Friday, March 13, 2015

Cleaning the Temple...and me...

Last night, I had the singular opportunity to get to clean the temple from 9:30 pm to 12:30 am. When they sent the email to our ward, I responded immediately. I mean, I clean my house regularly, but how often do you get to clean the House of the Lord?! 

My day didn’t go as planned at ALL. The quick morning dentist appointment turned into TWO, yes two root canals on opposite sides of my mouth, leaving me pretty deadened and dysfunctional for most of the day. I even fell asleep before I could go pick up my prescription and the next thing I knew, it was 8:30pm and I hadn’t even showered yet.

I knew I wouldn’t feel the greatest, but I also knew I could not pass this up. So, I rode with my friend to the temple, which was UNBELIEVABLY busy. We should have known when we pulled into a FULL parking lot at 9:30pm. The Baptistry is open here until 10pm, and they didn’t actually finish until 11:45!!! They also had to add at least 3 more late sessions to allow everyone to participate. Amazing.

We were given white scrubs to wear and assigned into groups. I got to clean the main floor on the sisters’ side, which means I got to vacuum the marriage waiting room, the bride’s room, and the children’s area which hardly anyone knows exists in a temple unless they’ve tended to children before a sealing. They’re awesome places.

As I was vacuuming the Initiatory areas, one tiny thought bloomed into an hour long conversation in my mind. My patriarchal blessing admonishes me specifically: “Make your visits to the temple as often as possible, for within those walls great Truths are taught.” My goodness, yes. The following is the process of understanding that unfolded before me as I ran the vacuum over occasional tiny pieces of white lint…

“That one didn’t come up. Oh well…….……..nope, I can’t do it. *goes back to remove one tiny piece next to a partition* Interesting. I must be totally anal if I can’t even leave one tiny spot……..but I don’t want it to bother any patrons. I wouldn’t want it to fester in their minds…..fester. Odd word. Huh…..

I have a VERY firm testimony that the Lord DOES walk those very halls and touch the same doors and railings as we do. I’ve had it testified unto me by those who know. So if he walks here, I don’t want that one piece of lint to fester in Him, right? I mean, it’s not like he’s going to come “white glove” the temple or anything…but what if He asked me, ‘Karen, why is there still one blemish here?’  I would just melt in humiliation if I had to say, ‘Oh, uh, sorry. I just decided it wasn’t important.’  There’s a reason I have to be so completely thorough in my cleaning. I’m cleaning it for Him. To show Him my appreciation for all He’s done for me.

Appreciation……fester…....blemish……..WHOA. This has Atonement applications! Oh gracious. *starts to tear up* OH my word, what if I had to stand before Him in the next life and have Him ask me about my life on earth, ‘Karen….why is there still this blemish here? Why did you allow it to fester for so long?’ ‘Oh, uh, sorry. I just decided it wasn’t important…I was just too lazy to take care it.’  *now sobbing* I NEVER want to have to say that. It’s SOOO important to proactively apply His Atonement to cleanse us completely! We have to try every day and renew our slate every Sunday with His precious Sacrament. The Lord is so patient.

*gives up and goes to find Kleenex while shaking with emotion* ……….OH my goodness. Each blemish I’m talking about…what does that actually equate to for Him? Ugh. ‘Karen, why is there still one blemish here? Why did you allow it to fester for so long?’ ‘Oh, uh sorry? I guess I just decided that drop of blood, that thorn, that scar wasn’t that important…’” *cries harder than ever before*

My comprehension of the Atonement is even deeper today because of this precious lesson, for which I am eternally grateful. EVERY drop of blood, every thorn, every moment He endured for each one of us is monumental. I have not entirely understood my personal need for the Sacrament each week until this time in my life. It is vital. I cannot make it back to my Savior to thank Him, and to my Father in Heaven again without it. Until that time, I’ll focus a little more on the lint I may be ignoring.