Tag Archives: temple

I Love To See The Memphis Temple

I Love To See The Memphis Temple

Going to the temple is a big deal for members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. It is the culmination of years spent hearing about the temple, studying it, and preparing ourselves to enter it.

Having been a member since 2008, my only experience in the Memphis Temple was to perform baptisms.

Life as a Convert and son in front of Memphis Temple sign

Life as a Convert and son, Losh, in front of Memphis Temple sign on a recent trip to do baptisms.

While the experience was good, it left me wanting more, not to mention I felt out of place being one of the only un-endowed adults present (endowed members are those who have previously been through the temple).

The particular temple assigned to our church is the Memphis Temple, located in Memphis, Tennessee, about 2.5 hours away. The Memphis Temple just so happens to be closing for remodeling at the end of the month. With that in mind, I have felt an increasing desire to get there before it closed.

There wasn’t one specific reason I wanted to go, but a few stuck out in my mind more than others. Since I joined the church, I have wanted to go. To me, it felt like I wasn’t a complete member until I went through the temple. So here are a few reasons why I made going to the temple a priority.

Curiosity

Having been in the church for many years, and being taught so many things about what goes on in the temple, but not having experienced it for myself left me curious. I wanted to be in the know. I wanted to experience the temple for myself. And I wanted to know just what happened in that Holy place anyway?

The ordinances and ceremonies of the temple are simple. They are beautiful. They are sacred. They are kept confidential lest they be given to those who are unprepared. Curiosity is not a preparation.” LDS.org

Memphis Temple

Memphis Temple

Garments

Garments are to Mormons what the Hijab is to a Muslim. It is an outer expression of an inner commitment. At one time, I showed my commitment with head covering. Then I became somewhat of the world and wanted to express myself with my hair styles. I quit covering (for that and many other reasons) and though I occasionally wore covers, the experience just wasn’t the same. There is something magical about putting on a piece of fabric every single day knowing that it symbolizes your commitment to your Heavenly Father and I wanted to experience that with the garments.

Wearing the temple garment has deep symbolic significance. It represents a continuing commitment. Just as the Savior exemplified the need to endure to the end, we wear the garment faithfully as part of the enduring armor of God. Thus we demonstrate our faith in Him and in His eternal covenants with us.” – LDS.org

Blessings

We are promised blessings when we follow Heavenly Father’s commandments. Some of these blessings are contingent upon covenants we make and our obedience to those covenants. A few blessings that come to mind are those from tithing, church attendance, serving others, and fulfilling our callings. When we do each of these things, we are blessed.  Going through the temple awards us extra blessings. Who am I to say no to extra blessings?!

Those who understand the eternal blessings which come from the temple know that no sacrifice is too great, no price too heavy, no struggle too difficult in order to receive those blessings.” – President Thomas S. Monson

To Feel The Spirit

I’ve always had a unique relationship with and a strong testimony of the Holy Spirit. I’ve felt it strongly, and often and never questioned if it existed or where it came from. To know that I could feel that, but much stronger at the temple was very appealing to me… so I did it.. I became worthy and got my temple recommend which was my ticket into the Memphis Temple.

My First Impressions

I recently fulfilled my desire to participate in the sacred ordinances within the Memphis Temple. To say it was an experience I will never forget is an understatement. It was wonderful. I am so grateful that I was able to get over myself and a few of my selfish habits in order to enter the temple as a worthy member and receive my endowments.

Life as a Convert at the Memphis Temple

Life as a Convert at the Memphis Temple

If you are preparing to enter the temple for the first time I encourage you to participate in the Temple Prep class provided by the church as well as read the following articles:

Temples Reflect the Savior’s Love for Us
Personal Preparation for Temple Blessings
Preparing to Enter the Holy Temple
Turn toward the Temple

May God bless you as you progress in your journey to the temple and all that it has to offer.

Tithing My Way To The Temple

Tithing My Way To The Temple

Growing up, I went to a Baptist church where a collection plate was passed around each Sunday and members would drop their money inside. It was called an offering or a donation plate and to be honest, it didn’t seem like they collected a lot each Sunday. The majority of people were putting in only a few dollars. One dollar bills and ten dollar bills were the most common currency. I always wondered how that church was able to pay everybody and take care of everything they needed to when there was so little there.

Looking back, I’m not really sure how the church got the rest of their money, but for whatever reason, the money they received was enough to grow that single church into a congregation that is now roughly 4 times the size it was when I was younger. Something was surely happening there.

When I joined The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in 2008 and talked about tithing it made me reflect on that prior church experience and tithing as I knew it. I couldn’t say for certain, but I began to wonder if perhaps members of that old church were paying a tithe equal to 10% of their income and I just didn’t realize it, but it seemed to make sense.

One of the blessings of membership in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the privilege of paying tithing. This privilege is a double blessing. By paying tithing, Church members show their gratitude to God for their blessings and their resolve to trust in the Lord rather than in material things. They also help further the work of the Lord in the earth, blessing others of God’s children with the opportunity to learn of Him and grow in the gospel. LDS.org

Tithing My Way To The Temple by Aduke Schulist

Tithing and Struggling

In the LDS church, members are encouraged to pay a tithe equal to 10% of their income. 10% seems like a lot when you are struggling.

“If paying tithing means that you can’t pay for water or electricity, pay tithing. If paying tithing means that you can’t pay your rent, pay tithing. Even if paying tithing means that you don’t have enough money to feed your family, pay tithing. The Lord will not abandon you.” –Bishop Orellana 

So, when I joined the church, it didn’t make sense to me that I – a struggling single mother – should pay 10% every month no matter what. Here I was, living paycheck to paycheck, barely covering the bills some months, borrowing money from people others and I was being asked to give up 10% of it. Perhaps it was my own selfishness or lack of faith, but I just couldn’t do it. Sure, there were months where I was faithful in paying my tithing, but there were many more where I was not.

I was assured many times that if I paid my tithing faithfully and fully that I would be blessed and I wouldn’t be left hanging. God would take care of me (See Malachi 3:10 below). The church would help me if I needed it, but I couldn’t wrap my head around giving money to the church only for it to be given back to me in the form of aid. Why couldn’t I just pay what I needed and cut out the middle man?

Prove Me Now…

I didn’t have faith that everything would work out. Instead I told myself that if I paid my tithing that I was definitely going to need some form of aid, and I am the type that hates to ask for help. It seemed easier to just not pay it.

I also didn’t see how the church giving me money back was a blessing from God when I could have just kept the money in the first place.

I even did a lesson for Activity Day Girls about tithing when I wasn’t even being faithful in paying mine.

I knew it was a matter of faith for me and if I could just let go of that, then everything would be okay and I would be blessed even more. By holding back, I was depriving myself of other blessings.

Malachi 3:10 is often quoted when dealing with tithes.

10 Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the Lord of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it.

Prove Me Now…

By not paying tithing was I holding back blessings from myself?

Yes!

By not paying tithing I was unable to go to the temple. Even if everything else in my life was in order, I felt unworthy to go.

So, I made a decision recently that I would start paying my tithing every single month no matter what. Reading testimonies of other people who have struggled, but never failed paying tithing really helped me in this decision. We are often told that this is the one commandment we can be perfect at. So, I’m giving it my best. I’m tithing my way back to the temple.