By Hollie Ogden Wells
The Come, Follow Me readings these past few weeks have included descriptive passages in Exodus where the Lord instructs Moses how the Tabernacle is to be built. He gives Moses specific measurements, dimensions, and materials as divine instructions to follow. As I read about cubits, spans, purple, and gold, I pondered what blueprints the Lord gives us now in building our holy places today. The Bible Dictionary states that the only place that can compare to the temple in sacredness is the home. Obviously, God doesn’t give specific guidelines for how to build the physical four walls— the house— we live in, but He has revealed many ways for us to build a home: beautiful and safe, where the Spirit dwells.
You hear many people talking about their experience in the temple as peaceful and apart from this chaotic, evil world. This is the same feeling we are promised
Here are two ways I found that we can create a Christ-centered home.
Daily Living & Work
The Lord said that “all things unto me are spiritual” (Doctrine & Covenants 29:34). In Relief Society lessons and Sunday School discussions, it is common when conversing about making our homes a holy place for the “temporal” aspects of laundry, dishes, and yard work to be left behind.
Associate Professor from the BYU School of Family Life, Shirley R. Klein said, “We often think about family duties in terms of family prayer, home evening, and scripture reading, but we should also remember that activities like feeding and clothing ourselves help us practice love, service, obedience, and cooperation. These simple, everyday routines have great power in our lives” (Protect our Homes, Renew Our Powers, BYU Speech, April 5, 2005).
Temples ancient and modern were nearly always flooded with workers who cleaned, taught, assisted, and performed holy ordinances. Temple-like homes are “house[s] of order” (Doctrine & Covenants 88:119) and order requires daily work and maintenance. The Lord truly loves effort, and in our strivings to make our homes a sacred refuge from the world, nothing can replace hard work.
We often look at the phrase “keep your covenants” and categorize that as a church activity, something we do when we are serving in a calling, ministering, or doing our daily prayers and scripture study. However, our surroundings and the people around us are affected most when we are striving to keep baptismal and temple covenants.
Perhaps our spouses, children, siblings, and parents are the ones who are in most need of our consecrated time and talents. Our family members benefit the most from watching our example of living the Gospel of Jesus Christ closely. We can surround our home with the Spirit’s safeguard when we commit to living the law of chastity in body, mind, and media. Living the temple covenants helps us attain the “happiness in family life [that] is most likely to be achieved when founded upon the teachings of the Lord Jesus Christ” (The Family Proclamation). The temple is where we go to make covenants; home is where we go to keep them.
These two suggestions are certainly not exhaustive or comprehensive! Go find other ways that the scriptures and the leaders of the church teach us to build a home into a “sanctuary of faith” (Becoming Exemplary Latter-day Saints, Russell M. Nelson, October 2018).