It really is gorgeous, especially in the snow, with the whole world covered in white, and the sky white and misty, and white clothing and beautiful white building.
I love going to the temple, and I especially love going in the early morning, when the world is so quiet and peaceful. What a wonderful way to start a day with friends! The Provo Temple is the only temple I’ve ever done baptisms for the dead in besides my home temple, the Los Angeles Temple. When I first did baptisms here, I thought it was a little bit odd how 15 or so people were also in the confirmation room with you. However, today I was so grateful for that feature here! As I listened to everyone before me confirmed for the dead, I felt immense priesthood power filling the room. One of the workers made a really interesting point – he said that in the prayer said during the ordinance, when translated to another language, “Receive the Holy Ghost” was always put in the command form. (It is a command in English too, it’s just hard to tell because the verb form doesn’t change.) I love this thought! We are not just handed the Holy Ghost, we are commanded to open our hearts to receive Him and let Him change us.
While we were waiting, I decided to look in the Book of Mormon for a chapter that a friend and I had previously studied and enjoyed, but I couldn’t remember what it was. Alma 24 came to mind, and while that was a different chapter, I’m so glad I studied it. It is all about starting over and making commitments and covenants! In the chapter, the Anti-Nephi-Lehis become converted and bury their weapons of war, promising never again to shed blood of any other person. They were willing to lay down their lives to honor their covenants and not retaliate when they were attacked.
19 And thus we see that, when these Lamanites were brought toabelieve and to know the truth, they were bfirm, and would suffer even unto death rather than commit sin; and thus we see that they buried their weapons of peace, or they buried the weapons of war, for peace.
As I begin a new year and new semester, I would like to take the opportunity to exchange my weapons for peace. Moving into my new apartment, working, cooking, and becoming more self-reliant has brought me so much joy. I had never understood before the peace that comes form a clean, orderly place that is your own where you can constantly feel the influence of the Spirit. I love BYU and my surroundings and my ability to have that guidance in my life. I am creating new routines and habits that can help me use my time, money, and space effectively, and am embarking on a more diligent study of the gospel before my mission. It seems with every word I read my desire to learn and to teach is only increased further. I am so excited to be able to go on a mission, and I am incredibly grateful for this time that I have to prepare myself to serve.