Last week I sneaked off to the temple while my boys were sleeping and my husband had a day off. I am embarrassed to admit how long it has been since I attended last. And it has been even longer since I went together with my husband; both of our kids have been extra clingy and have major meltdowns if we leave them with anyone. I keep telling myself I am going to start getting up early and going before everyone is up, but I never seem to get to bed early enough to make that a reality.
When I sat down in the session (which I almost missed), I was nearly overcome with emotion. It felt like coming home. I knew but hadn’t fully appreciated how much I missed and needed that rest from the world and the spiritual nourishment that comes with it.
But then, to my dismay, I couldn’t stay awake for the life of me. I tried, but I just kept drifting off. It was bad, and I was frustrated with myself for wasting this time I had waited for so long. Once I got myself back to consciousness, there was a clear message in my mind: I cannot receive the greater things until I learn the little things. In my case, I knew specifically that I need to take care of my bodily temple and the temple that is our home before I can fully enjoy the rest to be found in the Lords house. I needed to make grown-up habits of keeping our home orderly and getting enough sleep. They are things I really should have mastered a long time ago, but 28 1/2 years into life, 5 years into marriage, and 2 (almost 3) kids in, I still have left them neglected.
However, the feelings were not all of rebuke. I felt more hopeful than I had felt for a while about my ability to be the kind of clean, organized, effective person I want to be. I knew that by obeying this little counsel, the Lord would help me to fit in all of the important things that I want to accomplish in my daily life. And I knew that He would open up my mind and teach me greater things. Since then, these scriptures have been in my mind:
“Wherefore, be not weary in well-doing, for ye are laying the foundation of a great work. And out of small things proceedeth that which is great.” Doctrine & Covenants 64:33
“Wherefore, verily I say unto you that all things unto me are spiritual, and not at any time have I given unto you a law which was temporal; neither any man, nor the children of men; neither Adam, your father, whom I created.” Doctrine & Covenants 29:34
The little, everyday things–the housework, the dishes, the laundry–that we sometimes see as getting in the way of our spirituality are actually an important part of it. That continual effort and obedience in temporal things is the foundation that we lay for the greater work and experiences that the Lord has for us. Those seemingly little things invite the Spirit, which is necessary for the greater things. So I am working on doing better and strengthening my foundation so that next time I go from my house to His, I will be better prepared because there won’t be such a discrepancy between the two.