing room alone and open up my pain and hurt to God. 

3. Christ. It is the place that I felt the presence of Christ. That I knew He intrinsically knew my sorrows and pain. Knew where I was and sat with me, loving in a way more deep and powerful and gentle than anything I felt before. In a moment of pure transcendence I understood this scripture to the bottom of my soul in psalms 40:

  

In a moment where I had been in despondency and pain, I found the pain removed with a joy and love so deep that it made me want to sing praise to the beauty of God. I cannot say enough to describe the profound experience of peace that it was like to know with certainty that Christ sat with me that evening in the temple. 

 

With luv,

BD

I luv it! 

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6 hours ago, Duncan said:

I think for me what brings me joy is something that Bro. Dan Peterson said sometime ago about family names or no family names. People lived tough, hard lives and are basically forgotten now, except in the House of the Lord where their name is mentioned again and are remembered and cared for by people again.

I'm not sure, but I think this may be what you're referring to.  My ramblings on it are, of course, insignificant, but, although I've tried the link in my browser several times, I can't get Dan's original post to come up.  (I do link to it here, however, in case anyone/everyone has better luck than I have).

https://greatgourdini.wordpress.com/2014/11/18/you-breathed-my-name-aloud/

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1 hour ago, Kenngo1969 said:

I'm not sure, but I think this may be what you're referring to.  My ramblings on it are, of course, insignificant, but, although I've tried the link in my browser several times, I can't get Dan's original post to come up.  (I do link to it here, however, in case anyone/everyone has better luck than I have).

https://greatgourdini.wordpress.com/2014/11/18/you-breathed-my-name-aloud/

he said it in his patheos? blog maybe last month or so, but sounds like something he's thought of for awhile now or since 2014!

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10 hours ago, Duncan said:

People lived tough, hard lives and are basically forgotten now, except in the House of the Lord where their name is mentioned again and are remembered and cared for by people again.

Thanks for bringing this up. I've always felt reverential about speaking the names of the deceased, and I think I now understand better why.

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12 hours ago, Bernard Gui said:

A wonderful essay from the Temple Institute of Jerusalem about the singular joy of  the temple....

https://www.templeinstitute.org/newsletter-08-09-17.htm

I.....................................................

The Jews do not have a temple today, and so their talk of such joy is perhaps contemplative and hopeful.  Meantime, if you want to see or experience religious joy, attend an Orthodox synagogue on the Sabbath or attend a Sabbath meal in a Jewish home.  http://www.chabad.org/library/article_cdo/aid/593036/jewish/Shabbat.htm . -- the part where the Jewish father lays a hand on the head of his child and blesses him is especially moving.

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I love this thread. I have a recommend but haven't been able to get to the Temple in ages. It's difficult with a nonmember wife and a little one to find time to drive several hours. Especially when all the ward trips tend to be while I'm working.

So please continue sharing. I'm inspired by them

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1 hour ago, Robert F. Smith said:

The Jews do not have a temple today, and so their talk of such joy is perhaps contemplative and hopeful.  Meantime, if you want to see or experience religious joy, attend an Orthodox synagogue on the Sabbath or attend a Sabbath meal in a Jewish home.  http://www.chabad.org/library/article_cdo/aid/593036/jewish/Shabbat.htm . -- the part where the Jewish father lays a hand on the head of his child and blesses him is especially moving.

Thanks for the comment. Everything the Institute does is in hopeful and joyous anticipation of the rebuilding of the Temple. Sometimes I covet their enthusiasm for something they are only hoping for....we have the temple but unfortunately sometimes look on attendance as a chore or an inconvenience. I love this image they use...shades of Nibley..."The Temple is where I get my bearings on the universe..."

https://www.templeinstitute.org/gallery_1.htm

 

Edited by Bernard Gui
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What I don't find particularly enjoying is the fact that guy in my ward wears white crocs without socks on in the Temple, crocs in the Temple? how gauche!

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4 hours ago, Robert F. Smith said:

The Jews do not have a temple today, and so their talk of such joy is perhaps contemplative and hopeful.  Meantime, if you want to see or experience religious joy, attend an Orthodox synagogue on the Sabbath or attend a Sabbath meal in a Jewish home.  http://www.chabad.org/library/article_cdo/aid/593036/jewish/Shabbat.htm . -- the part where the Jewish father lays a hand on the head of his child and blesses him is especially moving.

Perhaps an LDS sacrament meeting would also be a place to experince joy.  

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6 hours ago, Hamba Tuhan said:

...

So I spoke to my bishop after church the next day and asked him about it. He didn't recommend me. I told him I'd seen the form. He assured me he hadn't filled in a form. I asked, 'So who did?" He shrugged and said, 'Maybe the Lord wants you to serve as an ordinance worker'.

So I've spent the last week trying to figure out what I should do next. I've both pondered and prayed. You've given me a bit more to ponder. Thanks!

I've got a suggested answer to explain what happened, but it rattles some people's brains.

Will only provide upon request.

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18 hours ago, Bernard Gui said:

A wonderful essay from the Temple Institute of Jerusalem about the singular joy of  the temple....

https://www.templeinstitute.org/newsletter-08-09-17.htm

I love being in the temple and experiencing the joy of being with God. The sentiments in this essay make me even more thankful for the temple. Sometimes I take it for granted. When I read this I feel a kinship with my Jewish brothers and sisters which they may not appreciate or understand. 

How about you? What makes it a place of joy for you?

In the Bible, the death of Jesus is marked by the temple curtain being torn from top to bottom.  (See Mark 15:38-39, though the account is repeated in all the synoptic gospels). 

In the Christian tradition, the rending of the veil signifies the removal of the separation between God and people.  Through the work of Jesus on the cross, gentiles everywhere have access to the very presence of God.  And the fact it's torn from the top down makes clear this is the work of God, not man.  The author of Hebrews understands the significance and underscores the point in 6:19-20.  And the coming destruction of the temple is made inevitable.  

It's certainly understandable why those in the Jewish faith would reject all this and suppose God would remain most accessible in a particular space (e.g., along or under the Western Wall).  But for LDS who claim faith in the person and work of Christ--it makes a whole lot less sense.  

What do LDS think of Mark 15:38-39 and the torn curtain?  Was it just a random event and the Apostle Paul and ensuing Christian tradition made a mountain out of a molehill? 

--Erik

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3 hours ago, Garden Girl said:

What that taught me was that God knows us, hears our prayers, and answers them in his own time and in his own way with what is best for us and when...

Precisely. And in return, we get to know Him ... but this knowledge can take considerable faith and patience, not to mention all the wrestling and repenting.

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I love the temple and served as an ordinance worker for six years... which afforded me the most wonderful spiritual experiences.  I miss being able to serve, but health issues prevent all but an occasional temple visit...

Thanks for sharing this. One of my concerns -- and I'll admit that it's a selfish one -- is that I'll somehow miss out if I no longer get to be on the receiving end of the ordinances. I believe with my mind that the voice of God can speak to those serving as well as those being served, but I obviously haven't experienced it yet.

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