'Look At The Sky' was the text message I received from my friend...and, I immediately went outside to see the sky for myself. It was an amazing sunset,...one my grandmother would have liked.
Since it was such a beautiful night, I decided to drive to the Salt Lake Temple. As I wrote this, I was sitting next to the reflection pond listening to the water pour over the edges, there was a gentle breeze, and the lighted granite temple stood in stark contrast against stormy night sky. The only thing that made it better was the cool rain, and the intermittent lighting of the sky with lighting and the accompanying crack of thunder.
As I sat there, the words of Psalms came to mind:
"The Lord also will be a refuge for the oppressed, a refuge in times of trouble.
And they that know thy name will put their trust in thee: for thou, Lord, hast not forsaken them that seek thee.' (Psalms 9: 9-10)
The temple, like the Lord has always been a place for me to seek refuge from the storms of life. It is a place where I can forget my burdens and remember my blessings and tonight, as I sat in the light of the temple I was able to reflect on some of the beautiful teaching associated with it.
One such teaching is that of the special relationship that we have with our Father in Heaven and how it is essential for our happiness here. Through prayer I am convinced that we can receive guidance and direction in our lives...as David said, 'the Lord will not forsake them that seek him.'. In fact it is quite the opposite, He will be a 'refuge in times of trouble'.
There will be times when we may hear the Lord say to us:
'In a little wrath I hid my face from thee for a moment...'
but then come the reassuring words:
'...but with everlasting kindness will I have mercy on thee...for the mountains shall depart, and the hills be removed; but my kindness shall not depart from thee, neither shall the covenant of my peace be removed..." (Psalms 54)
I once heard the phrase, 'Life is a heck of a thing to happen to a person.'. Each of us will face trials and tribulations, some of them will seem to be greater than we can handle. We also live in challenging times when natural disasters are abundant, economies throughout the world are failing, and wars are taking place everywhere. In addition to these temporal afflictions that we face there are spiritual ones with perhaps even great consequences.
In a world where variables are constantly changing, there is one invariable constant and that is the love of our Heavenly Father. He will be there to comfort in times of sorrow, lift up in times of despair, and guide us when we've lost our way.
We must seek refuge from the storm through prayer and temple attendance. I will end with a scripture that was shared with me by the same friend who told me to 'Look Up' tonight...in that scripture is a beautiful promise:
'Trust in the Lord with all thine heart and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all ways acknowledge him and he shall direct thy paths.' (Psalms 3)
Let us not only 'look up' but let us also 'look to' the temple and the Lord to be our refuge from the storms that swirl around us. As I left tonight the storm clouds had disappeared, the wind had died down, and there was a stillness in the air...the storms of life will pass.