I thought I would write a little entry about working in the open house for the new Twin Falls Temple. What an opportunity that was! You meet all types with the open house. I thought I would describe a few.
One lady was totally amazed that there was not a portrait/painting of Joseph Smith in the entire building. There is actually one in one of the counselor’s offices with Joseph on a horse overlooking the building of the Nauvoo Temple. But it has to do with the building of the Lord’s house, rather than the emphasis being on Joseph. There are others in the painting. Anyhow, somehow the notion of our worshiping Joseph Smith continues to go on.
A good Catholic was surprised by how similar the LDS faith is to his own. While current Catholic faith does not hold that a living person can do anything for a deceased person (other than the Savior’s vicarious work) it was not always so. One used to be able to pay indulgences and do other things in behalf of the dead. Anyhow, so they were not unaccustomed to the idea of proxy work for the dead. In our little talk, it was basically the idea of revelation and a prophet as opposed to the role of the Pope.
Amanda and I both worked mostly on the cleaning crews. I did haul quite a bit of ice, water, and cookies during my time. You would not believe how quickly the railings get dirty! I could pull some great grime from the railings from time to time. It was really pretty disgusting!
The kids always lean up against the glass in the baptistry. There is a constant job! It was fun. We had it pretty easy. We had heard some stories of the early days of the open house where people would bring dirt in their pockets to drop on the floors. Apparently some had deliberately plugged up toilets and other silly little things. We did not see anything of that sort.
A good man in my ward did tell me about taking water bottles out to the protesters. The man responded that he had the ‘living waters’ and was not in need of his water. So the good brother set it down on the grass and said just in case he needed it, it was there. Then the guy commented that if he touched the bottle they would call the cops on him because he was encroaching the private property line. You know, for those who ‘love us’ as much as they say they do, they sure do like to argue and raise a little contention.
We were able to wander around a little bit. That was quite a bit of fun. Dad told me stories about wandering much more than I could have hoped for with the time and cleaning that needed to be done. It turned out to be a great experience. I just wish I could be here for the dedication. I will definitely attend when we get back to this area in the future. I cannot wait.
Anyhow, just a closing though. I have thought quite a bit over the years about the phrase, “Holiness to the Lord”. I am still not totally sure of what it means. Is it a desire and wish the Lord to be more holy? That seems absurd to me. Is the house supposed to represent some of the holiness of the Lord? That doesn’t seem to fit at all either. It really is only a hollow shell without his Spirit. It seems to be more of a personal directive, command, even hope that we would rise up to a call to be holy. Such as a hosanna is a deep shout of adoration from all the deepest portions of our soul, so should the utterance of “Holiness to the Lord” somehow tremble our most distant bowel. That an awe, a work, a desire, a wish, all seem to be wrapped up in the saying. It isn’t something we should read or even pass lightly by, it is an expression that conveys a deep connection to that which is holy. That our soul should be in line with that holiest thought and feeling before entering that dedicated place. That is what it seems to mean, at least to me.
Taken in light that in Zion even the horses bells would have “Holiness to the Lord” written on them, I am not so sure that is a literal meaning. But that all things would be consecrated, worked, done in a reverence of holiness. While I am saddened so many of our historic buildings are disappearing, and especially those with the words written on them, it should not need to be written. But in our day and age, it seems all the more needed. For surely, only the most faithful would be willing to inscribe it upon the buckles of their shoes, their door head, or the bells of their horse.