A sour note may or may not have killed a man this Thursday past. This probability may be an unsolved murder mystery. Sadly, the last I saw or heard from him were these words, “this is just stressing me out, I can’t take all these mistakes”. Then, just as quickly as he came within my listening ear, he was gone…..and where he went, will I ever know?
The location was the temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day-Saints. The scene of the possible crime was,….a waiting room for patrons to assemble until the time of departure into another location within the temple called the chapel. The setting was suppose to be serene organ music played by a volunteer-me- to create an ambiance of reverence and peace for prayer and mediation where the physical world with all its busy and loud people is left outside and where a new spiritual world is entered in.
The temple is a sacred place and therefore, some things are not spoken of much but this I can say: The temple is symbolic of this life, of worlds past and worlds to come. It is within the temple we are lead out of this world and into higher spheres of spiritual attainment and where we can choose to make sacred covenants that bind us together as families for eternity. We do this physically and symbolically through certain props built within the temple as well as lighting and moving from one level of the temple to another. An example of this is how our baptismal font is on the bottom or first level which symbolizes our first step entering into the kingdom of God. The subsequent levels are where we continue in our quest upward to greater light and knowledge in preparation of our return to the presence of our Heavenly Father, thus making covenants and becoming endowed with the blessings of the holy priesthood that contain wherein the promises given to the sons and daughters of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob of a continuation of life for us and all of our posterity for eternity. Hence, the sealing rooms are on the upper level because being sealed as couples and as families is the highest level of spiritual advancement we make in our holy temples and on earth. “The Oath and Covenant of the Priesthood”
The word temple is symbolic, too, as it is simply in and of itself emblematic of our temple….our body. This is taught so beautifully by Paul in 1 Corinthians 6: 19 What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? “Our bodies are temples, and the Spirit of the Lord should dwell there and shine through.” (June 2008Friend) What better training to receive for our mortal bodies than in the holy temples of God where we learn the purpose of our existence, the fall of Adam and how to enter back into the presence of our Heavenly parents and live together eternally; there truly is peace found therein IF we as members understand its purpose.
So how did I kill a man and like it you ask? It was the sour notes I played on the organ. It is a good question whether this man was nearly dead before he arrived…not physically (although debatable). I’ve heard of my testimony driving a madman nearly to kill himself, (whole other story), but my organ playing? Now this was a new one, but the truth be told, I may have nearly killed most of the patrons that day because of my weakened state physically which did cause me to make several mistakes.
It was near 2 p.m. and I hadn’t eaten all day which triggers a hypoglycemic reaction within me causing me to shake, sweat, rattle and roll and have blurred eyesight. It didn’t help me either that my activities that morning consisted of swimming a mile and doing 90 minutes of yoga, and that I had forgotten and showed up an hour late. Yes, I was feeling like a real looser. I felt as if I was playing the organ for the first time and it surely did not help me one bit when I overheard the comments coming from the patrons….especially this man….“A torn jacket is soon mended, but hard words bruise the heart of a child.” Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
The more I could hear and feel negativity coming from this man, the worse I played, so in a way, he may have killed himself. I guess it’s murphy’s law that what we think about comes about and I like the notion of how this concept can produce an affect on our physical and spiritual being. We can either allow our brains (and hearts) to be affected by others and our surroundings causing untold suffering and possible death (spiritual). The temple should help train us to supersede man’s initial instincts- a training ground to overcome the physical and empower the spiritual thus restraining oneself from having a physical reactions to others. Psychologists call this self-actualization. This man allowed my playing to “stress” him out and whether or not he had a heart attack and died is a mystery to me? One thing is certain, had he come to the temple with a prayer in his heart for the vicarious work he was about to perform for deceased persons that day, he may have been more receptive to the enticements of the Holy Spirit that would have helped open his eyes and heart in my behalf. How do I know this? I had a similar experience myself in the temple a few years back.
I was sitting behind a woman who was wearing a ring on each finger. This is a little strange to see in the temple because most people strive to leave the “worldly” things behind as we dress all in white and wear minimal jewelry. At first, it bothered me and I found myself judging this woman and feeling a little disgust in her “worldliness”. Then, as I was praying within my heart about other things, I began to look closer at her jewelry and I recognized it was not your typical store bought. Suddenly, my eyes began to see something completely different and my heart had a complete 90 degree about face. Later, after the session, I ran into her in the restroom and I said to her, “I couldn’t help notice your beautiful jewelry, someone who really loves you must have given it to you”. With tears in her eyes, she replied, “my husband made these pieces for me and he passed away six months ago.” I stood there with my jaw on the floor. If I had judged her by my first instinct, I would have caused myself to die spiritually, to have missed a valuable spiritual lesson and insight into a more holier sphere which is precisely the greatest blessing that comes from temple worship and service…..to see TRUTH! In the temple, the veil is so thin from this world to the next, I know her husband’s spirit was there with her, and thus helping me to recognize this truth. It is after all, in my opinion, our deceased loved ones who are our angels….who else would love and care for us more?
Is there a possibility that the eyes of the man who came to the temple that day had not been spiritually opened yet? Perhaps he was at the stage where I first found myself when I judged the woman with the rings? It is possible that when he left the chapel and walked up to a higher level, he remembered to pray, and when he did the spirit opened his heart and eyes to see others the way the Savior sees each of us with faults and all? I really love the entire chapter of 1 corinthians 6 because the lesson that Paul was teaching is to judge not another because there’s not a single one of us with the capacity to see and adjudicate like our Savior. Elder Dallin H. Oaks said, “As a student of the scriptures and as a former judge, I have had a special interest in the many scriptures that refer to judging. The best known of these is “Judge not, that ye be not judged” (3 Ne. 14:1; Matt. 7:1).
I hope to not leave you on a sour note and kill you in the process, but I may like it because the lessons I learn are so profound-not your death of course, but that you and I (and the mystery man) can be spiritually re-born and live again through the whisperings of the Holy Spirit that is in each of us if we choose to “see” through prayer and love. I hope never again to judge another but to resolve to see arbitrarily with eyes that look into the soul and not a man’s body. If members of the church are truly living what they preach, each heart will see that most of God’s children are more worthy than they themselves give credit for and that all can become joint heirs in the crowning and saving ordinances of the Holy Melchizedek priesthood (D&C 107:3), which is the only power wherein we can have a continuation of life with our loved ones from eternity to all eternity. This is no murder mystery….just plain truth. Let’s not “kill” others in our progression toward eternity….we don’t know if their blood sugar levels were low when they did their naughty deed!!!