Sunday morning I got up and it was rainy, wet and gray outside. The air smelled clean and I got ready to go to a rededication session for the Ogden Utah temple.
In that session, the temple was described as "a place of timeless grace."
When I hear that word, I think of beauty, gentleness, stillness, holiness.
And I think of help I so desperately need -- heavenly attending, of power beyond my own that comes to aid me in overcoming, seeing more clearly, and being made free.
I may not always see that in measurable ways -- but I believe in it, and I believe in promises I have felt in my heart.
For me, the temple hasn't always been familiar. There was a time when it was new and a little strange and it felt different. I wanted to have deep experiences of peace and revelation there. Over time, I have found that the more I go, the greater the quiet in my heart, the more love and peace I feel -- the more aware I am of it being an intersection between heaven and earth.
Just last week, I attended the temple on Thursday with a friend.
Before getting ready to leave the temple and head for home, I sat in a quiet room where the stillness was tangible. As I let that quiet envelop me, I started to feel other things -- thoughts that came as from wings, from some other place, touching me and gone again.
I run up against a perennial challenge, tho, and it is this.
While I'm there, I can kind of zone in on thinking about holiness and purpose. I can think about my questions. I can ask them in my mind and sometimes have a conversation of sorts, with answers coming -- more of those wings. I can feel and have experiences in that intensity of focus and quiet.
But then I come home.
Lately, I have felt frequently frustrated in my mothering of my boys particularly -- and I am longing to feel more of that holiness and peace with them, more confident in the job I am doing in mothering them. Wanting more intersections between
heaven and earth in these four walls.
Less yelling and frustration and contention in exchange for more selfless service, love, beauty, unity and respect.
I need the temple because of the powerful reminders of
covenants and forgiveness and faith.
I need it because it keeps me looking forward, and upward.
I need it because of what I learn there, of the blessings and promises I have been taught about there -- those things that keep me holding on and believing and striving.
Those blessings and promises respond to the
deepest yearnings of my frail and faulty heart.
And they are taught there, alongside the acknowledgement of my not being perfect, and of astonishing love for me and for those I love.
I go there, because I can remember -- and feel sustained by -- eternal truth.
I am reminded of this quote by Rene Daumal:
“You cannot stay on the summit forever; you have to come down again. So why bother in the first place? Just this: What is above knows what is below, but what is below does not know what is above. One climbs, one sees. One descends, one sees no longer, but one has seen. There is an art of conducting oneself in the lower regions by the memory of what one saw higher up. When one can no longer see, one can at least still know.”
When I come away, back into my very imperfect, very faltering, stumbling offering of my day-to-day life, I can still seek and strive for:
because of what I've seen and felt there.
And when I stumble and mess up, like I do every single day, I exercise faith in that "timeless grace," asking God to let it wash over me and urge me forward.