Tuesday, October 28, 2014

A House of God

Organize yourselves; prepare every needful thing,
and establish a house, even a house of prayer, a house of fasting,
a house of faith, a house of learning, a house of glory,
a house of order, a house of God;
D&C 109:8

This is the scripture I'm using as a guide in managing my home during my 2015 rebuilding year and beyond.  It was revelation given to commence building the Kirtland Temple in late 1832/early 1833.  And since home is the only place on earth that can be considered as sacred as the Temple, I think it's good pretty darned good advice for making home into sacred ground.

The Kirtland Temple, Kirtland Ohio USA
Photo courtesy of Russ' Photo Journal.  View more pictures here:

I've been thinking a lot about what the phrase "home as sacred ground" means.  Some days I will just read through this verse and see which words catch my attention and other times I'll follow those thoughts and see if they lead me to personal inspiration about how to apply the advice.  One thing that got my attention early on in that thought process was that all of keywords are verbs; they direct the reader to take an action.

Organize, Prepare, Establish, Pray,
Fast, Faith, Learn, Glory, Order

But how do you do this?

From the footnotes in my scriptures, study notes jotted in the margins from past religion classes and Sunday School, more study now, prayer, and lots of thought I've come up with the following list of specific actions I can take in my own home.
  • Manage finances to meet current needs and plan for the future.  Work to free myself from being a slave to debt.
  • Magnify my Church callings within the home.  Show respect for those called to authority positions, do my Visiting Teaching, welcome my Visiting and Home Teachers into my home as treasured guests, hold Family Home Evening, hold family prayer and scripture study.  (Those last 3 need some tweaking since it's just me... but you get the idea.)
  • Keep a clean and orderly house.
  • Come and go in the name of the Lord.  Pray for peace and safety for guests and family.
  • Have uplifted hands always.  Go about doing good and looking for ways to help my fellow man.
  • Cease lustful desires.  Learn to be happy with what I've got, because it's really quite a lot!
  • Stock my home with good books and other media.  Refuse to let the bad stuff in.
  • Have food storage on hand as we've been asked to do for decades now.
  • Get to know my neighbors better and seek ways to serve them.  Let my actions teach them the gospel.
  • Read from the scriptures daily.
  • Display pictures of the Savior, Temples and scripture quotes in each room of my home as visual reminders of what I hold most important.
  • Play uplifting music.
  • Pay tithes and offerings.
  • Pray over everything.
  • Be a good citizen.  Be involved in the community.  Make my values known.  Make them count.
  • Attend Church and Temple services.

In some ways that seems like a daunting "To Do" list doesn't it?  And, yet, in others it's just plain common sense for any Christian who is truly living what they believe... things we should all be doing already.

Maybe that's the problem.  These are all things that sound good and right and worthwhile.  But it is just so hard to fit everything in with jobs and family and everyone having a different schedule and there's never enough money to satisfy what everyone thinks they need.  And pretty soon all that stuff that sounded so good on Sunday isn't getting done in the hubbub of daily life.

Guilty, here.  2013 and 2014 saw my finances spiral out of control.  Yes, I had "help" digging that pit but it's still a deep hole that I allowed myself into by placing trust in the wrong person.  And I haven't done a real good job with those other things in any recent time frame, either.  It's way past time for me to get myself together and get it done.  And trust me... if I can do it, so can you!!

And I'm going to do it!  No more excuses here.

Join me in the challenge?

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