About a week ago, I had the thought that attending a temple dedication is one of those primary opportunities to open a direct conduit between yourself and the heavens, and I spent the last week trying to do the little things to prepare myself for this dedication. Here are a few of my thoughts:
- The biggest thing I’ve thought again and again was that we need to make our home a place where the spirit can dwell. Immediately before the dedication, we sat quietly watching a video of the temple and listening to the Mormon Tabernacle Choir singing. The primary song Love is Spoken Here had been playing through my mind most of the week, and I was thrilled that the final song the Choir sang before the dedication was that song.
I’m convinced that our home must be cherished, sacred places, and it was in that vein that Courtney and I decided to go through all our media and dismiss that which was of lesser worth. In addition, I’ve been feeling strongly that our words and our tones need to change as well, and the thought that Love is spoken here has come across my mind again and again.
I hope our children find their mother kneeling in humble prayer. I hope our children find strength in priesthood power. I hope that both Courtney and I lead through righteousness. But mostly I hope that the “things we teach are crystal clear, for love is spoken here.”
- In close proximity to the first thought, President Monson spoke about making sure that in the crowded nature of our lives we take the time to ensure there is room for the Savior in our homes.
This reaffirmed for me that we are doing the right thing in removing much of the media from our home, but it also confirmed to me that we need to do more.
I spend my mornings in good things: exercise, reading, editing, writing, scripture study, prayer, and so on, but I also read the news. Dan Miller, a famous life coach and talk radio host, makes sure that the first and last hours of his day are focused on the positive things in life. He doesn’t read the news except for a brief scan later in the day, and he does not read or dwell on those articles that are negative. Similarly, Tom Venuto, another life coach and fitness guru, wrote how what we think about and what we tell ourselves is more often than not what we actually become. By filling my day with the negativity of the news, I feel that I’m creating an atmosphere where I am less able to feel the spirit.
In an effort to make room in my life for the Savior, I’ve really tried the last week to remove the pervasive presence of the news in my life. I still stay informed, I avoid the dives into muck of humanity, and I push those things of lesser worth later in the day.
It’s created a gentle shift in my attitudes and responses, I think. I’ve been slower to retort, quicker to be quiet, and more pensive in times of meditation.
- The final thought that really stuck in my mind was something that W. Craig Zwick of the Seventy said. He talked extensively about the examples that we, as parents, set for our children and how our actions will help determine what our children do and become.
I’ve always found a joyous thrill that Katherine loves the temple. I’ve been even more thrilled to hear her testimony and know that it is her own. It frightens me sometimes that the Lord entrusted us with such an obviously forceful spirit, but I find great comfort in knowing that being faithful is enough for her.
I sometimes feel like Jacob in the Book of Mormon who stood before the people and confessed that he taught them that he might rid himself of their sins; that his garments might be clean before the Lord. There are times when I feel like I can do nothing more for my children and all I am doing is cleansing myself. Knowing that the example I set will help her is enough to give me hope that such a strong soul might have come to me for a purpose.
And none of this even begins to touch on Myron. His personality and testimony are still somewhat hidden, but he is just as driven as Katherine. He’s also more sensitive. I’ve noticed a resiliency in Katherine that isn’t as strong in him. Katherine is most certainly the practice child so to speak, the child upon which we are working out the kinks of parenthood. She’s strong enough to take each mistake, bounce back, and forgive us while we grow and learn. But Myron isn’t. His sensitivity to the spirit, and particularly anger, has made me even more grateful that Katherine has taught us so much. Because of her, we are learning how to be sufficient for him.
We sat in the dark chapel as everyone filed out, leaving us alone with our thoughts, and I felt once more…. Families are eternal. And I also felt that These Things Are Important:
- Love is spoken here
And I seek it. I seek for the time when my children tell me that Love is spoken here because they themselves have felt it.