I was thinking earlier about posting something else, but the Spirit said "No". It was the first time that happened to me with this blog, and speaks to the fact that the Lord has something very specific in mind for what I need to write tonight. (Please don't hesitate to contact me about anything I've written here. My email link is located on the side bar.)
A few minutes ago, I was thinking about the day, and how grateful I am for some very specific blessings. This time, the Spirit was overwhelming - "This is what you need to write about." Interestingly enough, I had originally wanted to post Elder Ballard's request that we share our testimonies through the internet, blogs and other electronic media. I will share that request at another time. Tonight, what the Lord wants me to share is my testimony. (It's just a bit ironic that I didn't pick up on THAT when I read Elder Ballard's request that we do that very thing.)
I was able to attend our Fast and Testimony Meeting today. I have been feeling for a while that I needed to share my testimony of the Temple, and what a blessing it has been to me in this last year. As I sat listening to the testimonies, trying keep my brood of 5 active children quiet enough so that I could hear, I realized that there had been a long period of silence. I waited, and I thought I heard someone get up, but the pause continued. Finally the Spirit said to me, "We are waiting for you." What I will share here is actually much more detailed than what I shared in the meeting today, but essentially the same.
Last November, my Bishop encouraged me to begin attending the Temple regularly, at least once a month. I cried there in his office. I hadn't wanted to go without my husband. I had come to a place where I knew my husband, to whom I was sealed in the San Diego Temple 14 years earlier, was no longer interested in Christ or the LDS Church, much less the Temple. My own convictions, regarding the truth of the gospel and the power of Christ to comfort as well cleanse and save, were stronger than ever. I knew I needed the strength that would come from the Temple and I knew my husband wouldn't be coming with me again. I told my Bishop that I would go each month.
This month, October 2008, was the 12th consecutive month that I have fulfilled that commitment. In some ways it seems like much more time has passed because so much has changed in my life during this year. In most ways, the year has flown by. I will never let any excuse keep me from the Temple again. In the Temple, I feel peace about my road - which has been incredibly rocky and filled with struggles I never dreamed I'd face. In the Temple, I feel the deep and endless love of the Lord. I feel like I'm 'going home' in many ways. It is My Father's House. He is there for me when I go for a visit. He sits at my side and listens to me as I pour out my heart. He lets me know that he has heard me. Amazingly, what I feel to do most when I am there is to Thank Him. I am renewed in the Temple. It has been a much greater blessing to me than my Bishop promised.
Last November, as I sat waiting in a silent Temple room, My Father said quietly to my heart "Thank you for coming to My House. Now, I can bless you even more." I felt completely overwhelmed by His love, and I desperately needed that. I had recently told my husband that I wasn't willing to go on the way things were. In the previous year things had worsened in our home to such an extent, his anger and misery were so entrenched, that I had begun to fear for our children and their emotional health. There was strength rising up in me that I didn't know I had. I wasn't afraid anymore to face life without him. I had given him one last opportunity to treat his family with kindness and love, to be the father his children deserved. I could live with him not embracing the gospel the way I did, but I couldn't live with the emotional explosions that seemed to be more and more common and vicious - turning more often directly to family members. I had come to a very difficult place. I needed My Father more than ever, and He was there for me, in His House.
I can think of so many precious moments in my visits to the Temple during this year when the Spirit has lifted me like a buoy, helping me to float through what would otherwise have been almost unbearable trials. The Spirit made me sure of my course, sure of the things I knew I had to do. It has been far more difficult than I imagined, but most often more peaceful. There have been moments so painful, I thought there was no way I'd find my way through the struggles. Soon after however, a little light would come, a little miracle would find its way into my life, My Father would reveal His hand. It is not the life I planned. It is so far from the life I planned that I know I would never have been able to withstand the mounting pressures without my monthly visits to the Temple, Daily Scripture Study and Prayer. My road has brought me to a divorce.
Your road may be a different road, but your answers and strength still lie in the Temple, in Your Father's House. He knows you just as well as He knows me. He is waiting for you to come and sit at His knee, tell Him of your pain and find rest in His love. I Know. I have been there. He and our Savior Jesus Christ Live and they Love us so desperately. They want to see us. It's what they always say, isn't it? "Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden and I will give you rest."
Rest is waiting for you.