Monday, May 27, 2013

The House of the Lord


I grew up in a beautiful, small suburb in Kansas called Derby.  Unfortunately, as a Latter-Day Saint, the main draw-back of this town is that the closest temple is about three hours away. It doesn't seem like a big deal, but when the temple is that far away you only get to go twice a year. 

This is the wonderful Oklahoma City Temple that I went to twice a year since I was twelve:
Beautiful, no?

Part of leaving on a mission is that you receive what is called an Endowment. So the endowment is a special, sacred ceremony that we (members of the LDS Church) perform only inside the temple. It is not some sacrificial, demonic ceremony that many people believe it is. Only LDS members who are worthy (ie. have abstained from alcohol, sex, drugs etc.) and who have completely repented of past sins are able to participate in this wonderful ceremony.

So after you receive your call as a missionary, you are eligible to receive your own endowment. Scheduling when I was going to do this presented a slight problem. I was attending BYU in Provo, Utah and most of my family still lived in Derby, Kansas. Because I am not going back to Kansas until June, I wanted to receive my endowment in Utah. However, my wonderful parents flew me out to Kansas so that I could receive my endowment in the temple that I had gone to while I was growing up.  

Not gonna lie, receiving my endowment didn't completely change my life. It definitely made some alterations as to how I see the world. I cannot say exactly what was taught in the temple, and nor would I want to. But here are some beautiful realizations that occurred to me after I received my endowment.

1. God loves us so much more than we could ever comprehend. John 3:16 doesn't even cut it. Not only did he give His Son for us, but He gave us our lives and a beautiful world to live in and literally every earthly possession we have. 

2. Every person is loved by God and should be loved by us. Okay, I knew this already. But, I have realized how important it is to make a concerted effort to LOVE. I get annoyed really easily, and I think unkind thoughts about people. However, since receiving my endowment I have been making real strides in making sure that my actions AND thoughts reflect only love.

3. This world is not about things. Once again, I knew this. How much I actually agreed with it is beyond me. I agree 100% wholeheartedly with this now. My life before was focused on adventures, entertainment and saving for frivolous things. Now, I am more focused on living the Gospel of Jesus Christ, getting an education and preparing to be a mother and wife in an eternal family. Nothing else matters.

Because I love the temple so much, here are some other temples I have attended/visited:
           Bountiful, UT Temple  Mount Timpanogas, UT Temple

Kansas City, MO Temple   Manti, UT Temple

     Nauvoo, IL Temple    Oquirrh Mountain, UT Temple

     Provo, UT Temple     Salt Lake City, UT Temple

Winter Quarters, NE Temple

Finally, the temple I will attend on my mission:
São Paulo, Brazil Temple 

Job 23:10

Sister Abbie Hills 

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