Tuesday, June 27, 2017

When I was pretty much at my wits end being pregnant I did a session at the Gilbert Temple. It required a phone call and borrowing a dress from them. The temple workers were so incredibly kind to me, I was surprised honestly.  They stopped the session so I could go to the bathroom and they brought me some small water bottles so I wouldn't get thirsty.
Doing a session 4 days overdue taught me few things...

* You can find peace in the temple. I know this sounds incredibly cliche but I didn't totally have a testimony about it before. But this specific session made me a believer. It was nice not to have a cellphone to keep track of... or babies! It was exactly what I needed to ease my anxieties. I can't tell you why I felt so much peace... maybe it was because nothing I was worried about mattered in the temple. Or the fact that you know, it's the House of the Lord. idk but I'm here to tell you you can find peace at the temple.

*The temple is important. When I was in the process of getting my recommend renewed the stake president said he felt impressed to tell me that my husband and I should make temple attendance a priority while our kids were young. Between that and the feelings I felt at the temple I believe that God wants us to come worship at his house often. I think I'm going to shoot for every other month. Does Thomas' and Laura's sealing count? I think so.

*Our ancestors got our back. I've been thinking about ancestors a lot lately. Due largely in part of this podcast. It's my favorite and I listen to it almost daily.  Having a new baby means a lot of self reflection. Which I wish I could write down more, but please believe me when I say I have no time! It's been crazy. You literally never know how the next thirty minutes are going to go. Anyways, while I was at the temple I felt so strongly that my ancestors were supporting me. I had the mental image of them standing on either side of me with their hands on my shoulders, don't make fun of me. It made me think of the time Aang (avatar the last airbender) became familiar with all the avatars before him. Goosebumps. I couldn't find the exact clip I want but this clip will have to do.

* Genealogy is needed. When I got my patriarchal blessing I was disappointed it said very little about me. It talks about how I will influence people but says little about my actual character and person. I'm not disappointed about that anymore, I figured it means I can do much good. It discusses how I will help my ancestors with their temple work.

I've often thought I wouldn't survive in any other time period (giving birth without epidurals? no thank you) and give thanks all the time that I was born when I was. Maybe my ancestors sacrificed what they could to get me to this point in time. Somewhere down their line they knew that one of their descendants would be a stay at home mom and would have the ability to carve out time to seek them and their stories out. Here I am, here is your big duty! May not be the glamorous humanitarian work in third world countries I dream of, but somehow seeking my ancestors out has a bad a** feel to it.

This brings me back to the podcast I mentioned earlier. Episode 422 is called Whakapapa, which roughly translates into "to stack rocks on one another reaching heaven ward". The idea behind it is that we need to be taking care of our descendants and feeling gratitude towards our ancestors. What can we do to improve the lives of our descendants? Being a good ancestor. Nowhere is this idea more prevalent than in the temple. For example sealing's, they are full of good feelings and are so dang cute. Anybody who's gone to a sealing knows that you will always have that cheesy moment in the sealing where the sealer asks you to hold hands and look at the mirror. When you do this you see your reflection reflected for eternity, it's supposed to signify the eternity of your sealing. But also the ancestors who came before you and the descendants that are coming after you. Sometimes during the sealing's I've gone to I've mused about big time celebrities doing this with their spouses and I actually feel kind of bad for them, that they don't get to have this experience. Or people who have to save up money to get married in a church and PAY a pastor to marry them, what?  The temple is hands down one of the prettiest buildings and it doesn't cost a penny for anyone to get married there. Just a pure heart and an eternal promise. Ok I'm off topic, had to share that thought though.

Now that I have three sons I feel a sense of "what am I doing in my life?' I suppose I have a mild existential crisis every time I have a new baby, but this one feels different. I have three sons, that sounds so adult. What am I doing to better my genealogical chain? How am I going to avoid being the weak link. Being a mom is mundane, and repetitive. It doesn't hold the type of glory that the peace corp does. I could go on and on with this. But perhaps, for right now anyways, my calling in life is to raise good men and help my ancestors out. How very underwhelming that sounds. But this is the stone I bring to the stack of my ancestral line. It sounds underwhelming to me but Whakapapa isn't about me is it? It's about being a good ancestor. Maybe my influence will have lasting influences that I can't foresee right now.

*In the temple heaven touches earth. Who was it that said that if you go to the temple with the right attitude you will always leave a better person? (the adorable sealer at Thomas' and Laura's wedding quoted this). I believe this wholeheartedly. I came to the temple anxious, irritated and midly depressed and left feeling hope. I'm not saying that I've been perfectly zen since then... but I have noticed a calmer feeling to my life... despite my slow decent into madness.

Sorry this was sort of slapped together... I'm doing my best!



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