Sunday, September 5, 2010

What really matters

I can't believe the summer is coming to an end. Not that I'm not ready to welcome in fall - because I SO am!

But it's funny, part of me is SO OVER summer, I really am done with the heat - but at the same time it seems like it just flew by! Does that make any sense?

August was especially over in a blink. But it was my best month of the year. Even with the chaos of back to school, and trouble with my shoulder and the accompanying pain and uncertainty, I have had more peace and been more focused on what really matters than probably any time in my life.

In a meeting at the end of June, our Bishop stood and issued a challenge to the members of our ward. He challenged us to attend the temple 6 times during the month of August. 6 times!!! Along with the challenge he gave us 6 promises - for attending the temple 6 times during the month.

The promises were:

1- We will draw closer to the Lord
2- We will be spiritually prepared to face what is put upon us daily.
3- We will receive answers to those questions that are most pressing to us currently.
4- We will have the Spirit of the Lord be with us.
5- We will feel renewed in our bodies and our minds.
6- We will have a greater understanding of Temples and their saving ordinances.

One of the most valuable things I learned from accepting this challenge was that it really isn't very difficult to make time for the temple. We got a slow start, and missed the first week. But we determined we would just go twice a week for the rest of the month. Then my shoulder wrecked those plans. I missed almost another entire week with that. But we were still able to attend 6 times. We ended up going twice on the 31st! We went once in the morning and did initiatory, and went again in the evening for a session.

Doing the 2 different ordinances in the same day really touched me that day, and promise number 6 was really realized for me on that last day, as well as throughout the month. I sat in church today and went through all 6 blessings in my mind, and as I reflected on my life over the past month, I realized that I truly had been blessed in each of these ways.

Another wonderful thing for us was that there were so many people in our ward attending the temple so often in order to reach their goal, that we saw at least one of our neighbors and friends every single time we went! I don't think that's happened to me 6 times in my entire life before this month, let alone 6 times in 4 weeks! It was such a neat experience, and our ward drew even closer than we already were.

My house isn't cleaner, my life isn't more organized, my wallet isn't fatter - and even though I ALWAYS know that these aren't the things that really matter, it's still hard to take that knowledge and FEEL okay with my life in a disarray. But this month I have had such a peace in my heart, and I truly have been able to let go of the stress and anxiety that I usually feel over these and other issues and embrace the knowledge I have of the true and everlasting gospel of Jesus Christ, find joy in temple service, and just ENJOY the blessings I have in my life.

I like feeling this way. I want it to stay. So I've decided to try to attend the temple weekly from now on. I know now that I CAN make the time. And how blessed I am to live in this valley where there are temples nearby in every direction. Today during testimony meeting, someone pointed out that if we had wanted to, we could have met the Bishop's challenge and attended a different temple each time without really having to go out of our way.

We also had a new missionary tell us last week how much he loves the temple, and he's going as much as he can before he leaves on his mission to Romania, because then he won't be able to attend for 2 years. It made me feel a little embarrassed at how many temples we have close by, yet how seldom I go.

So anytime anyone wants to join me - I'll be going each week. I'm so grateful our Bishop was inspired to give us this challenge and I'm glad I decided to take this challenge, because it has blessed my life and strengthened my spirit.

I hope everyone is having a wonderful Sabbath.


Macey said...

You did awesome, friend.
I know what you mean about the summer...I'm ready for it to be over, but I also don't want to let go because it seems like it went too fast!! :(

Koko said...

I think the Lord is really speaking to me through so many means...almost all our testimonies today were on the temple, yesterday the youth went and did temple baptisms, I had just decided to try to go to the temple weekly (this is a BIG deal for me as I've struggled getting there once a month, sadly, but for the most part I've done it with an occasional 2), and now this. Thank you for accepting and making that challenge. That is truly incredible and just gives me one more testimonial of how importance temple attendance is!


Good job on accepting the challenge. So many do not believe that being with other believers is important...but it so is. Whatever your religion need to be in church/temple/synagogue. It truly does matter. Have a blessed Sunday!

shortmama said...

Great job on achieving the goal!

Im ready for summer to be over only because of the heat!

Sami said...

You are amazing! I am ashamed at how long it has been since I have attended the temple, but I am making it a resolution of sorts to get back into the swing of it on at least a monthly basis, if not a weekly basis based on your testimony of it. I really don't have an excuse anymore. Time to do it!

Emmy said...

So awesome! We are about to have our Offering of righteousness week. Twice a year there is a week set aside where we are supposed to spend as much time in the temple as possible. Last time, I did a morning session, lunch and then a chapel session with our stake and then an afternoon session, talk about powerful day. During that week they add extra sessions as there are so many from our stake there, it is awesome. Our stake president is there everyday all day for that entire week.