Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Ezekiel And The Temple

This coming June 12th will make 17 years of marriage for Decker and I, and this coming August 14th will make 15 years since Decker was called to his mission on the other side of the veil.

The fact that so much time has passed since both events is both easy and hard to believe: I remember our time together as if it were yesterday, yet it seems like Decker has been gone forever.  I guess that's one of the paradigms of this fallen world, and a paradigm of time as we know it.

I have been wanting to post about Ezekiel and The Temple for a while now, it was a Sunday School lesson for the Old Testament I was given the blessing of teaching.  The reason I say blessing you will understand shortly.

While Decker was alive, we tried to have children, but I couldn't conceive.  Nothing was working.  We spent a lot of time in the Temple, and while there at one point I received a vision.  I was dressed in white and holding a newborn boy in my arms who looked just like Decker, hair and all.  The message was loud and clear that I would be given this child, however I was a little confused as to why I was also wearing white.

Then Decker passed away.

Someone dear to me, after Decker's death, insisted that Decker could never father a child as a resurrected being.  This was another blow.

I got on my knees and had a heart to heart with Heavenly Father and the Savior.  I asked, very pointedly, how I could be given such a vision (and what I felt to be a promise) of something to come when the Lord had every intention of taking my husband early without fulfilling the promise?

The answer, thankfully, came with patience and love:  Why are you placing limits on what God can do?  Not every power of God has been revealed to man just yet.

I found a confirmation to that lesson in the scriptures, with Ezekiel and The Temple.

The place is Babylon, at the end of the saga that constitutes the Old Testament, aka the Old Covenant.  Ezekiel is among the Jews who were taken from Jerusalem to Babylon to be made slaves and placed under house arrest.  They lost their land of inheritance, their Temple was defiled and then destroyed, the Ark of The Covenant went missing.  The Jews were sold into slavery and the Tribes of Israel were "lost" and scattered.

In all of this, the Jehovah calls Ezekiel as a prophet and gives Ezekiel a series of visions, including this one, which is of the Millennial Temple.

Ezekiel 43:1-12

Ezekiel 44:6-9, 23

The burning question for me was:  why?  Why show Ezekiel a temple he would never live to see?

And just like my anguished question of the Lord, the answer came:  Not every power of God has been revealed to man just yet.  Ezekiel was to record his vision for a later generation who would not only see temples during their lifetime, but would need to understand the healing that is to come for the faithful.

Now, about the symbolism of the water used on the temple grounds of our modern-day temples.  It's not just a symbol of a paradisal glory, another meaning comes from Ezekiel:

Ezekiel 47:1,6-12

Particularly, verse 9:

And it shall come to pass, that every thing that liveth, which moveth, whithersoever the rivers shall come, shall live: and there shall be a very great multitude of fish, because these waters shall come thither: for they shall be healed; and every thing shall live whither the river cometh.

This is a river flowing from an alter within the temple, coming out from under the temple, flowing through a desert and into the Dead Sea.


There is a lot of symbolism going on here so let's break this down:


1.  The river is flowing from an altar within the temple.  Why?  Because the altar represents the Throne of Jehovah.  Jehovah is the source of the water.


2.  As it flows through the desert, what happens along the pathway?  Vegetation comes to life, and spontaneously produces fruit.  The desert, a symbol of famine, is healed by the water of Jehovah.


3.  The water reaches and heals the Dead Sea.  What happens when it heals?  It's not just a multitude of fish that appear.


10 And it shall come to pass, that the fishers shall stand upon it from En-gedi even unto En-eglaim; they shall be a place to spread forth nets; their fish shall be according to their kinds, as the fish of the great sea, exceeding many.


The interesting part is the description of the fish.  They shall exceed in the kinds of the fish of the great sea.  Not only will the fish who would have been native to the Dead Sea will live there, but more, much more.


This isn't just about healing.


When we make covenants with the Lord in our latter-day temples, there are promises and blessings the Lord has in store for us that we cannot even imagine, numbering much like the fish in the restored Dead Sea.  


The healed desert?  That is us, being healed so we will become the kind of disciples the Lord knows we can be.  We will be healed to reach our full potential to flow to the sea and partake of the multitude of blessings that await us.  


Do you have any kind of unfulfilled expectation in your life?  A blessing that has been withheld for a time?  This is where it comes to fruition.  We can become the spouses to our eternal companions the Lord knows we can be.  We can be the kind of parents to the children awaiting us the Lord knows we can be.


How does this happen?  It is the healing power of the Lord, through the blessings flowing from the temple, that make this happen.


Do you think this applies today?  Yes, to a limited degree.  There is water flowing from the temple, a spiritual water that can heal you from the pain, suffering, depression this world brings.  It awaits us at the temple.



