Thursday, July 7, 2016

Surrounded by Angels

Photo from LDS.org
Today Larry and I went to the temple in Hamilton.   Generally we prefer to go during the week when it is not so crowed as on Saturdays.  Today, however, there were more people in the temple than we have ever seen.  There were two bus loads of young missionaries who came down from the NZ Missionary Training Center in Auckland.  Every seat in the endowment room was filled.  Others were given seats filling the balcony above.

The thing that really impressed me about the time we were in the temple was how very reverent it felt.  Even though there were way more people than usual, there was no noise, no rushing about.  All communication was in whispers.  People moved from room to room quietly, courteously, radiating quiet peace.  Everyone in the temple is dressed in white, which added to the sense I had of being surrounded by angels.   I felt so much love in that place.

One of the practices of our faith is that we can write the names of people who are sick or facing struggles of any kind on pieces of paper which are then put into a special cloth bag to be taken to the altars of the temple.  At the end of each endowment session people stand around the altar and say a special prayer asking the Lord to bless the people whose names are on those lists.

I have often put my kids, my siblings, or others who I feel need special comfort, healing or intervention from God.  Today I put my niece's name as she is getting close to the time of having her baby.

Every time I stand at the altar of the temples and pray specifically for people I know, I feel as if a window in heaven opens up granting me more love for that person, whoever it may be. There is much I do not know, cannot comprehend, about how God manages His affairs.  But one things I know for sure:  love has power.  Love heals.  Love blesses.  Love matters.

What I have learned more than anything else on this mission is how to truly feel love for others, both those I know and those I don't.   It is impossible to fully describe.  When I pray for missionaries throughout the world, when I pray for the sick,  when I pray for those who mourn,  or for the leaders of my church, leaders of my government, for my family...for the world...  love moves through me and in me and surrounds me.  I can feel the power of it.

Long after this mission ends I hope I will continue to pray with this same fervor and faith.   Even though I will soon be required to pack away my badge and return to civilian life, I hope I always will remember to access this powerful love for others.  There is something significant that happens when we reach out in faith in behalf others, loving them with the Savior's perspective rather than the eyes of the world.  That is something I never want to lose.

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