Saturday, March 28, 2009

An Offering in Righteousness LDS Temple Worship

Today Zion is on my mind.

Perhaps it is because my adventure to the San Diego Temple last night is fresh on my mind.

I had the opportunity to go with a group of Young Adults and do a special “after hours” session of baptisms for the dead as we contributed our portion to our Stake’s “offering in righteousness”. I knew it would be a perfect time to take some family names to have work done for them in the Temple, so I decided to do some research for a friend of mine who gives many hours of service to the Young Adult Branch where I also am privileged to serve. As I entered the names of her family into the New Family Search Program I marveled once again at how fast and easy it is now to contribute and clear names for ordinance work to be done.

My research on her family line led me to a group of collateral relatives that needed their work done. The interesting thing about these people is that they were all from Independence, Jackson County, Missouri. Their time on this earth is precisely the time that the Saints would have felt persecution from those of the area. I felt a feeling of peace and healing as I researched this family line and contributed them to the Temple so that they could have their ordinance work done. It was a beautiful “come to Zion” moment for me.

Elder Neal A. Maxwell who creatively taught, some “people know they should have their primary residence in Zion, but they still hope to keep a summer cottage in Babylon also stated, “Since there are no instant Christians, to withhold what we can do to accelerate the process of the perfection of Zion until Zion is nearly perfected is to misconstrue mortality. To withhold all (or even much) of our fellowship, our talents, or our tithing until the Church and its people meet our “high” standard is like trying to book passage on Noah’s ark without driving a nail in a plank. We simply walk on board and ask to be shown to our stateroom and inquire as we enter the stateroom about what time dinner is served at the Captain’s table! We must sign on for the voyage with all our imperfections, and commit to help each other.”

I am grateful for the blessings of the Temple and the healing power it brings into our lives by application of the covenants we make there. It is a beautiful “ritualistic, ceremonial, memorial” that we are allowed to participate in to remind us that the power to save is only by the “strong hand of God.” It is an illustration of what it takes to live a consecrated life. It is a visual teaching of the process we need to follow to learn to “walk with God” as our Father Abraham did. But, last night, for me, it was also a moment to reflect on how we need to help each other, imperfections and all.

1 comment:

Michaela Stephens said...

Neat story about your Jackson County relatives!