Wednesday, February 24, 2021

Temple Experience FHE

As I've mentioned, we're working our way through the Family Proclamation this month, and this week we are focusing on temples.  

The Family Proclamation says, "Sacred covenants and ordinances available in holy temples make it possible for individuals to return to the presence of God and for families to be united eternally."

As I planned out our study of the Family Proclamation, I felt inspired to create a "temple experience" for my kids in our home.  I hoped this would be more of a sacred learning experience for them, and I'm so pleased that it worked out well.

I unfortunately didn't stop to take very many pictures of it, so I'll just try to describe it.

Using dining room chairs, we set our living room up sort of like an endowment room--with chairs in rows for us to sit in, facing our  wall-mounted TV screen.

As each child went into Dad's office for a "temple recommend" interview, the others sat in the rows of chairs and watched a slideshow that I made of pictures of our family visiting various temples There was soft hymns playing during the slideshow, and it created a nice, calm mood.

Each family member (who participated) came out of Dad's office holding an index card that both Steve and the child had signed.  The little kids, Honor in particular, seemed really pleased to get their faux-recommend.

We then had each child present their recommend to me, and I welcomed them to the "temple".

We then watched the video of Elders Bednar and Rasband giving us a virtual tour of the Rome, Italy temple.  In this video, they do a wonderful job talking about the role of Christ in all aspects of temple worships and explaining the process and purpose of each area of the temple.

The Rome temple is so beautiful!  I can tell that it touched my 4-year old Vall, and it brought a wonderful spirit to our home.  At one point, Val turned to me and asked if Jesus ever went there, and he kept referring to the magnificent chandeliers as "icicles"!

When the video ended, we discussed what we saw, how we felt, what we learned, and fielded questions.  We talked about how everyone dresses the same in the temple and how that promotes unity.  I thought it was neat that they point out that every bride gets to dress in the same beautiful bride's room.  No matter your worldly status, all are equal in the temple.

We then showed one more video.  This one explains and shows the temple ceremonial clothing and the temple garments worn by adult members of the church who have made sacred covenants in the temple.  

I like how at the beginning of the video they mention the sacred clothing worn by religions the world over.  Our sacred clothing is simply worn privately, under our clothing, but serves a similar purpose, to remind us of the promises we've made with God.

Recently, we've been taught (see Elder Bednar's talk here) that we need to teach our children more about the temple in our home.  These videos really make it easier for us to know how to appropriately share what we know and love about the temple and about making and keeping sacred covenants.  In the home and in the family is a beautiful setting for these discussions.

One question that was asked was what happens if someone is upset that they can't enter the temple (except during the open house)?  We talked about how the Lord allows each of us to learn and grow at our own pace.  We are expected to keep God's commandments before we enter his holy places and make sacred covenants.  If we enter before we're ready it really wouldn't help us at all, because we wouldn't appreciate it or hold it sacred.

To end the night, we answered a few more questions about the ceremonial clothing.  Scarlett said that our discussion made her more excited to go to the temple.  

We talked with Autumn about her relationship with the temple. Autumn became eligible to attend the temple over a year ago, but because of the pandemic, still hasn't gone!  What is neat about her story is that when it was time for her temple recommend interview back in January 2020, she showed great seriousness in preparing herself for the interview by studying President Nelson's General Conference talk where he shares just what those interview questions are.  We know that more than going to the temple, our willingness to be worthy to attend the temple is what matters most to the Lord.  The change in who we are is the goal, not just the act of attending His temples.  I expect that when Autumn finally is able to attend the temple herself, it will be a very special experience.

To end our special night together, I reminded our family that Jesus Christ is the center of everything we do and learn in the temple.  

In the temple, we learn that Christ's Atonement is the central act of all earth life and all eternity. It is the purpose of everything and brings purpose to all that we do.  It brings light and hope to our lives.  I also reminded then that if they ever find themselves in a position where they can't enter the temple, because of their own choices or if life just starts to get really hard, Jesus Christ is the way back to the temple.  He is the way to overcome sin.  He is the way to overcome every problem.  Jesus Christ is the way back to our heavenly home.

It was just a wonderful experience to help our children understand the temple more.  And in a time when we cannot enter the temple, for one evening, the temple entered our home.

For anyone who might not have a father in the home full-time, I encourage Mothers to conduct the temple recommend interviews.  To my friend who was worried that her rowdy boys couldn't sit still, I encouraged her to take each boy aside starting with the oldest to do this activity one on one. There is definitely room to adjust this to our different family dynamics and make it work for us!

1 comment:

  1. wonderful ideas-will share this with my son Jeff who has two kiddos ages 8 and 11. Thanks...