We drive to Oklahoma City today, so that we could go to the temple one more time before it closes for remodeling (next month we will go to Kirtland and Nauvoo).
It is because of temple ordinances, and the priesthood power by which they are done, that we are able to continue as a family even after death – instead of just “until death do us part” as civil ceremonies say.
We love each other, and don’t want death to be the end of us.
The temple is also a place for prayer, and pondering, and progressing in holiness through the covenants we make there and then practice keeping when we leave and go back home.
When I found a quiet place to sit by myself today, I opened the scriptures to find something – but accidentally Rilke-dipped myself right into this scripture as the pages fell open:
I love these verses! This was in Doctrine and Covenants, a book of revelations from this restoration period in our history, but it is quoting Matthew 6 and Luke 12. These are some of my favorites, and how I needed reminding of this today!
While we have seen this true in a hundred ways, the most obvious example is Kyrie. When we adopted her, we promised we were capable of providing for her. We didn’t know that day that she would rack up almost two million dollars of medical expenses in less than two years! We have fought and appealed the limits of insurance, and witnessed the miracles as our community made up the rest – I don’t know how families without any insurance at all do it.
Well, sometimes those babies don’t make it.
Sometimes those families pay medical bills long after their little one has passed.
Even little things, like all the glasses Kirk goes through, or new braces on all of their feet, or another round of haircuts after Barrett chopped his bangs off with his new school scissors… it’s going to be okay.
We were warned in a blessing, and when I was called to Chaplaincy, that it would be a hard year or so, and it has been. Almost impossible. Except the experience has strengthened our faith, drawn us closer together, and proven His promises to be true.
And we have been happy, in spite of it all.
Clothing six little ones, or feeding all eight of us, much less coming up with medical expenses or making up the money from time off work for all the hospitalizations – it is scary, sometimes, because we are weak and can’t see the answers – but we know they will come.
I read that today, too, the next verses that quote my patriarchal blessing:
But most often, they are you and me, for each other.
Know what angels give my children?
And lessons in grace, and mercy, and love.
Safe environments in which to play freely.
Social skills, lessons in conquering challenges, and natural consequences.
Like lessons in why we don’t kiss the skunks that live at the temple.
Angels are helping to raise my boys into wise and thoughtful young men, who are both strong and gentle, who are kind to others, and who serve others before themselves.
We have each other.
And that’s the whole point.