Discover Peace-Temple 25th Anniversary Celebration
Jane Gardner, Presiding Evangelist
The temple shall be dedicated to the pursuit of peace. It shall be for reconciliation and for healing of the spirit.
It shall also be for a strengthening of faith and preparation for witness. By its ministries an attitude of wholeness of body, mind, and spirit as a desirable end toward which to strive will be fostered. It shall be the means for providing leadership education for priesthood and member. And it shall be a place in which the essential meaning of the Restoration as healing and redeeming agent is given new life and understanding, inspired by the life and witness of the Redeemer of the world. -Doctrine and Covenants 156:5
Today is an important anniversary. At the groundbreaking ceremony of the Temple, Wallace B. Smith said, “We have said we build our Temple as a witness of the Lord Jesus. The call today is for a people who will live the life of Jesus prophetically.”
Twenty-five years ago at the dedication of the Temple Brother Smith said, “Our quest for peace begins within our own hearts and wills and is based on our relationship with the God to whom we dedicate this place of worship and prayer.”
I find it interesting that these emphases were specific to our lives and living, not the beauty of the building or the vision of what would happen within its walls. While beauty, awe, prayer, and worship are vitally important to an experience in the Temple, our lives will tell the true tale.
Leonard Sweet has written, “The temple is the most sacred, the most revered residence of God’s Spirit… We temple in our homes…Today God ought to take up residence in the home with one’s family, friends, neighbors (including global ones through cyberspace)…It is now templing time…” (Leonard Sweet, Learn to Dance the Soul Salsa, pp. 18-19).
Perhaps “…when God speaks of the Temple, God is simultaneously speaking of the Temple as sacred space-symbol, each disciple-member as temple, and the whole church body as temple” (Stephen M Veazey, “Awaken to God’s Invitation,” Fully Awake and Ready to Respond [Herald House, 2017], p. 7). To become a people of the Temple, we embody its message, its purpose, its calling. Becoming a people of the Temple is a way of life-a sacred rhythm.
When we have found and internalized the precious pattern of the Temple within our daily living, our enthusiasm for this Christ-centered model overflows like living water to those we know and love, and to those we have yet to know. It feels contagious. We are prompted to share with energy the message of God’s shalom as we glimpse Mystery and Beauty in the ordinary things and people around us.
On this first day of the 2019 World Conference, we are on the threshold of new understandings and depth of meaning for the Temple. God is at work within us. God is at work in the world. We re-dedicate ourselves to this dream of templing that goes well beyond the walls.
This week, members and friends of Community of Christ are gathering from across the globe to engage in discernment, worship, and holy decision-making for World Conference. You are invited to spend time each day holding this community and experience in prayer. May we be open to the Spirit of God who speaks through our unity in diversity, dreams shalom within us, and always meets us where we are while inviting us into a future of hope. “Grant to us insight, O God, for this time of decision. May we dream challenging dreams of both depth and precision. Speak through the dark. Dispel by lightning’s bright spark whatever clouds dim our vision.”
-Jane Parker Huber, “O God of Vision,” \xc2\xa9 1981 Jane Parker Huber,
Community of Christ Sings 78
Today’s Prayer for Peace
Engage in a daily practice of praying for peace in our world. Click here to read today’s prayer and be part of this practice of peace.