I had been wondering, pondering and praying about how I could help foster a certain atmosphere in our home, our MTC. I want to make our home more of a holy ground, a haven. For example, work was and is still needed to make sure our home can be a bicker and sarcasm free zone. As the “Guardian of my hearth” I feel the responsibility keenly to help my children grow in the gospel, to ensure they have spiritual experiences.

In the middle of the night, I woke up and the answer came quietly to my mind. The answer was a scripture from D & C  – 88:119 ..  Organise yourselves; prepare every needful thing; and establish a house of prayer, a house of fasting, a house of faith, a house of learning, a house of glory, a house of order, a house of God.

I knew then what I needed to focus on, both personally and as a family. I also knew that I would like and need a visual reminder on the wall. Thankfully I know a wonderful artist – Eleanor McComb who takes commissions. In my mind I had a vague image of our house and the temple along with the words from the scripture. Eleanor came up with this wonderful design painted on a canvas and even made the house look exactly like ours 🙂 I love the trees. Our front yard has tall gumtrees, and the temple also has trees around it. Perfect.

(This is an Instagram photo of the canvas on our wall, hence the black frame…)

On that note, I just re-discovered a talk by elder Gary E. Stevenson from the April 2009 titled “Sacred Homes, Sacred Temples”   Here’s an excerpt:
“Recently, in a stake conference, all present were invited by the visiting authority, Elder Glen Jenson, an Area Seventy, to take a virtual tour of their homes using their spiritual eyes. I would like to invite each of you to do this also. Wherever your home may be and whatever its configuration, the application of eternal gospel principles within its walls is universal. Let’s begin. Imagine that you are opening your front door and walking inside your home. What do you see, and how do you feel? Is it a place of love, peace, and refuge from the world, as is the temple? Is it clean and orderly? As you walk through the rooms of your home, do you see uplifting images which include appropriate pictures of the temple and the Savior? Is your bedroom or sleeping area a place for personal prayer? Is your gathering area or kitchen a place where food is prepared and enjoyed together, allowing uplifting conversation and family time? Are scriptures found in a room where the family can study, pray, and learn together? Can you find your personal gospel study space? Does the music you hear or the entertainment you see, online or otherwise, offend the Spirit? Is the conversation uplifting and without contention? That concludes our tour. Perhaps you, as I, found a few spots that need some “home improvement”—hopefully not an “extreme home makeover.”
Whether our living space is large or small, humble or extravagant, there is a place for each of these gospel priorities in each of our homes.
In order to keep the temple and those who attend it sacred and worthy, the Lord has established standards through His servants, the prophets. We may be well-advised to consider together, in family council, standards for our homes to keep them sacred and to allow them to be a “house of the Lord.” The admonition to “establish … a house of prayer, a house of fasting, a house of faith, a house of learning, a house of glory, a house of order, a house of God” 9 provides divine insight into the type of home the Lord would have us build. Doing such begins the construction of a “spiritual mansion” in which we all may reside regardless of our worldly circumstance—a home filled with treasure that “neither moth nor rust doth corrupt.” 10
There exists a righteous unity between the temple and the home. Understanding the eternal nature of the temple will draw you to your family; understanding the eternal nature of the family will draw you to the temple. President Howard W. Hunter stated, “In the ordinances of the temple, the foundations of the eternal family are sealed in place.” 11
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