“And it shall come to pass in the last days, when the mountain of the Lord’s house shall be established in the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills, and all nations shall flow unto it. And many people shall go and say, Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths.” Isaiah 2:2-3.
A couple of years ago a temple was built near us, a mere 35 minute drive across town. Previous to this we had to travel a whopping 2 hours to the nearest temple! I remember growing up in Oklahoma and my parents being excited that a temple was being built in Dallas, which was about 6 hours away. Before that the closest temple was in Salt Lake City. I just read an Ensign article of a family who had to save and then give all they had to go to the temple; they traveled several days and didn’t even know how they were going to return home.
Before the temple was dedicated I was able to take my children through it. My husband wasn’t able to be there which was disappointing because when we went into the sealing room I was overcome with the sight of my children and I standing there looking in the mirrors. We missed having him there because a piece of our family was missing, yet, never before had the reality of the sealing ordinance been so strongly made manifest to me. I can still see in my mind’s eye the sight of my children mirrored for eternity. It was breathtaking.
When our temple was finished I didn’t take immediate advantage of it. I’m ashamed of that; I just allowed the cares of the world to take up my time and kept neglecting to call and make the appointment. But when I finally did go, my excitement could hardly be contained. This temple was my temple, built for my use in my town! The emotions I felt as I went through the endowment were overwhelming. I have never had a temple experience quite like it. I especially needed it because that period of my life was such a trying time for me(it still is). The demands of motherhood and homeschooling were about to do me in (they still are). I just wanted to run away from my family and pretend they didn’t exist (I still do)! Motherhood is hard no matter what age your children are, and I was trying to be the sole educator on top of that. I remember finally getting into the Celestial room and I just sat there feeling the peace and drinking in the beauty that surrounded me. I prayed and pondered on some of my situations at home. I thought about the peace I felt there in the temple with the adversary and all the worldly frustrations locked outside. I told Heavenly Father that I just wanted to stay there forever. I didn’t want to go home. I sat there for awhile basking in the peace and serenity of my surroundings, and then the thought came to me, “You need to go home to your children now, but you can come back.”
My life is so busy right now with homeschool, church calling, homemaker, wife, chauffer, etc. etc. etc. I have so many demands that are either put upon me or that I put upon myself. I am also a person that has a hard time focusing on more than one or two things at a time. After awhile I find myself ‘fragmented’ so to speak. Lists are floating about in my head and on my counters. My brain has a hard time processing all the “to do’s” and after awhile my progress slows.
A few weeks ago my dad came to visit. My dad is a computer scientist and since I am pretty much illiterate when it comes to maintaining my computer I am always happy when he comes. He cleans it up, arranges files and puts it through a “defrag”. Now, being technologically limited, I can’t explain very well what a “defrag” is. It was simplified for me in this way: in the inner workings of the computer, files get moved around and this creates a lot of space in between each file. After awhile this inhibits the processes of the computer so that it begins to slow down. A defrag lines up the files and eliminates the spaces so that the computer then runs much more efficiently. (Clear as mud and probably not completely accurate, but for our purpose here we’ll go with it.)
People are like computers. They need to be maintained on a regular basis. Going to church every Sunday is like organizing the files we can see in our documents. It’s best to arrange, delete and make changes regularly in order to keep our desktop clean and in good working order. But we have callings to do and children to keep still. We are not always able to sit and nurture our souls. The temple is different. There we are free from distraction. Going to the temple is like the big defrag. It cleans up and organizes us on the inside, it puts our life back into perspective and it pulls the scattered fragments of our soul together.
“You can come back.” Never were sweeter words whispered to my soul.