This day finds me very well- much more well than I have been in such a long time. Before I go into explanation, let me first recount what has happened this week. Apparently, because of some wise comments I shared in our past two district meetings, I seemed to have built an image of myself within the Firle district as being some master missionary- I just got back from trade-off with Elder L, my district leader whom I love dearly and am so grateful for having as my leader, and he told me that the zone leaders and even Assistants feel that I am an "asset" to the Firle district. I don't know how that happened. I told Elder Li last night that I felt as green as ever, as if my knowledge was comparable to that of a new missionary like Elder A, but Elder L, in a loving way, rebuked that straight away. Regardless of it all, I certainly know now that there are really are eyes watching my every move, and not just those of the people on the street, but also the leadership. I would voice my concern over this, but I know that it is taking place for a reason and I'm sure it is for a "wise purpose" known only by Heavenly Father at this time.
So, why is it that I am feeling so... at ease about everything? For the first time in 10 months, I was blessed with an opportunity to go to the Adelaide Temple. Because of the sacredness of the ordinances found within, I am not at liberty to divulge much of what I learned, but I can say this: for the past week and a half I have been preparing myself mentally and spiritually for the temple. I knew that the temple trip was coming up and I was determined to have a better experience than my first time going. In defiance, I even wore the same tie as I did when I went through for myself. I wish I could share openly all of the things which I was taught from on high as I was within the walls of the Lords' holy house, but some things -such as answers to prayers and revelations given- are of such sacred quality that I dare not give them away- such precious, spiritual enlightenment must be cherished and protected as though they would shatter if they were ever uttered to anyone.
For those of you who may not recall, I did not receive my own temple endowment well. I don't look back at my first temple experience with much fondness, and this is not something that I am proud to admit. I was scared and felt overwhelmed; Simply put, I had not prepared myself properly.
Of course, I was not going to write off going to the temple after going through once- that is not fair in any situation. I am grateful to Brother Christensen for having helped and guided me along my way by taking me to the temple continually before I set out for the mission field. These experiences -as I slowly came to humble myself- proved to be much better than my first time; I was learning more and began to understand that any covenants made could only bring a full measure of happiness- the kind that Heavenly Father wants ALL of His children to experience. Nevertheless, even as I attended the temple while at the MTC, I was still lacking (and am still lacking) in understanding. Having thus said that, however, I can say that if one properly prepares themselves to being taught by the Spirit of God, they will be taught, and they will experience miracles.
With my past temple track-record in mind, and knowing that I may possibly not see the temple again for some time, I decided that I was going to have an uplifting, spiritually filling, revelatory, celestial temple experience, and I was going to savour every last bit of it. I studied the areas of the scriptures that mention the temple; I studied the Church's other reading materials regarding the temples of the Lord; I prayed and earnestly sought to have a good temple experience. I am more than happy to report that I absolutely loved my temple experience this day (I just got back probably 2-3 hours ago).
Words are very ineffective at describing the spiritual and emotional feelings that accompany a truly celestial temple experience. As mentioned by countless prophets and apostles before, a detailed and well-written description of the temple -of the highest quality in writing and in the most accomplished language spoken today- could not clearly communicate that which is felt within the walls of the temple. Upon entering the Adelaide Temple's humble Celestial Room, I remained with Elder L until everyone else had gone (he stayed with me as he was my companion for the time being). I did not want to leave. I would say a prayer and thank the Lord for allowing me entrance and the honour and privilege of entering His holy house, but just when I had flexed my muscles in an effort to leave my chair, I found that I did not want to rise. I stayed for who knows how long, because I can truly say for myself that I felt God's love.
I will probably write more later, but I must go for now. I love you all so very much... and so does Heavenly Father...
|Adelaide Australia Temple|