Even though you are not here in the same room with me as I write, I am writing as if this is just you and me chatting. One soul to another.
I was recently thinking about myself and my experience with the LDS Temples. Perhaps this might be interesting to you if you never knew anyone who was “Mormon” before. I am a convert to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. We are Christians who believe in the Jesus of the New Testament.
We believe that Jesus has walked in the temples of our time, although not very many people have ever seen him there. One man, James Talmage, was writing a book called Jesus the Christ many years ago. He told his granddaughter that as he was working, he saw Jesus in the Salt Lake City Temple. That was a long time ago. The book Mr. Talmage wrote is very good and has been used as a text book , I heard.
Before I ever went into a temple belonging to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, I heard some hideous things, rumors, about what went on inside of there. Pure speculation, apparently.
Since I joined the church, I now have the opportunity to go inside the temple whenever I want. It is open most every day, from early in the morning until late in the evening. Currently, I only live about a mile from the temple, but I remember the days when I had to drive 4-6 hours to get to a temple.
The first time I went into a temple was in 1983. It was a wonderful spring day. Inside the temple we wear all white clothing and it feels so clean and fresh. Something happened to me on my first visit in the temple, though: I had a nosebleed. It was a complete surprise and I was afraid I was going to bleed directly onto the pure white clothing I had on. But fortunately, I was able to get a tissue right away, thus avoiding anything I might be embarrassed about. The day continued fine and I went through a session where I learned a lot of things and was reminded of things I already knew. Most everything that I heard in the temple I had read before in the Holy Bible. It was really nice to hear it again, though, inside what is called The House of the Lord.
Since my first visit in the temple way back then, I have returned many times. It is a place where I can go to pray for something special or for someone who needs some prayers at that time. I have a lot of faith, so when I go I feel like God knows I am there. Oh, I know he loves me all the time. But I think he is extra happy when I come there to pray to him and to feel of the power of his presence. I’m not saying it is anything weird, but it is like when you know that everything will be alright. It feels like you know that God is watching out for each one of us.
Sometimes when I am there, I learn something that I never could understand before. It seems like my eyes were covered with dark sunglasses in a dim room, but then the glasses are taken off and the room is brighter. It is like I kind of understood before, but now it is a “duh, of course!” moment.
There is a cafeteria in some of the temples where people who are planning to be there for a while can grab a bite to eat. When I am inside the temple, I really like how everyone is so nice and since they are dressed in white, they all look like angels. A lot of seniors have time to go to the temple, so there is a lot of white hair and it looks really nice.
One more cool thing about being in the temple is nobody ever yells or shouts. It is more like everyone is being reverent and talking in hushed tones. I don’t know if I could stay in there a long time every day since I am kind of a social talkative person, but it is really nice to be in there for a couple of hours at a time.
The time we spend in the temple is for us and for our ancestors. It is very rewarding to feel connected to those people in our family. When I was there being sealed to my Mom and Dad, it was a very strong feeling, like they were there and maybe a few angels, too, because it seemed like something bigger than just the few people in the room were there. You know that feeling when someone is there even though you can’t see them. It was like that multiplied. Sealing is an ordinance that binds families together for life beyond this life. The ultimate goal is for everyone to be sealed to their family eventually. Sometimes on this earth we don’t like our family members that much. But if we could see them in their perfect form, we would probably want to bow down to them. And God sees them in their perfect form and their human form. So, I think that is probably what helps him to love everyone, even when they are being awful in this earthly life.
The temple is a wonderful place to go to get a better understanding on something, or to pray for those we love, or those we don’t love so that we can learn to love them and forgive them. And it is a place to take care of those important sealings. Some people go to ask for health or for help with some particularly difficult problem.
But, I like to go just because. Just because it feels so nice and loving there and because I know God wants me there sometimes. One day I felt like he wanted me to go that very day, so I just changed my plans and went and a lot of my friends were there that same day and it seemed like a glorious party had been arranged. It was awesome! Maybe someday you and I can meet in the temple! That would be perfect!