“A temple is literally a house of the Lord, a holy sanctuary …. A place where the Lord may come, it is the most holy of any place of worship on the earth. Only the home can compare with the temple in sacredness” (Temple, Bible Dictionary). Does my home compare with the temple in sacredness? Not always. I have noticed several things in the temple after which I would like to pattern our home.
Beauty – We bought a foreclosure and completely remodeled it before selling it. I did most of the work myself, and it took a considerable amount of time and energy away from my children. In our current home that we purchased this last year, there are several things that need updating. I have been nervous about beginning any home improvement projects because I didn’t know if it was okay to spend that kind of money, time, and effort in a project that takes time away from my mothering and also could be considered materialistic. However, when building temples we offer the best we have to the Lord, including the furnishings, carpet, light fixtures, and paint. It creates a beautiful atmosphere in which we can be comfortable and open to the Spirit. I will avoid materialism when my focus is on creating a comfortable environment for our family and friends to gather. It is good for me to beautify my home with the attitude of creating a sacred space. If done in the right time, the right way, and for the right reasons, it will bless my children.
Artwork – In temples I have observed beautiful artwork of the Savior, church history events, inspiring leaders, depictions of scripture stories, and nature scenes. They are all uplifting and have themes that turn my heart to the Savior. I want the walls of my home to also have artwork with these themes. I want to create art to display in my home that expresses my testimony and love for my Savior.
Temple workers – There is always someone available to answer questions or guide me using a calm voice and kind words and a peaceful countenance. I need to be this kind of guide to my children in my home – present, calm, kind, peaceful.
Order – We move through the temple in an orderly fashion. There is an order to the ordinances. There is order in the way many people participate at a time. No one is pushing others out of the way to get in the celestial room. It is white and clean. The sessions start on time. In our home we need an order to how we move through our day. We need to be orderly in our relations with others, showing respect to those around us. We need to keep our things in order and our home clean.
Music – I love listening to the hymns playing in the chapel of the temple. The music in our home should also invite the Spirit, never offend and drive away the Spirit. The same is true of all media in our home.
Of course, our home is used for different purposes than temples, so they will not be exactly the same. We will sleep, laugh, dance, study secular topics, and do other wholesome activities in our home that are not appropriate for the temple. However, our homes should be a place where we would always be comfortable having the Lord enter.
The dedicatory prayer of the Kirtland temple is recorded in Doctrine and Covenants section 109. If our home is similar to the temple, then I want to call down similar blessings from heaven as are recorded in this prayer. “That thy glory may rest down upon thy people, and upon this thy house, which we now dedicate to thee, that it may be sanctified and consecrated to be holy, and that thy holy presence may be continually in this house” (Doctrine and Covenants 109:12).