Earlier this summer, Courtney and I recommitted to faithful temple attendance after a dry spell. We once liked to say that the kids made it difficult to go to the temple, but that’s a lie. We simply didn’t choose to go, using the kids as an excuse.
Because of Myron’s age and reliance on Courtney, we typically do initiatories. I’ve gained a fondness for the simplicity of the ordinance, the richness of the blessings, and the hope of the promises. Coming away from the temple, I always feel a renewed eagerness to repair my life. To fix the kinks, straighten the lines, and brush up some of the edges.
Last night, I had the wonderful experience of having one of the ordinance workers be a Brazilian, who many years earlier, had served a mission in my mission. Looking down the list of names, I noticed the last one was a Brazilian, and I immediately felt prompted to ask to have his ordinance done in Portuguese. My friend, for what else could I call him, immediately ran to the front desk, grabbed the Portuguese ordinance card, and performed the ordinance in Portuguese.
I’ve often felt that some of the people I’ve worked for in the temple have accepted the work performed, but I’ve never known… until last night. It was an overwhelming sense of joy and exultation. There is no other way to describe it, and it was strong enough to enter my too-veiled mind and spirit.
Walking out of the temple into the smoke-filled air (we have several forest fires burning around us), I noticed that my eyes stung a bit and the air felt hot and dry. I had hoped to see the lake in the distance with the setting sun reflecting off the waters, but instead there was the hazy, misty glow of a foggy sun. And quiet. Beautiful quiet.
My own life often seems much like the air today. Smokey, smog-filled, veiled by the world. Troubled by things of no eternal significance but immediate importance. Not quite clear enough to actually see the Son, but with a muted opacity that still lets in His light.
The clearest souls don’t simply let in His light, though. They reflect it. They are bright enough and clear enough that His light pours in to such effect as to radiate out. So as to truly bear His countenance.
I think when I take the sacrament this week, my mind will drift to that last name from the temple. I may have performed the ordinance on his behalf, but his faith and joy will do much more for the cleansing of my own spirit.