For most members of the LDS faith, visiting the temple brings peace, hope, comfort, and joy. How many times have you heard someone say that they were going through a difficult time or dealing with a difficult trial or searching for an answer to a difficult question, and so they visited the temple? Likewise, often when someone we love dies, the temple is the place we go to the feel peace and a special closeness to that person. I have heard many stories of special experiences people have when they are in the temple; accounts of the eye-opening understandings and personal revelation as well as a sweet closeness to those who have passed on.
The thing is, the temple is a quiet, clean, happy place; dedicated only to God and His work. There is nothing dirty, out-of-place, or disruptive about the temple. One can not enter its walls and feel distressed, confounded or lost. Wouldn’t it be nice to be able to spend all day, every day in the temple? What about a few hours of each day?
For most of us, it is impossible to spend all day, every day in the temple. Some of us are lucky to be able to go once a week, and others of us make it once a month or maybe even once a year. Obviously, depending on your life situation, or how close you even live to a temple, the time you are able to visit and experience the happiness that can be found within temple walls varies.
But guess what??? There is good news!!! All of us can spend ALL day EVERY day in the next best thing. Our homes are likely the only place that we can find the same peace and clarity that we can find in the temple. Indeed, it is possible to have the same precious experiences we can have in the temple, in our very homes.
“We may be well-advised to consider together, in family council, standards for our homes to keep them sacred and to allow them to be a ‘house of the Lord.’ The admonition to ‘establish … a house of prayer, a house of fasting, a house of faith, a house of learning, a house of glory, a house of order, a house of God’ provides divine insight into the type of home the Lord would have us build. Doing such begins the construction of a ‘spiritual mansion’ in which we all may reside regardless of our worldly circumstance—a home filled with treasure that ‘neither moth nor rust doth corrupt.'” – Elder Gary E. Stevenson
It is my humble belief that our homes should always be clean and full of order. Many times, I have heard people excuse a messy, dirty, or disorderly home because they are parents and can’t keep up the housework while also trying to attend to their children. While I wholeheartedly agree that sometimes the dishes need to be overlooked because a child needs to be read to, or sometimes the laundry doesn’t get folded right away because there are dollies to be doctored, I strongly disagree that housework should be on the bottom of the priority list.
Personally, I have special reason to hope that my home is the next best thing to the temple in my life. I want the atmosphere of my home to be one of love and peace the Spirit is felt welcome. I even want it to be a place where I can feel the presence of my little boy who has passed on. There is no yelling in my home. No arguing, bickering or hurtful words. I have happy children and a happy husband. I find it easier to keep it that way when I am not distracted by messes or disorder.
This is an area of my life that I will continue to work on, and where there is much room for improvement. It’s okay to have fingerprints on the piano, or a towel on the bathroom floor, but we should all strive as much as possible to make our homes houses where the spirit can dwell and righteousness can be fostered.