Monday, September 27, 2010
September 27, 2010
I thought a lot about Nathan’s temple lecture during this lecture. We talked about the creation today in class. I was taught some very interesting things. One thing that I absolutely loved was the discussion on ancient temples and the tabernacle. Brother Line drew a picture of the layout of the temple and labeled the altars, wash basins, lights, incense, and mercy seat. I’m familiar with this diagram from my discussions with Nathan and Jelaire, but what fascinated me tonight was when Brother Line taught me about ark of the covenant in the holy of holies. The high priest would go into the room once a year and sprinkle the blood of the sacrifice on the seat. On the seat are two winged individuals facing each other across the altar. They become bound by the blood of the sacrifice, a symbol of celestial marriage.
I’ve studied a lot about marriage, and it’s taken on deeper meaning the last few years as my desire to prepare to be a good wife and mother has increased. I understand the central importance of the family, but this imagery opened a whole new meaning to the focus of marriage in my eyes. Of course marriage is a holy ordinance, but couples make mistakes all the time. Husband and wife can become bonded through repentance. As they take part in the healing power of Christ’s Atonement, spouses grow stronger in their love. There is no better way to improve a marriage than to sprinkle your bond with the atoning blood of Christ to sanctify your relationship and overcome the follies that drive spouses apart. As I’ve spent the last year in the temple doing ordinance work I have always loved watching couples when they do service together and kneel at altars together. It is a sacred moment, and I think I understand a little better why it is so sacred.
Monday, September 20, 2010
September 20, 2010
Today we talked about the pre-mortal life. Wow. I had an “Ah-ha!” moment and it rocked my mind. Brother Line talked about our doings as spirits, which, of course, I’ve known about my whole life. However, he pointed out something that I’ve never thought through before. So, as spirits we could make choices, and we sometimes made wrong choices, which means that as spirits we sinned. Right. That makes sense. But when we were born we were innocent, we had no sin. How does this happen? In Alma 13:3 it is called the “preparatory redemption.” We know that the Atonement is infinite, it covers the present, future and the past, so it covered our mistakes in the pre-mortal life as well. So why is it important to know this? Because we’ve already taken part of the Atonement. Before we were even born we had faith in our Savior that He could perform the soul-saving act that would cleanse us from sin and enable us to return to our Father. We see the effects of the Atonement whenever we look at a clean, fresh soul on earth. Babies and children demonstrate the power of the Atonement in their innocence; they prove the Savior’s sacrifice is real and effective. Whenever we doubt that we can be made clean or that our faith will allow us to fully participate in the process of repentance we should remember that we can do it, because we have done it before. There is nothing beyond the reach of our Savior, his love reached across mortality to purify us even before we began our mortal journey. The Atonement’s power is real, our Savior defeated sin and death with His great love for us. Why does this mean so much to me? I think I realized something about my faith when I learned this concept. I know my faith has grown throughout the years, but to think that back in my pre-mortal life, before we had even left for our journey, I had faith that Christ would be able to perform such a supreme act of love and endurance for me leaves me breathless. I have the scriptures to teach me of Christ’s life, miracles and Atonement, but I once had complete faith that He would save me, even before He left to do so. Not that I am a wonderful person, but it reveals a little more about my relationship with my Savior that I didn’t know about before, and that is precious to me.
Monday, September 13, 2010
I won’t lie, I kept wondering during class if we weren’t delving a bit into mysticism as we discussed God’s time versus ours. I was a little put off by some of the questions raised by some students, but I appreciated Brother Line’s answers and direction, and I trust him because of that. And, as I’ve pondered the concept of how God is all-knowing I realize how important this is to know. Neal A Maxwell said, “God lives in an eternal now where the past, present, and future are constantly before Him. His divine determination are guaranteed, since whatever He takes in His heart do to, He will sure do it.” As I understand better the nature of how God lives, I appreciate more how He participates in my life.
Brother Line talked about how we take the doctrines we know and put them together to discover mysteries. Like a triangle, if we know the degree of 2 of the angles and the length of one side, we can figure out the area, perimeter, other angle degree and other lengths if we know what to do with the information we have. We have a knowledge of God and His nature, where and how He lives; if I use that knowledge in a proper fashion, I can better understand my role as His daughter and how to develop my relationship with Him and my Savior.
Also, our discussion of how God wants us to remember that we are nothing was very good for me. I am nothing, God wants me to comprehend that, because once I do I can be filled with God’s love and fully grasp what it means to be loved by our magnificent God. He has created worlds without number, galaxies and creations beyond description. He is all-knowing, all-powerful and I cannot truly understand Him in my fallen and flawed condition, but He loves me, knows me and is very, very involved in my life. That is true happiness; for me, a small, insignificant creation, to be loved and guided by the all powerful Creator.