This week, I walked around the Logan Temple a couple of times. It’s a beautiful temple, and one of my favorite places to go. I’m looking forward to the day it reopens completely. But for now, walking around it has become a good way to ponder on my covenants with God and my relationship with Him. To think of the day when Christ will return. It brightens my heart and gives me hope.
The temple brings a spirit that can’t be felt in many other places. But it is a spirit we can invite into our own lives when we establish places like the temple – sanctuaries – that can give us space from the world and a place to focus on our Savior. Let’s look at what we can learn from the temple to make our homes and other sanctuaries more welcoming to that special spirit.
A Place of Peace
Peace is one of the best parts of the temple. Even standing near the grounds of the temple can bring peace to your heart. Part of the reason for that may be the quiet or the neat landscaping. Everything is ordered and organized while still being open and inviting. Aesthetically, a lot is done to make the temple and its grounds a place of peace.
Maybe the peace comes from walking inside and being greeted by those sweet men and women in white. From the kindness and welcome they give. And maybe that sense of love is what makes the peace so obvious.
But most likely, the peace comes from the temple being the house of God. It is the house of the Prince of Peace, who has the power to heal hearts, to love all, to change us deeply.
You may think that organization and kind greetings are pretty doable in your home and other sanctuaries. But how do you make your home a house of God? It isn’t, after all, dedicated to Him the way temples are. You can still have that peace in your home even without it being a temple by inviting the Spirit of the Lord in as much as possible. By trusting that He will bring peace when you ask Him to and by choosing peace whenever you can. Christ is never far from us, and He will bring peace when we seek it.
A Place to Serve
I’ve always been a little bit jealous of cathedrals because many of them are open all the time to go sit and ponder and pray. You can just sit and have some quiet space. While our temples are also quiet places to get away from the world, you don’t go there to just sit and think to yourself. You go there to serve. As much as I like the idea of sitting in a church building and just thinking and praying, there is something special about the temple being a place of both worship and service.
Our homes and sanctuaries can invite the spirit of the temple when we make them places of service, not just places of rest (though rest is certainly important). Finding ways to lift others in our homes or to prepare aid/gifts to take to others can bring the Spirit of God to your home even more because He will guide you to go and do what you most need to do.
A Place of Refuge
While service is key to creating a temple-like sanctuary, sometimes you also need a place of rest and protection. Our homes should become refuges from the world, a place where there is love and kindness and peace and service, where nothing is overpowered by the influences and darkness of the world.
Our homes and sanctuaries can be places of light in a world that is filling with darkness. In fact, we need them to be places of light and refuge so we can constantly have a place to refocus on our God and build our testimonies of Him. Refuge places help us find clarity and direction when everything around us is confusing.
A temple is a place of refuge because it is dedicated to God. While we don’t formally dedicate our homes to God in the way we dedicate temples, we can still dedicate our homes to God by intentionally creating a space that invites His spirit and by choosing to treat the people around us the way Christ would. None of us will do this perfectly, but working to make this a reality in our homes will allow God to magnify our efforts and bless our sanctuaries with a greater portion of His spirit.
A Place of Reminders
The temple is full of symbolism. This symbolism teaches us about God and gives us ways to remember Him. Additionally, the temple is full of visual and vocal reminders of our God and Savior. From pictures to promises made, there are so many things that point us back to God.
This can be a simple way to start making our homes like the temple. Choosing meaningful pictures or statues of our Savior and placing them in prominent positions in our homes can make a difference in the direction of our thoughts throughout the day. This is so versatile too – artwork of Christ can also go in your car, on jewelry, or even be the wallpaper on your phone.
You can have vocal reminders of God in your home by listening to the words of the prophets. You can place quotes from modern prophets or from the scriptures around your home, car, etc. to remind you of how to come closer to God. Even choosing to listen to music or watch TV that is clean and inviting to the Spirit can be a reminder to you of who you are choosing to follow.
There are so many ways to invite the Spirit of God into your home and so many ways you can pull from lessons of the temple to help you turn your home into the spiritual sanctuary you want it to be. Start by praying and asking God what you could change in your home to make it more like the temple, then do all you can to make those changes. Remember – we believe in a God of mercy. Do your best effort, but don’t be too hard on yourself when you feel you can’t do enough. God can and will accept any effort you can make and He will turn it into something grander than you could have imagined. Turn to Him, and your home can truly become a temple-like sanctuary.