A Special Day at the Temple

Last weekend, we went to the temple. There’s no questions that that is one of my favorite places to be. The peace and love felt in the House of the Lord is unmatched. But that day was particularly extraordinary.

On Saturday, my husband’s great grandmother was sealed to her husband for time and all eternity. She passed away last year at ninety-seven years old. She had been a widow for thirty-eight years. I only knew her for the last year and a half of her life, but she was quite an amazing lady. And being there for that experience was beyond compare.

Homer and Isabelle were sealed for time and all eternity after being separated for thirty-eight years. It was also a special day for Alex’s grandma Rose. She was able to be sealed to her parents just after they were sealed to each other. The whole experience was beautiful, and amazing, and unbelievably perfect. The spirit was so strong in that room, and I could feel the joy from these family members as they received these ordinances and blessings.

IMG_1118-L

Photo Cred: Aaron Barker (aaronbarker.smugmug.com)

I started thinking as I was changing out of my temple clothes. I realized today that sealings are my favorite work to do in the temple. I love the visual of families on the other side embracing each other as they’re sealed. As I sit across the alter from my husband, looking into the mirrors, seeing us go on forever, I see another family as well. I feel their presence and their love as they hold each other and receive those blessings. There’s a very humbling atmosphere that takes over in the sealing room, and there’s so much love that it’s almost tangible.

I know that families are forever. I just can’t believe in a world where I would be separated from my family when I die. And I’m so glad that I have the ability to help other families be forever.

The Current State of Our Nation

This will be a relatively short post, but it’s something I feel passionate about and it’s something I feel I need to share.

I’ve often discussed controversial topics with friends and strangers in comments on Facebook. I always drop out when it becomes a fight, or when the personal insults start flying. I see no reason to fight, as I’d rather have a nice discussion. But there’s a problem with that.

Everyone is so stuck in their opinion that they aren’t willing to listen, or look at the topic from the other side, or, heaven forbid, change! I’m guilty of this, and I’m not saying I’m perfect by any means. But as many people talk about the brink of WWIII with the current presidential candidates, I’m worried about a second Civil War. Our population has become so polarized in our opinions. At this point, if you disagree on anything, it’s nearly impossible to remain friends. No one has respect for another’s opinions. No one has respect for other people in general. And on the Internet, no one seems to have respect for themselves.

We’ve come to a scary place in our nation where there is no happy medium. There can be no happy medium because your political beliefs are such a defining characteristic of your life, so if you’re unsure of something, you’re considered uneducated and ostracized until you pick a side.

But here’s the thing that no one seems to understand: We don’t have to agree on anything to get along.

If you are on my friends list, you are my friend. Even if you’re not on my friends list, I respect you, because you are a fellow human being, and you’re obviously a potential friend! We may not be close, but I respect you. We may life miles apart, but I will be there when you need me. We may argue, but I will remain your friend. We may not agree, but I will never think less of you for your beliefs.

I believe that we are all children of our loving Heavenly Father. I believe that we are all brothers and sisters. I believe that our Heavenly Father loves us all equally and individually. I believe that it causes great sorrow for our Heavenly Father when he sees all of the hate spread between his children. I believe that the hateful words and actions we throw at each other cause more sorrow to our Heavenly Father than the topics that are causing the contention. I believe that we can all get over our differences and love and respect and be civil with each other. I believe that we are capable of making this nation and this world so much better than it is. I believe that you and I can make the change.

You probably don’t agree with me on at least one account. But that’s okay. I promise, I’ll still be your friend.

The New Policies on LDS Baptism

I know a lot of people are really upset with the new information released yesterday by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. I was too. I was angry, and I didn’t understand how a church of Christ could say no to children. A million things ran through my mind. “This is a scam. It’s just Anti-Mormon propaganda. This is just someone misunderstanding and blowing it out of proportion.” I couldn’t believe that this was about my church.

But before I jumped to too many conclusions, I did what I’ve been taught to do. I prayed and I pondered. My prayer was quick. I didn’t even realize I was praying until I mentally said Amen. I begged the Lord to let this be a hoax that few people would see. I begged him to help me understand. And I did.

Whether or not you agree with the Church’s stance on gay marriage and relationships, you know they don’t support it. This isn’t new. What I believe people don’t understand, is why the children are being “punished.” One of the core doctrines of this church states, “We believe that men will be punished for their own sins, and not for Adam’s transgression.” The meaning is clear to me. We are accountable for our own actions, not for the actions of others.

What I, along with many others, have failed to see is the actions of children living with homosexual parents. I do not mean for this to sound as though I am condemning these families. I fully acknowledge the love these parents have for their children, as well as their legal right to be families. From the church’s standpoint, however, these children are not growing up in a spiritually enriching environment.

The point of the church officers issuing this statement, is not to exclude anyone from the gospel. It is merely a precaution being taken to protect these children from choices they may make and things they may be exposed to that are not in line with the commandments given to us. They are being protected from being accountable for these things. They are not being barred from attending church meetings and growing their testimony. It is not meant to exclude anyone, rather to help these children stay worthy for all they have been promised.

I also believe that this policy protects kids from stress. If an eight-year-old is baptized into a church that doesn’t support their parents lifestyle, the child is going to be tormented constantly with thoughts of “which way is right?” No child should be forced to deal with such mature, defining matters at that young of an age, as well as the possible ramifications they could face for choosing to be baptized. This is something the church as established before with children of polygamous households or children of Mulsim and communist countries. It is a decision based on their circumstances to rule out negative consequences.

I know many people reading this will not agree with this, and that many will argue against it. My point is not to create contempt, only to explain the revelation that I have received regarding this situation.