Temple Adventures

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).

Temple worship is part of our faith tradition as Latter-day Saints, and in addition to our regular Sunday meetings locally.

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.

Through all of that, we have had sufficient for our needs.

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.

Even when we experience normal first world problems, like knowing braces on teeth are about to be added to all the braces on legs around here.

Isn’t she beautiful?

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:

Angels are sometimes those who have gone before us, and sometimes those who haven’t yet been born.

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 girls into strong women with fierce spirits and good boundaries, but hearts full of compassion and gratitude.

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.

Angels surround us, temporally and spiritually, cheering us on as we experience the atonement increase our capacity to do good and grow closer to our Heavenly Father and each other.

 And the temple reminds us we are not alone.

We have each other.

And that’s the whole point.


About Emily

I am a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints since 2009. I serve as a Chaplain, and work as a counselor. I got bilateral cochlear implants in 2010, but will always love sign language. I choose books over television, and organics over processed. Nothing is as close to flying as ballroom dancing - except maybe running, when in the solo mood. I would rather be outside than anywhere else, especially at the river riding my bike or kayaking. PhD in Marriage and Family Therapy, and currently doing a post-doc in Jewish Studies and an MDiv in Pastoral Counseling. The best thing about Emily World is that it's always an adventure, even if (not so) grammatically precise. The only thing better than writing is being married to a writer. Nathan Christensen and I were married in the Oklahoma City temple on 13 October 2012, and have since fostered more than eighty-five children. We have adopted the six who stayed, and are totally and completely and helplessly in love with our family. Nathan writes musical theater, including "Broadcast" (a musical history of the radio) and an adaption of Lois Lowry's "The Giver". He served his mission in South Korea, has taught song-writing in New York City public schools, and worked as a theater critic for a Tucson newspaper. This is not an official Web site of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

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