So, this week has been one of more preparation, and of more pushing on our part. We've met with so many Bishops and Stake Presidencies in the last week... Ooh, buddy. There's a lot, let me tell you!
We met with a few different people this week, but one in particular really stuck out to me. On Friday, we met with a man who had been excommunicated from the Church many years ago. Many times, when I hear that someone was excommunicated, I assume that they are bitter against the Church. With this man however, there were no such feelings. We visited him, and really just focused on the importance of prayer, and how our attitude during our prayers really makes a difference. He had a lot to say on the subject, and helped us as 20 year olds understand more of what he's gone through, and why prayer is so important to him. It was an incredibly humbling experience to talk with him, and to think that he believed we could offer more to him. It truly was awe-inspiring.
We also had a number of miracles happen to us! One of which was entirely on accident, and only happened because we were joking about wanting to watch the BYU football game. :) We were on the porch talking to the man of the house, and he asked if we wanted to watch the game. Entirely joking, we said, "Sure," but then he just turned around, open the door, walked in and motioned for us to follow. We weren't really sure what to do so we just walked in and stood there. After a few seconds a lady came out of one of the bedrooms, and told us that she'd been meaning to get a hold of us. Just like that, Heavenly Father used us to help someone else. We were able to help because we were out and doing what we were supposed to, and we followed His direction.
On Sunday, we were able to attend the re-dedication of the Ogden Utah Temple. Here are some of my notes of what I pulled away from those who spoke:
- With each temple built, the power and influence of Satan is lessened. However, only as we attend the temple and make temple-going a part of our lives do we make the lessening of his power permanent.
- The temple recommend is a symbol in and of itself. It symbolizes:
➡️ Worthiness (emphasis was made on this point)
- People, whose names haven't been spoken aloud on the earth for centuries, have their special names spoken and remembered many times in the temple.
- Along with praying for physical safety, we should be praying even more fervently for spiritual safety, and for strength and help to remember our covenants, and to remain true to them.
- Does my life reflect the promises and covenants I've made in the temple?
- Temple ordinances are NOT just a checklist. If they are, we don't understand, and we are shortchanging the power of the Atonement in our lives.
- Having a temple closed to us because of renovations or cleaning every once in a while is actually a good thing. We realize how much we need the power of the temple in our loves. We realize how much we miss the temple.
- Worthily holding a temple recommend testifies of many great things about each of us.
- At the end of the temple experience, we are forever changed. At the end of the temple experience, we will have made covenants and promises that will lead us to exaltation if we are true and faithful.
- The temple building itself may be closed temporarily, but our covenants and promises are NEVER closed.
- Temple experiences CAN and SHOULD be had in every aspect of our lives, including OUTSIDE of the temple walls.
- If we haven't realized that going to the temple provides us so many blessings, we are ungrateful, and aren't seeing the blessings being given to us.
- The happy EXPECTATION of seeing our loved ones again can only come through the blessings and ordinances of the holy temple. Otherwise, it would be an empty and vain hope.
- As we ponder and search through the holy scriptures, through modern revelation, and through prayer to our Father in Heaven, we should become more and more anxious and excited to learn more. We become desperate to learn more, and to continue to progress. As we have this drive to continually learn, we start understanding more of what the temple offers, and our minds become open to the mysteries of God.
Those are just some thoughts and things that stuck out to me, and I hope you learn something from them. It was a fantastic opportunity to learn more from the Brethren, specifically regarding the "specialness" of the holy temples, and how we need to be more and more engaged in temple work.
Anyway, I hope everyone has a great week!
I love y'all!
Elder Conrad Hamilton