In an Uncertain World, The Temple Reminds Us of Things that are Certain

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By Anne Maxson

One morning, I was driving through a blanket of fog along a nearby river. Dealing with the uncertainty and disorientation that comes when surrounded by clouds and not being able to see very far ahead was frustrating. As I started to go up a hill, the clouds thinned a bit. I thought, “Isn’t it fitting that the temple is right at the top of this hill?” Steadfast and certain, when I reached the top of the hill, the temple was there with blue skies behind it and the sun shining brightly. It was a comfort and a reminder of the importance of eternal orientation.

When things around us are confusing and we don’t know which way to go, we can remember that the covenants made with God will guide us towards promises of a solid and unchanging foundation. That experience also reminded me of the talk, “Christ: The Light that Shines in Darkness,” given by Sister Sharon Eubank in April 2019. She discussed an experience she had one evening while working in her office on Temple Square. That night, the lights on the Salt Lake Temple didn't turn on.

She said, "We, or people we love, may temporarily go dark. In the case of the Salt Lake Temple, the facilities manager got a call almost immediately. People had noticed. What was wrong with the temple lights? First, the staff went in person to every electrical panel in the temple and manually turned the lights back on. Then they replaced the batteries in the automatic power supply and tested them to find out what had failed. It’s hard to get the lights back on by yourself. We need friends. We need each other. Just like the temple facilities staff, we can help each other by showing up in person, recharging our spiritual batteries, repairing what went wrong." 

With all that is going on right now, "showing up in person" may not be an option. In addition, with limited communication, it is more difficult to notice if someone's light is dimming. It can be a struggle to know who to reach out to (and how) but the Spirit is a helpful guide. As I have diligently worked to keep my heart and ears open to the inklings and nudges of the Spirit, I have been directed to send a quick text or video message, share a quote, or talk I’ve read, or make a phone call.

As we strive to be open to the promptings of the Holy Ghost in reaching out to others, we will see our own capacity increase. In the talk “However Long and Hard the Road,” Elder Jeffrey R. Holland discusses Doctrine and Covenants 64:33-34 which includes “…be not weary in well-doing, for you are laying the foundation of a great work…”  As he expands on that scripture, he states, “That ‘great work’ is you”.  There are countless times that I have felt that line being whispered in my ear.  “Keep at it!  That ‘great work’ is you!”  

Soon after driving up the hill and seeing the temple that morning, the fog was thick again. However, I could easily remember the view of the temple in the sun a few miles back. During these past months, some of us may be feeling some emotional confusion and disorientation. With a news cycle that seems to change every hour and new restrictions and disruptions to daily life, we can feel quite uncertain of what the short-term (and even long-term) future holds. However, we are blessed with knowledge and testimony of many things that we do know for certain. Even when the fog gathers in again, we can recollect the feelings we have when we are reminded of our eternal and solid foundation - the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

In October 2021, President Russell M. Nelson said, “If you and I are to withstand the forthcoming perils and pressures, it is imperative that we each have a firm spiritual foundation built upon the rock of our Redeemer, Jesus Christ. So I ask each of you, how firm is your foundation? And what reinforcements to your testimony and understanding of the gospel are needed?

“We have been promised that ‘if [we] are prepared [we] shall not fear.’ This assurance has profound implications today. The Lord has declared that despite today’s unprecedented challenges, those who build their foundations upon Jesus Christ, and have learned how to draw upon His power, need not succumb to the unique anxieties of this era.” 

I know that Christ is the solid foundation upon which we can build. It is through His Atonement that we are able to return to our Heavenly Parents. I invite you to pray to know of Their love for you and the “great work” of your life.

1 comment

  • Linda Maxson

    Thank you, Anne, for your timely and inspired thoughts. I always enjoy your reminders of talks and thoughts!

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