Source:  https://www.lds.org/media-library/images/temples/mesa-arizona?lang=eng



Monday, December 1, 2014

Tonight's Scripture

From  The Gospel Library App for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints:

12 And the Lord have removed men far away, for there shall be a great forsaking in the midst of the land.

13 But yet there shall be a tenth, and they shall return, and shall be eaten, as a teil tree, and as an oak whose substance is in them when they cast their leaves; so the holy seed shall be the substance thereof.
2 Nephi 16:12-13
http://www.lds.org/scriptures/bofm/2-ne/16?lang=eng

What struck me this evening was the "tenth" used in verse 13.  This was Nephi quoting Isaiah, who was describing the coming destruction of the House of Israel.  First in the Northern Kingdoms, then in Judah.

So, what does a "tenth" mean in this scripture?

I've thought of a tenth of something to have the symbolism of a tithe.

Could this be the fruits of a tithe?  Where the "holy seed" is brought back, albeit in bondage and slavery, to provide remnants of the House of Israel (descendents of David) to produce the lineage and backdrop for the Messiah?

These are just a few random thoughts.

Back to your regularly scheduled program.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Suicide

Lately, either people I know personally or people associated with friends have committed suicide.  In many ways, I can understand why, having had suicidal thoughts shortly after Decker died.

What I can tell my widow buddies out there is this:  what you are experiencing is only a fragment of reality, not in it's entirety.

My experience was looking through life through a tunnel filled with pain, with no end in sight.

Thankfully, I had a good friend who literally shook me into the true reality and out of the suicidal thoughts.

What I can also tell you is this:  you are not alone, you are not forgotten, you are not forsaken.  Not by anyone, including me.  If you need help, ask.

You can call Bishops, Stake Presidents, Relief Society Presidents, other widows in your Ward.

The National Suicide Prevention Hotline:  1-800-273-8255


Priesthood?

During today's Sunday School class it was brought up how important a role the Priesthood of God has in these last days, not only in sharing the Gospel, but also in providing the ordinances to bring people back to God.

Another person in class pointed out the experience of their widowed mother, and how critical the priesthood is for her.

Then I explained to the class how I haven't been home taught or visit taught in years.  Yes, years.

Then a third person spoke up and told me I should rely upon the Lord, not the Priesthood.  This was coming from a sister in the Ward with a husband and children.

Congratulations, people, you now know why so many of the widowed commit suicide.

Enough said.

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Sunday School

I love Sunday School.  There is always something there for me to learn.

Today, it was Lesson 23:  The Lord Be Between Thee and Me For Ever

I needed this lesson given the experiences of my previous post, regarding my previous Ward.

While I have not been perfect in what happened, and have some things to repent of, there is a lesson of being the meek and humble Latter-day Saint vs. being a doormat, even with other Latter-day Saints.

The fact that I am a widow and was not home taught for over a year should speak volumes.  I don't seek for vengeance against these people, they will need to answer to the Lord for what they have done, and the motivation for doing so.  That doesn't mean, though, that the Lord expects me to be a doormat and just simply "take it".

This goes back to David and Saul.

Did David support Saul?  Yes, he continued to fight battles under Saul, even while Saul was trying to have David killed in battle.

Did David lose his respect for Saul?  Yes, it got to the point where David had to go into hiding because Saul lost the respect and trust of both David and Saul's own son, Jonathan.

Did David try to take vengeance against Saul?  No.  David knew that to do so was a violation against God, as vengeance belongs to God.  David, however, also knew that Saul had already lost, in that David would inherit Saul's throne.  He had already been anointed to be the next king.

However, God also gave David the opportunity to confront Saul, which he did and cut the hem of Saul's robe, meaning that Saul had lost the battle.  David did not kill Saul - he was not to be seeking revenge, but David was not expected to be a doormat to Saul and allow Saul to kill him.  David was doing the Lord's will.

Goodbye

After some prayer, I have moved my membership back to Evergreen Ward.

I could never get home taught in the Ward I have left, and those who did show up gave no indication that they cared anything about my Mother.

Which is sad, given that this is the Ward my Mother lives in.  Since she's not a member of the Church, apparently she was not important to them.

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Happy Anniversary


A happy and belated anniversary to the love of my eternal life.  We were sealed to one another 16 years ago on June 12, 1998.

The anniversary was on Thursday, and usually I'm a basket case.  This time, however, I put in a roughly 12 hour day at work, followed by taking care of Mom.  

She had cataract surgery #2 the week before and was still on eye drops.  The good news is, she is doing very, very well, and her vision is outstanding without the glasses.  She is also doing better with her walking, given that her vision of where she is going has improved.

Apart from work and Mom, that's about it.  Church?  I'm going to a different Ward than the one Decker and I attended; I'm praying to see if I need to stay there or go back to Evergreen.  It's going to have to be an entirely different post to explain what is going on.

My love to all of you.




Welcome To The Widowed Connection

Welcome to the Widowed Connection, where widowed members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints can read and share in this blog.