John 16: 20-22, 24
20 Verily, verily, I say unto you, That ye shall weep and lament, but the world shall rejoice: and ye shall be sorrowful, but your sorrow shall be turned into joy.
21 A woman when she is in travail hath sorrow, because her hour is come: but as soon as she is delivered of the child, she remembereth no more the anguish, for joy that a man is born into the world.
22 And ye now therefore have sorrow: but I will see you again, and your heart shall rejoice, and your joy no man taketh from you.
• • •
24 Hitherto have ye asked nothing in my name: ask, and ye shall receive, that your joy may be full.
In my reading I came across this scripture and it really struck me. I've been very happy lately, but there are some days when I just have a hard time. Right now, school is really stressful, as I have 2 big presentations and about 400 pages to read before Thanksgiving break, and that's only in two classes. I've been missing some people and aspects that aren't currently in my life but are out of my control. But after reading this scripture I remembered that I have nothing to be sad about. I have the gospel of Jesus Christ, and although times may be hard, soon my trials will be hard. It will all be worth it.
A girl in my tap class said something in her opening prayer the other day along these lines, and it stuck with me. She said, "Even though life is hard sometimes, we're grateful that we have it." So be happy. Life is wonderful, and we can be grateful for the hard times and rejoice.
Wednesday, November 5, 2008
As a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, I attend the temple as much as possible. If you've ever been to Utah, seen pictures of Salt Lake, you've probably seen a Mormon temple. Even if you haven't, you might have seen on anyway, because they're becoming more common all over the world. I currently attend the Provo, Utah temple, as it's just a short walk or drive away from BYU. I have been inside the Boise, Idaho; Washington, DC; Salt Lake, Utah; and Rexburg, Idaho temples to do baptisms for the dead and have stood on the grounds of many others. A temple was dedicated this summer in my home town of Twin Falls, Idaho. I had the great opportunity to attend and help out with the open house (spoken of briefly below).
The temple is the house of God. In fact, on every temple, cut into the stone is the phrase "House of the Lord, Holiness to the Lord." Only faithful members of the Church can go inside, although before a temple is dedicated there will usually be an open house for the general public to take a look inside. The temple is a place where we can be close to our Heavenly Father. We learn of him and what he wants for us. In the temple, a couple can be married not only for time, but for forever. We believe that families are eternal, and it is through the temple that this happens. The temple is where sacred ordinanaces are performed, both for the living and the dead.
Although I haven't been through the temple to have my own ordinances performed yet (I most likely will in a few years), I have been in the temple to do baptisms for the dead. Baptism is a key to salvation, and so everyone must be baptized, but some people did not get the chance to hear about the gospel on the earth. In the temple, members (usually young people, ages 12-20sih, although it can vary) are baptized in proxy for the deceased, who then have the chance to hear the Gospel and accept it in the spirit world.
Today I had the opportunity to go do baptisms in the temple with two of my friends. How wonderful! To sit in the dedicated building, feeling the spirit of God, and receiving revelation for what He wants for me, and also to serve those who came before me but didn't get the chance to hear the wonderful message of our Savior Jesus Christ.
Here is a link to a video explaining more about the temple and also showing some clips from the interior of the Twin Falls, Idaho temple: http://www.magicvalley.com/articles/2008/07/12/features/religion/140207.txt (Note: Pictures aren't taken inside the temple after it's dedicated. This video was taken before the dedication as part of the open house). Also, the picture at the top is of the temple in Twin Falls as well.
Tuesday, November 4, 2008
One of my favorite places on Brigham Young University campus is the Museum of Art. I especially love the religious art work housed there. Needless to say, I was very excited when I discovered my New Testament class would get to visit the MOA (pronounced as a word: Mow-a).
It was exciting to view some changes to the religious art display since I visited last, but to still see my old favorites there. Of course, the painting of Christ at Bethesda (at the very top) is always awe-inspiring to look at. This picture was acquired by the university through a series of miracles, and I'm very glad that I have the opportunity to go view it anytime I so choose. The way it draws you in and makes you a part of this miracle of the Savior is beautiful. It touches me, and everytime I come away with a greater desire to follow Christ and allow Him to heal me.
My favorite painting, though, is Ron Richmond's Triplus, Number 3, the second image from the top. I could sit in the MOA and gaze at this painting for hours. Each time I return I find new meaning. Ever since I first saw it, I have loved to look upon it and ponder the Atonement of Christ and His love for me. The three bowls--water, blood, and the spirt--all contain central parts of His sacrifice, and the sacrifice I should make in return. I love Jesus Christ. I know He lives and that He is my Savior. I invite you too to ponder His Atonement and His love for us. I will forever love Him and be grateful for all He has done for me. I cannot wait to return to His arms and live with Him and our Heavenly Father forever.