Sep 30, 2012

Holy Sabbath : As We Touch the Temple

Over the weekend my family and I took a quick visit up to Salt Lake City to spend some time shopping, walking, and exploring. My favorite part? Visiting Temple Square with my little one. The place is being prepped for General Conference on October 6th and 7th, so you can guarantee the grounds are stunning. It was such a contrast, moving from the hustle and bustle of City Creek into the quiet, peaceful surroundings of the Temple. It was the kind of serene I was in desperate need of this week. A place away from stress, trials, and worry. A place dedicated to a spiritual purpose. A place for peace and reflection.

Just before we entered the grounds my little brother talked about taking K.B. up to touch the temple. He said he remember a talk from a Stake President who said it was important to have young children touch the temple, to make it accessible to them. That struck me just then as a truly beautiful chance my little man had to touch so many temples in this area. So we did it. We stood in that holy place and Tio got Littleman out of the stroller and took him up to the East doors. He reached out his little fingers and patted the wooden paneling on the door. No big, miraculous event happened. Instead it was small, it was the smile that spread across my baby's face that warmed me from my core to my fingers and toes. That day was the first time my little one touch the temple, and I hope and pray it will be nowhere near his last. 

The true significance of this event did not fully bowl me over until I got back home and started to do a little reading. I wanted to find if there were other references to touching the temple, and I found them a plenty. 

There was one article in the Church News from 2008 that related a sweet story about two boys taking their little brothers to touch the temple. The boys, one 7 and one 8, had pulled their siblings in little carts to the temple early one morning. There was a watchman present who witnessed the entire event. The boys told this man how it was one little brother's birthday, Joe was turning two, and they wanted him to remember when he was an old man that he touched the temple on his second birthday. The other little brother, Mark, was also two at the time.

They asked the watchman if it was alright for them to let their little brothers touch the temple. He said it certainly was. So, with reverence and solemnity, they pulled their little carts closer to the walls. Then each boy lifted the younger brother they were pulling and let them rest their little hands against the holy building. Then the oldest whispered, "Now you will always remember when you were two years old you touched the temple." The article then closes with this statement: "Yes, temples can touch us as much — more so — than we can touch them. When we go to a temple, we touch its solid surfaces, but the temple touches us on a deeper level. It touches the spirit. May we ever yearn to be in the temple, the House of the Lord, and may be always be prepared to feel its touch in our lives."

This story tugged on my deepest heartstrings. It related directly to what I and just witnessed from my little brother and my son. The significance of having these holy places so readily available to us in this area often evades me. I get too busy, I get too stressed, and I forget how important the temple is. It is important to my ancestors, it is important to my family today, and it is vital for my future. I was so glad we took that chance to touch the temple that day, and to also let the temple touch us in so many more ways. Now my son will always remember that he touched the temple when he was just 10 months old. And I will remember the sweetness of this day too, and all of the days I have spent in the temple. 

Other resources on touching the temple include:

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