Saturday, October 25, 2014

The Mountain of the Lord

2 And it shall come to pass in the last days, when the mountain of the Lord’s house shall be established in the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills, and all nations shall flow unto it.

3 And many people shall go and say, Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths; for out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem.
2 Nephi 12:2-3 (See also Isaiah 2:2-3)

My grandfather built a cabin on a mountain. Not just a little scrub cabin, a big beautiful cabin with many rooms and a giant (well, it seemed to my six-year-old self giant) stone fireplace. Nestled in the tall pines of Twin Peaks, California, the cabin was my favorite place to go for most of my younger life. Grandfather died shortly after it was completed, but my grandmother kept it for many more years. Years that were filled with family gatherings, happy dinners around the huge round table, toboggan runs with my cousins, building snowmen with my dad, beloved memories with my sisters and so much more. The Cabin (for it truly deserves the honor of capitalization) was also a place of peace. The porch swing on the deck became holy ground as I made my first foray into a true study of the scriptures. Holy words, read in such a peaceful place created holy ground for me. The cabin, in my youth, was truly the Mountain of the Lord’s House. 

Years later, I came to understand the deeper meaning of Nephi’s words, and Isaiah's intent when speaking of the Mountain of the Lord’s House. He was referring to the House of the Lord. Now I know you’re thinking this refers to the beautiful churches that can be found in nearly any city or town in nearly every nation. And I have thought so too, they are beautiful, sacred edifices where we go to worship. We, of our many varied faiths, worship weekly in sacred holy places. And it is beautiful and glorious.

But as I have grown older, I have come to learn of a singular Mountain, a uniquely beautiful place of Holiness to the Lord, and that is His Holy Temple. Temples have been a place of worship since biblical times. From the portable tabernacle of the Israelites to Solomon’s temple of old, people have entered the Lord’s House to worship. And temples exist today, indeed they dot the earth. These temples are my new sacred ground, the place I go for un-interruped peace. In the shattered moments of grief and trial, I have entered the temple to receive a renewal to my spirit, to feel closer to God than I feel in any other place. I have found answers and solutions to many things as I have learned of His ways and as I feel His Spirit speak to mine. The temple is a place of Joy, where families are united eternally. My beautiful family has gathered here for sacred moments shared. It is a place where the veil between Heaven and Earth is very thin. I feel closer to God in THIS Holy House than on any mountaintop. Just as The Cabin became sacred ground because of the sacred learning I experienced there, the Mountain of the Lord is also sacred ground. Oh, how I love the feelings of peace that are felt in this sacred place!
We love thy house, O God,
Wherein thine honor dwells.
The joy of thine abode
All earthly joy excels.

A new temple was recently built near my home (only ten minutes away, yay!). The Phoenix Temple has been completed and the public has been invited to tour the building before the dedication, after which it will be open only to faithful Latter-day Saints. I have witnessed many people from many faiths, who, upon entering the sacred and beautiful rooms have been moved to tears at the peace they feel. I have heard many say, “There is such a peaceful, spiritual feeling here!” as they view the exquisite paintings and furnishings. We dedicate our finest things to the Lord and He returns to us eternal peace. We enter His Holy House and come away strengthened and edified. Renewed. 

The Cabin on the Mountain still exists, despite fires and calamities. For decades now it has been owned by someone else and our family has not set foot inside.We have been shut out, as it were. We can recreate our family gatherings in other places. We can play in the snow, and have happy days and nights together. The beauty of the mountains can bring a peaceful feeling for anyone who pauses long enough to feel it. But I have learned that no mountain on earth, no place of gathering, will ever match the peace and safety we feel in the Mountain of the Lord’s House. 

We love the word of life,
The word that tells of peace,
Of comfort in the strife,
Of joys that never cease. 

1 comment:

  1. I love the peace and reassurance of this lovely post.
    (And that Cabin on the Mountain!)
    Thank you from Melanie