May 9, 2012

Clear & Unmistakable

I share this experience to keep a record for myself.  
I keep journals for each of my children but my blog has become MY journal, a place to record lessons I have learned, my experiences, & memories I don't want to forget.

I am so grateful for the Temple.  
Many years ago, I heard President Ezra Taft Benson speak about the temple.  
He said:
I testify that temples are places of personal revelation. There have been times when I have been weighed down by problems or difficulties & have gone to the house of the Lord with a prayer in my heart for answers. These answers have come in clear & unmistakable ways.
Now, by virtue of the sacred priesthood in me vested, I promise you that, with increased attendance in the temples of our God, you shall receive increased personal revelation to bless your lives as you bless those who have died. 
(Frankfurt Germany Temple Dedication, Cornerstone: August 28, 1987; Ensign, May 1987, p. 85)

The phrase "Clear & Unmistakable" struck me & is a promise I have never forgotten.  
Who doesn't want answers that are "Clear & Unmistakable"?  
I know what President Benson said is true.  
I have been blessed to receive "Clear & Unmistakable" answers two times in my life.  
Once before my mission & the other on the day my brother Adam was married.  
I love knowing that we can receive personal revelation in "clear & unmistakable" ways.
Recently, I went to the Draper Temple.  
It was my ward's "Zion's Journey", a day we are encouraged to spend in the temple.  I wasn't stressed about anything.  I wasn't overwhelmed with heartache. I wasn't seeking comfort or personal revelation.  And I wasn't in need of a "clear & unmistakable" answer.  This day, I was attending the temple out of obedience. 

It was April 18th & I was waiting in the chapel for the 9:00 am endowment session.  I was surprised how few people were there.  I was alone, enjoying the calm spirit that is always present in the temple.  

The temple always makes me think of my mom & I always hope that I will "feel" a glimpse of her when I am there.  Since I had very little on my mind this day, I found myself saying a silent prayer asking Heavenly Father for a brief glimpse from her ~ not something huge ~ just a moment of surety that she is near.  I know she is near & I know that she is aware of me & my kids, but it has been such a long time since I have felt her influence.  I craved my mom.  I miss her.

Moments later, we shuffled into the endowment room & began the session.  I looked around for any ward members & I recognized our Stake Patriarch & my neighbor Brother Enslow but that was it.  
I then, looked at the name of the person I was performing the work for ~ Patty Rogers.  I wondered if Patty would accept the work I was doing.  I also breathed a sigh of relief that "Patty Rogers" was an easy name to say, unlike the lady next to me that had four different words in just the first name.
I then, remembered I forgot to put "dog food" on my grocery list - I was planning to run to the grocery store after the temple, & I wished I had a piece of paper to jot down my forgotten item.  So, I tried to think of a way to remember "dog food" once I left the temple.  
My mind was on everything except the temple ordinance I was doing & I wasn't at all focused on "a glimpse of Mom."  Before I knew it the session was half way over.  I wondered if I had done what I was supposed to do because I hadn't been listening.  It was kind of like when I drive to the gym & wonder how I got there - hoping I stopped at all the red lights.

I realized my mistake & silently apologized first, to Patty Rogers for not paying better attention, & then to Heavenly Father for not focusing on the thing I wanted most.  How would He ever grant my hearts desire if I was not doing my part to pay attention, listen, learn, watch, or feel?  

Moments later my mind drifted again ~ for any of you wondering, I NEVER FELL ASLEEP ~ not once did I close my eyes.  Instead my mind continued to think of my grocery list & other items I had forgotten, the things I needed to get done before school got out, hoping it wouldn't rain while I was in the there because I had forgotten to put my top up on my car, etc, etc, .... It was obvious that today was NOT the day Mom was coming.  I would not feel her closeness or the warmth of a tender squeeze from the person I miss most.

The session was over & I was walking into the Celestial Room, prepared to briefly sit down & reflect on the beauty of the temple & the joy it is to sit in the House of the Lord.  
But as I walked through the doors, immediately my heart began to race.  
I could hardly catch my breath.  
It was an overwhelming feeling, like when you are sitting in a Testimony Meeting at church & you KNOW you are supposed to bear your testimony.  I believe that breathless-heart-pounding-feeling is the Spirit.  I sat down for a moment with the silliest grin on my face.  My heart was pounding out of my chest.  I was hyper ventilating & giggling at the same time.  At first, I wondered if Heavenly Father was telling me I was in trouble for being TOO busy in the temple, but then had an overwhelming feeling it was the spirit telling me that my Mom is near.  
It was a JOYOUS moment, one I don't ever want to forget.  
It wouldn't surprise me if it was Mom reminding me that I needed to buy dog food.   

To some, this experience may seem like nothing, but because of the way I felt, I KNEW my prayer was being answered.  It was small but it was "clear and unmistakable".

My mom wasn't a soft, sentimental lady.  She was busy ~ just like her daughters.  She wasn't a hugger or one that had to sit you down & softly say "I love you".  She was a busy mom taking care of her husband & children.  We knew she loved us & we knew we were the most important thing to her.  
I sat in the a chair in the Celestial Room that day with a huge smile on my face.  I know Heavenly Father is busy.  I am sure there were MANY people in the temple that day who were seeking personal revelation & with heavy hearts needed answers to big things in their lives.  But I was reminded that He loves & cares about ALL His children & hears ALL of our prayers.

I know my mom is fine ~ that she is in heaven & she is busy.  I know she is aware of her kids & their needs.  I also know that, today, I am fine.   I am a busy mom taking care of her husband & children & as much as I wish my mom was here to lead, guide, & influence me, as well as call me out when I am doing it wrong ~ I am okay.  She knows I am okay.  I don't need angels, signs, or lightning bolts to tell me my mom is near.  But even though Heavenly Father knows that I am doing fine, He still took the time to tell me HE is aware of me.  There were no tears shed in the temple this day, just complete joy.   It know it sounds silly and insignificant, but to me it was "clear & unmistakable".  


amanda said...

I'm glad you shared this. I'm missing her this week. I don't know if it is because it's Mother's Day, because I am coming to Utah soon and SHE won't be there, because I am grateful and my heart is full that I have so many great siblings that love my kids like SHE did. I don't know but I miss her. I'm glad to hear she is still aware of us and near when we need her.
Can't wait to see you guys because for me SHE is near when I'm with all of you!!!

Alyssa said...

I know the feelings you felt in the temple were genuine. I know Heavenly Father was answering your prayer. I know your mom was near. I think it is so perfect that you were feeling silly and giggly because that is exactly the tone for many of your precious moments with your mom. You have often told me how being with her was just fun and easy. You always laughed a lot when you were together. She probably was hoping you didn't forget about the dog food, too, and was laughing a little that it was on your mind so heavily in the temple. I love this post. God is good to us. He does give to us abundantly if we ask and if we choose to see his gifts for what they really are. Great post. Thanks.