Peace Be Unto You
When I was a child I asked my dad what he wanted for his birthday each year, and each year my Dad would reply, “Peace and quiet.” Many years passed, and I was never able to completely give my dad the one gift he always requested. In 1988, as my life became much less tranquil with the birth of my daughter, I was able to help my Dad find this illusive gift of peace and quiet for his sixty-fourth birthday. Dad found peace, serenity, and quiet as my Mom and I went to the Atlanta Temple with him. There we became the Butkus family forever. Many times since that day I have visited a temple, and each time I have found the peace that our Savior, Jesus Christ promised to each of us. How happy it makes me to know that Indianapolis will soon have a temple that will give a peaceful refuge from the cares of my life.
Personal thoughts from a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Karen Rose, on insights gained in the temple.
In the holy temple, as I’m taught and retaught about God’s plan of happiness, I’ve pondered pieces of the Mormon endowment over and over. The Mormon temple endowment is an empowering course of instruction that lays out clearly our relationship to God, the creation story, and its symbols and meaning, the atoning sacrifice of Jesus Christ for our sins, and our way back to Him through promises we make to Him to obey His highest laws, becoming more like Him daily. Sitting in an endowment ceremony, I was reflecting on the patterns in the creation story, also told in Genesis, and in modern scripture, The Pearl of Great Price. It struck me that God is an expert and specialist in making order out of chaos. His pattern of creation is to take matter that is not in a cohesive pattern, but exists, and rework it into something useful, amazingly constructed, with order and under eternal law. Won’t He, then, do that in our own lives, where we need Him also to order and structure and reveal the best way to organize our families, our work worlds, our moral worlds, our relational worlds? Yes, He will. This reminder is a powerful one, and helps me rely more on Him daily.
Problems are often resolved through revelation that comes in holy temples. John A. Widtsoe, a soil chemist, was having a very difficult time trying to make sense of overwhelming data he had gathered, trying to figure out a way to apply it. He failed. He decided to “forget the failure” and go to the temple. While he was in the temple, he suddenly was able to make sense of it all. His mind had been enlightened. This enlightenment led to the publication of two books as well as a revolution in agrarian practice.
In the temple, as when praying and when studying God’s words, such insights for life come. The endowment is referred to as such because it continues to yield knowledge and understanding. Out of the Lord’s house, we feel the promise that we will be gifted with more power and revelation than if we had not attended the temple and worshiped and served there. The promises are real, and their effects visible and tangible.
Worshiping God in the temple doesn’t mean we are perfect. Those who desire to enter the temple, who may not be of our faith, may come to do so as well, if they are willing to follow Christ and His admission process to the kingdom. These blessings are intended for all of God’s children who are prepared through faith in Jesus Christ and by baptism into His Church, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, which claims His full authority and authorship. Jesus Christ stands at its head and has re-established His organization again on the earth in these, the latter days.
We invite you to visit mormon.org for stories of those who have come into the Lord’s kingdom. We also invite you to request a free copy of The Book of Mormon and to visit a meetinghouse if you are interested in learning more. We will also post more about the construction and open house of the Indianapolis Temple as details are announced. If an opportunity arises in your area to visit a temple, we invite you to do so.
We also welcome your questions, comments, or photos, if you live near an existing temple.
Personal reflections on the blessings of peace which come from visiting temples of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, from Karen Rose.
Latter-day Saint temples provide saving ordinances–rites of passage–with God’s authority to all who enter worthily. They are also unmistakably a refuge from the heat and tumult of the world. I remember a day sitting in front of the baptistry, feeling a world apart form the world, and needing that covert. I opened the scriptures in the LDS Temple (The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints) to Isaiah 4:6, which reads:
King James Bible
“And there shall be a tabernacle for a shadow in the daytime from the heat, and for a place of refuge, and for a covert from storm and from rain.”
New American Standard Bible
“There will be a shelter to give shade from the heat by day, and refuge and protection from the storm and the rain.”
In addition to our many joys, we all have times of trial and affliction, times when perhaps we are overcome or overwhelmed with one emotion or another: pain, grief, fear, disillusionment, despair, discouragement, or doubt. Walking into the Lord’s house brings renewal and refreshment to faithful Latter-day Saints, and the invitation to find that refreshment is described in the New Testament, Acts 3:19-21, “when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord.”
That verse speaks to a day when all truth and all of the components of the gospel of Jesus Christ would be re-instituted–the gospel that brings the solution to those feelings described above and that heals and gathers the children of God in eternal relationships and provides a path back to His presence. That day has come, and LDS Temples, temples of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, are indeed sanctuaries, refuges from the storm, places where promises are made before the Lord and where His Spirit is poured out, assisting us in our every need, fear, trial, circumstance, and roadblock in this mortal journey back to Him. In the temple, we learn how to re-enter His presence, and we do, symbolically and literally, become able to see His face at the appointed time.
I shared this psalm with a friend lately, and then realized as I studied it further, how much it has to do with the Lord’s holy House, His latter-day temples, temples of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.
- God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.
- Therefore will not we fear, though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea;
- Though the waters thereof roar and be troubled, though the mountains shake with the swelling thereof. Selah.
- There is a river, the streams whereof shall make glad the city of God, the holy place of the tabernacles of the most High.
- God is in the midst of her; she shall not be moved: God shall help her, and that right early.
- The heathen raged, the kingdoms were moved: he uttered his voice, the earth melted.
- The Lord of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge. Selah.
- Come, behold the works of the Lord, what desolations he hath made in the earth.
- He maketh wars to cease unto the end of the earth; he breaketh the bow, and cutteth the spear in sunder; he burneth the chariot in the fire.
- Be still, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth.
- The Lord of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge. Selah.
In speaking of the peace to be had by the Lord, this Psalm refers to the holy tabernacle, the early equivalent of the ancient and modern temple. This is significant and not unintentioned. It has always been that God has desired His people to be in His presence and feel His power leading their lives, having that peace, through His Spirit and presence in holy temples.
This also speaks to calming our every fear. Is there something you’re afraid of? Are you in trouble or afraid of past choices or present difficulty, or some diagnosis, or other unknown in your life? God has provided a refuge, through His Spirit and also in His temples. His very presence is the solution. In the temples of God, we feel that keenly. The river alluded to in this psalm is referred to in Ezekiel in connection with the temple. It implies that just as a river has streams that flow and flow, there is peace, power, healing, and protection that flows from the throne of God, from His holy temple, to all who will be in its path and find themselves engaged in His work there.
We invite you to be still and know that He is God, and if you yearn to be closer to Him, wondering what more needs to happen in your life to feel his fulness, we invite you to visit our meetinghouses, seek out a temple open house/tour, or to contact us directly.