Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Week 75: Be a Standard!

Welcome to Tapachula

Well this week has been a pretty good. We have worked hard and are seeing the progress in the people we are teaching. For a couple weeks I have been thinking a lot about Standards and how we put such high standards on lots of things. But what is a standard? What is its meaning? Well one wise bishop I had when I was a young man asked us as priests to learn the standard of truth, “The Standard of Truth has been erected; no unhallowed hand can stop the work from progressing; persecutions may rage, mobs may combine, armies may assemble, calumny may defame, but the truth of God will go forth boldly, nobly, and independent, till it has penetrated every continent, visited every clime, swept every country, and sounded in every ear, till the purposes of God shall be accomplished, and the Great Jehovah shall say the work is done” well that's a pretty big standard for each of us as missionaries of the Lord. we all are missionaries… or like the "standard" the youth last year, "Wherefore, stand ye in holy places, and be not moved, until the day of the Lord come; for behold, it cometh quickly, saith the Lord" (D&C 87:8) there are a lot of "Standards" the church has put out like the standard works (scriptures), like the word of wisdom or the law of chastity. We even have a class in the church called the gospel standards. Now those are lots of different standards. But really what is a standard? well i cant answer that because well- im too lazy to look it up on the Internet and i don't have a dictionary at hand haha- and two it’s something you can decide. I will just explain. Elder Scott D. Whiting in his October 2012 general conference talk explains a standard ,A temple Standard. he says:

“A few months prior to the completion of the extensive renovation work, I was invited to tour the temple with the Executive Director of the Temple Department, Elder William R. Walker, and his Temple Department associates. In addition, various members of the general contracting firm were in attendance. The purpose of the tour, in part, was to review the progress and quality of the work performed. At the time of this tour, the work was about 85 percent completed.

As we moved through the temple, I watched and listened to Elder Walker and his associates as they inspected the work and conversed with the general contractor. On occasion I observed one man running his hand along the walls as we moved from room to room. A few times after doing this, he would rub his fingers together and then approach the general contractor and say, “I feel grit on this wall. Grit is not temple standard. You will need to re-sand and buff this wall.” The contractor dutifully took notes of each observation.

As we approached an area in the temple that few eyes would ever see, the same man stopped us and directed our attention to a newly installed, beautiful leaded-glass window. This window measured about two feet (0.6 m) wide by six feet (1.8 m) tall and contained an embedded, small stained-glass geometric pattern. He pointed to a small two-inch (5 cm) colored-glass square that was part of the simple pattern and said, “That square is crooked.” I looked at the square, and to my eyes it looked evenly placed. However, upon closer inspection with a measuring device in hand, I could see there was a flaw and that this little square was indeed one-eighth of an inch (3 mm) crooked. Direction was then given to the contractor that this window would need to be replaced because it was not temple standard.

I admit that I was surprised that an entire window would need to be replaced because of such a small, barely noticeable defect. Surely, it was unlikely that anyone would ever know or even notice this window given its remote location in the temple.

As I drove home from the temple that day, I reflected on what I learned from this experience—or, rather, what I thought I learned. It wasn’t until several weeks later when I was invited to tour the now completed temple that my understanding of the prior tour experience became clearer.

Why would walls with a little grit and a window with a little asymmetry require additional work and even replacement when few human hands or eyes would ever know? Why was a contractor held to such high standards?

As I exited the temple deep in thought, I found my answer as I looked up at the refinished exterior and saw these words: “Holiness to the Lord, the House of the Lord.”

The temples of this Church are precisely as proclaimed. These sacred buildings are built for our use, and within their walls sacred and saving ordinances are performed. But there should be no doubt as to whose house it really is.”

Why are these temples held to such a high standard? as you enter this week or in the coming weeks ponder it! Then ask? One of my favorite things to do before my mission was to go to the temple, I also liked to sit on the grass outside and think and ponder about the things in life. I might have even walked a bit or pulled out my Scriptures. I miss going!! But I will be there again soon!! The House of the Lord is exactly what it is the standard of these temples are very high but whose house is it really? Its the Lords House and he doesn't want anything but the best,

"I also learned that the high standards of temple building employed by this Church are a type and even a symbol of how we should be living our own lives. We can apply, individually, the teachings of the Apostle Paul given to the early Church when he said:

“Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you? 

“If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are." Imagine as you would how your house would be if money didn't matter. Now imagine if you had little kids! yikes! haha oh how rough is it to keep the house clean!! OK do you still have that beautiful dream house of yours? i know you do mom, she likes houses if you didn't know! haha now think of your spirit as this dream house. now if we add the sin to that oops! your house or your spirit isn't clean. oh what a problem that would be. now if our spirit was as clean as the temple imagine what our outer appearance would be our minds and our bodies. Elder Whiting goes on, "We are each made of the finest materials, and we are the miraculous result of divine craftsmanship. However, as we move past the age of accountability and step onto the battlefield of sin and temptation, our own temple can become in need of renovation and repair work. Perhaps there are walls within us that are gritty and need buffing or windows of our souls that need replacement in order that we can stand in holy places. Gratefully, the temple standard that we are asked to meet is not that of perfection, although we are striving for it, but rather that we are keeping the commandments and doing our best to live as disciples of Jesus Christ. there will be walls to resand and windows to souls to make perfect. a weekly cleansing of partaking the sacrament is needed so we can get the grit and the little dirt out. i would challenge each of you to check your spiritual temples.”

Is it a "House of the Lord"? does it say "Holiness to the lord"? there is probably a bit of dirt and like Elder whiting said we cant be perfect but we can strive for it. so check everywhere and clean it. Everyday is a day to clean and to check. so do it! if there is need to repent than do it! "that even though mortal eyes and hands may never see or feel a defect, the Lord knows the level of our efforts and whether we have done our very best. The same is true of our own personal efforts to live a life worthy of the blessings of the temple. Like the contractor, when we become aware of elements in our own lives that are inconsistent with the teachings of the Lord, when our efforts have been less than our very best, we should move quickly to correct anything that is amiss, recognizing that we cannot hide our sins from the Lord."

So let us be clean let us be a standard to all nations. Do you understand now why we have standards? Its to keep us safe from dirty houses of the lord. I just love the standard of truth because its true, “The Standard of Truth has been erected; no unhallowed hand can stop the work from progressing; persecutions may rage, mobs may combine, armies may assemble, calumny may defame, but the truth of God will go forth boldly, nobly, and independent, till it has penetrated every continent, visited every clime, swept every country, and sounded in every ear, till the purposes of God shall be accomplished, and the Great Jehovah shall say the work is done”. Let us be an ensign to the nations not just read it let us be it!! "Verily I say unto you all: arise and shine forth, that thy light may be a standard for the Nations;" (D&C 115:5). The key words are "to BE"  be it, not just see it!!

Be a standard!!

I hope you all had a great week and well I hope this week goes well for each of you. I love this church and this work!!! Love you all!!

Elder Jaymes Monson


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