Sunday, April 19, 2009

SEVEN WORDS...

I had to speak at Church today. This happens on occasion. We are a lay clergy and therefore, since no one gets paid, the people all contribute and subsequently, every once in a blue moon you can expect to be called upon to speak. Today was my and Peter's turn. We were given a topic out of the book, Jesus the Christ, by James E. Talmage.

My topic was the Savior's first cleansing of the temple in Jerusalem. It's a good topic, full of imagery and passion. Here's Jesus, a 30-year-old, relatively unknown Galilean. He had just spent a great week with his family and friends in Capernaum, which was his favorite city, He went there after He had performed his first recorded miracle-the changing of water to wine a the marriage in Cana. It was a great time for Him. A nice place. An emotional oasis before three years of hard work ending in great pain and turmoil before his final victory over death and the grave.

He finally had to leave Capernaum and go to Jerusalem for Passover and to be about His Father's business. When He got there, he found over 256,000 sheep being sold on the temple grounds. The temple grounds were packed with men hawking their sheep, goats and other animals for sacrifices. There were over 2 million people in Jerusalem for the Passover feast. Potters were yelling at the people to purchase their ovens and wares. Every Jew had to pay one-half of a shekel in temple coinage for atonement of their sins and for temple upkeep. Money changers were there to change their Greek, Roman and far Eastern currency into temple currency-after charging the people a 5% exchange rate PLUS whatever other profit they could wrangle out of them illegally. Also, people were now using the temple as a shortcut as they made their way across Jerusalem. This was the scene of chaos that the Savior walked in on after He left Capernaum.

The Savior was so upset when He saw what had happened to the sacredness of His Father's house, that He made a small whip of cords and overturned tables and threw all of the money changers' coins onto the ground. He released all of the animals-just turned them loose. He yelled that they had turned His Father's house into a den of thieves. But interestingly, He was gentle with the birds in the cages and told the men to release them, which they did. And no one stopped Him. Not. One. Person. Because He was acting in truth and righteousness.

They were convicted by their own guilty conscious. It was only after He stopped that He was approached, almost meekly, and asked, "By what authority doest thou these things?"

So I was wondering about my own symbolic temples...my body...or my home. If the Savior returned today, what would be His reaction? I can't imagine Him fashioning a whip and releasing my pets. I would hope that He wouldn't be angry. And then I thought about the seven words that everyone wants to hear when they leave here. The seven words that make everything worth while. The seven words that are the reason that we do everything, we say our prayers, we schlep ourselves and our kids to church each Sunday. The seven words that motivate us to read our scriptures, have faith in our spouses and each other, tithe, fast, adhere to the word of wisdom, keep the sabbath day holy, go to the temple. The seven words that make our mortal journey worth it, all the tears, all the work, all the laughter, all the love.

When it's all said and done, when the Savior makes His final visit, when you're wrapping up your work and reporting it all...when you look into those eyes...the only seven words you want to hear....

"Well done, thou good and faithful servant"...

9 comments:

ennbee said...

i loved reading this, debbie.

Eli Bowman said...

That's all I want to hear. And then hopefully I can be there when he says it to any member of my family following me in death.

Em Dog said...

Amen. What a wonderful entry, mom! Love you!
xoxo-emmy

The Katzbox said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
The Katzbox said...

Thanks Nancy...always....

Eli...my previous comment said, "and NOW, I can see you are a father", but I deleted it because obviously you've been a father waaaaaaayyyyyy before now...but it's apparent that when you said, "...hopefully I can be there when he says it to any member of my family following me in death"....that smacks of your paternity....you big daddy, you!!! I love you, son.....

Emmy, YOU are wonderful.....and I love you back.....

The Bowmans said...

i have been watching "Inside the Actors Studio" a lot lately. LOVE that show. But James Lipton always sends with a survey of ten questions he asks his guests, the last of which being, "If Heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when He greats you at the pearly gates?" And every time I think, "Well done, thou good and faithful servant."

The Bowmans said...

PS. I've never actually heard anyone give that answer. :(

Anonymous said...

love it and love you.

your sis

The Katzbox said...

Abby, I used to watch that show a lot and the survey he's asking them now is a lot better than the one he used to ask them when I was watching the show, which was, "What's your favorite swear word?"...unless he's still asking them that...I'm happy that you think of those seven words every time...your hubby thinks the same thing...which means you're on the same path.. :)

And Sis!...I love you too. :)