I love the old Mormon temples. These stately structures, built over one hundred years ago in the valleys of Utah, followed by some uniquely impressive monuments in Alberta, Idaho and Arizona have enticed me since I was a lad. Growing up I yearned to explore every room, staircase and closet in old buildings. Each building held its own story. Each was a part of the craftsman that designed and built it. Never was this truer than with the old LDS temples.
The temples were even more powerful to me as a youth than the other old structures I explored with the thoroughness of Holmes, such as the Old Faithful Inn, or Blackfoot High School. I couldn’t gain access to the temples. I remember scanning every intricate detail on the exterior of the Salt Lake temple for seeming hours. Quizzing my dad on what the different symbols meant; my obsessive mind trying to extract clues as to what went on inside from the stars, suns, moons, constellations, and the All Seeing Eye.
I knew these buildings were more than just structures by the way they were treated. Everything about the temples was cloaked in reverence. The intonation when the word temple was spoken, the special suitcases taken inside, the recommend one must hold to gain access; these were no normal buildings.
As I grew old enough to gain access to these holy buildings I gained a deeper love for them. And my love expanded to all the temples built by the Latter-Day saints. The warm glow that the temples give off at night I found was a type and shadow to the peaceful assurance that could be gained in their walls. I realized that the carved railings in the spiral stair cases, or the huge murals on the walls, or the intricately constructed ornate rooms, were just man’s best effort to build a house worthy of the intricate plan our loving Father has given his children.
As I have grown, and entered many of these temples, both ornate and subdued, one prime thought comes to mind: “It is good to be here.”
These temples hold everything necessary to have a complete and rich life on this Earth and through the epochs and ages afterwards. As a young boy I would try every door when I had a chance to, heck I still do. I love the nooks, crannies and crevices. Sometimes I’ll find a door that has always been locked before. Behind the door could be a service closest or an entire new wing to explore. The knowledge gained in the temple is much the same way. You never know what spiritual door will be opened when you go to the temple. Sometimes it’ll be some morsel that helps you get through a particularly trying time in your life. Sometimes you’ll gain access to a new floor or tower that expands your knowledge immensely. Sometimes you’ll just go sit in you’re favorite corner with a view, relearning the same doctrines that have been so important to you in the past. There are so many different ways the temple helps us on our adventure back to God, but there is one thing I am sure of. They always help.
That’s why the thought “its good to be here” comes to my mind as I sit in the temple, whether by comfort, instruction, revelation, correction, exhortation, strengthening, or a litany of other ways the temple helps me. Every time. And I implore you to let it help you. If you don’t have the paper that lets you in, get one. Go to the temple, ornate or plain, and learn of the masterful plan our God has built for you. The spiritual journey of your life will become more intricate, complete and beautiful as you do.