Where can you find a place of refuge from the world? The mountains, oceans, lakes, rivers, desert, forests, or a special room? You may not keep the memories, but you’ll never forget the feelings. This sums up this building where I spent many of my growing up years. Thinking back on the times when I felt the greatest peace and refuge from the world outside of my own home, I would have to say it was inside the chapel of the Ogden 54th ward building.
Love and sacrifice were the cornerstones in obtaining this building. Tithing from local church members in the early 1900’s was required in order to build ward meeting houses all around the world. This particular building, the 54th ward and old 2nd ward, was built by Patriarch J. Archie Cottle who was also a life-long member of the ward. These sacrifices of he and the members seemed to permeate throughout the walls and right into my soul. There truly was something above and beyond the actual words being taught, there was a love that I could genuinely feel whenever I stepped into this building. In fact, it was tithing that set the early saints free from financial bondage. “Elder B. H. Roberts then made a motion, which was unanimously adopted, that the Saints accept the doctrine of tithing now presented. Visibly moved, President Snow stood up and declared, “Every man who is here, who has made this promise, will be saved in the Celestial Kingdom.”13
Tithing was preached in all the stake conferences, and a year later President Snow reported that the Saints had contributed twice as much tithing during the past year as they had paid the previous two years. Under inspiration, he had set in motion the program that would, by 1907, completely free the Church from debt. Many Saints testified that not only were the windows of heaven opened to save the Church, but those who followed this divine law were spiritually and temporally blessed as well.” Church History In The Fulness Of Times Student Manual, (2003), 451–464
In my own home, many great blessings have come about because of tithing. As faithful tithe payers, my parents were never in debt. In fact, my 81 year old mother doesn’t even have any credit which I suppose is good and bad in a world like today. I think it is great because the world is set-up to automatically get us into debt in order to move forward with car and home ownership. I wasn’t raised this way. We learned, as did many people of earlier days, one saved up for needed items and learned to go without until sufficient funds were accumulated. Thanks to this philosophy, I’ve really never felt like I was missing out on anything. I do remember my mother saying things like, “we could have a new house if we wanted to go into debt”. Living in old houses never bothered me; I didn’t know any better and I knew it wasn’t the kind of house but the warm, safe and loving feeling inside that interested me at that time.
Now that I’m older, I can see the wisdom in the sacrifice of paying tithing. Although my parents weren’t professionals at parenting, and neither am I, the home was and continues to be a refuge from the world and within its walls steeps great peace and love. My homes have always been a laboratory for learning of things both temporal and spiritual.
How humbled and thankful I am for living prophets to guide and direct our church members especially since the institution of tithing was revealed so that I am able to have a house to worship in as well as a house of order to reside in. “In this revelation (D&C 109), we read how the Lord’s house should be used and how it should be treated. His house should be a house of prayer, fasting, faith, learning, and glory. It should also be a “house of order” (vs. 8), a place of “holiness” where reverence is shown to God (vs. 13). Referring to this revelation, President Spencer W. Kimball said, “In a very real sense, what is said of the sacred temples of the Church is applicable to every ‘house of the Lord,’ whether it be a meetinghouse or any place where the Saints worship, or in fact, any Latter-day Saint home” (We Should Be a Reverent People [pamphlet, 1976], p. 2). 128 Home and Family Education Lesson 5
I love this church building. I love the home I grew up in. I love the home and place of refuge I live inside today. As we ponder upon our individual places of refuge, and there are so many, I pray our home is at the top of the list as we strive to offer a sacrifice unto Him whatever it may be for you, in fostering a house of order, learning and love for our family. “Elder Boyd K. Packer noted that “the most sacred place on earth may not be the temple, necessarily. The chapel, the stake house, and the temple are sacred as they contribute to the building of the most sacred institution in the Church—the home —and to the blessing of the most sacred relationships in the church, the family” (That All May Be Edified [Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1982], pp. 234-35). The scriptures offer many useful guidelines for making our individual homes into houses of the Lord where his Spirit can be sought and welcomed. Our homes can be houses of prayer, fasting, faith, learning, and order (see D&C 88:119)