Last week I enjoyed my last ordinance at the Laie Temple before it closed for its scheduled, two-week biannual cleaning. I inhaled deeply as I left the temple knowing I would miss my weekly plug-in time. Cleaning closure is expected. I didn’t expect any emotional upset about it during the next two weeks.
Temple Changes While Our Temple Is Closed
Late on New Year’s Day, a friend asked if I’d heard about impending temple changes and sent me something she’d seen saying to expect imminent changes.
My calm acceptance of cleaning closure flew out the window! WHY now when our temple is closed?! I felt so sad.
January 2nd dawn bright and beautiful on Oahu. My social media feed trickled and then flowed rivers of curiosity and experience about the temple changes. I searched, knowing I could find information if I looked hard enough.
Then messaging lit up for me from friends who attended the temple and wondered if I had seen the changes. I didn’t ask any of them to reveal anything to me. But without fail, everyone said they felt power, peace, and inspiration.
And I sat home on an island in the middle of paradise and felt like I missed my chance to go to space or at least to Disneyland.
Several friends here shared my frustration. One friend and I checked out flights to other temples.
And then finally I just accepted that I missed out and would for two weeks.
Two “moral of this story” thoughts prevailed.
The first, which I mulled over and then dismissed, reminded me of the Parable of the 10 Virgins. Five wise virgins with oil prepared went into the bridegroom’s wedding supper when he arrived at midnight. The other five unwise virgins were off trying to replenish their oil supplies. They arrived too late and were rejected at the door. “I know you not,” came the distinct reply.I know what it means to be prepared. For me, this wasn’t an example of prepared and ready versus unprepared and unready. This was situational circumstance.
So my lesson moved to one of my life purposes—unlocking redemptive prison doors for my ancestors. That scenario provided ample takeaway for my situation.
Imagine waiting for generations or millennia for a change promised, a change you prepared for and anticipated. Imagine being circumstantially blocked from participating. Imagine watching others around you going to experience what you fervently desired. Imagine feeling joy for them and anticipation for yourself knowing that someday…someday, you could be free to experience that joy in your own paradise.
But today, you are still stuck, unable to experience the anticipated changes.
I beheld that they were filled with joy and gladness, and were rejoicing together because the day of their deliverance was at hand….
And so it was made known among the dead, both small and great, the unrighteous as well as the faithful, that redemption had been wrought through the sacrifice of the Son of God upon the cross….
For the dead had looked upon the long absence of their spirits from their bodies as a bondage.
These the Lord taught, and gave them power to come forth, after his resurrection from the dead, to enter into his Father’s kingdom, there to be crowned with immortality and eternal life….
You anticipate. And you wait patiently for your descendant, distracted by mortal things, to take time to find you and liberate you through the ordinances of the holy temple.
And so my temporary frustrations at missing the temple changes fell away as I considered the generations of waiting endured by those who came before me. And I promised to do better.