I love the temple. I love the lessons that I have learn while being in the Lord’s Holy House. Usually when people say that, they mean the things they’ve learned while they participated in those beautiful sacred ordinances while the temple is open. I love those lessons too, but I wanted to write specifically about a little of the knowledge I’ve gained while cleaning the temple after its closed for the day.
Last year, Ricky started a job as part of the custodial team for the Pocatello Temple. I can’t believe it has been that long! It’s been one of our favorite jobs he’s had. 🙂 It’s been such a special experience.
The team he works with is amazing. They have become our family! And the volunteers that come to help are just as fantastic. I try to tag along with him at least once a week, sometimes twice!! I love being in the House of the Lord in a behind the scenes compasity. I remember after about a few months of doing it regularly, I was so worried about being there “too much.”
I had an emotional breakdown right before we were supposed to go one night. I told Ricky that I wanted to go but I didn’t want to overstay my welcome or insert myself too much because the recommendation is that the volunteers only come if their wards/stakes are in charge of sending people to come and help. I didn’t know if I was an exception because my husband is an employee. I also didn’t want to cause a problem.
Ricky told me that his supervisor had told him several times that he loves when I come to help because he know that I will actually help. He also told me that the Lord loves me and that He appreciates when I serve Him, no matter how I am serving. That’s what hit me. I wasn’t going to help clean the temple just because I could but because I wanted to help and serve. I was doing it to show my Heavenly Father how much I love Him and how thankful I am that I have a temple so close to where we live. I keep that attitude everytime I feel bad for showing up….again.
Throughout the year, I’ve been given permission to be taught more “advanced” cleaning. I have learned how to scrub the baptismal font, clean specific mirrors, spot cleaning carpets, and many more special things. It’s super cool but very overwhelming.
Recently, Ricky has been teaching me how to vacuum the big fluffy, plush carpets (these carpets can be found in the Bride’s Room, the Sealing Rooms, and the Celestial Room). There’s a very particular way to vacuum them – they are vacuumed with a specific vacuum in a way that makes sure you don’t have any vacuum lines. It reminds me of fresh blankets of snow – perfect and white and begging for someone to run across it. 😉 Oh and you can’t move the furniture.
I was feeling confident and ready to help last week with actually vacuuming – not just watching, so he handed me a vacuum and told me to get started. When I say I struggled!! Whoooo boooooy! So, the vacuum is as big as I am and maybe weighs twice as much. Okay, probably not but it sure feels that way! Since the vacuum and I are such an awkward pair, I kept running into furniture so I had to keep fixing it and I kept having lines or my own footprints on spots that I had just vacuumed!
I was getting so frustrated and eventually started crying. I told Ricky that I couldn’t do it. It was too hard. He told me that it was okay. “No it’s not okay,” I sobbed. “This is the temple and it should be perfect.”
He gave me a huge hug and let me cry. Then he said something that hasn’t left my thoughts since. “You’re trying. That’s all that is expected. You’re also still learning. I can finish. Let me do the rest.” I told him that I didn’t want him to have to do it. Then he said, “Would you tell Christ that?”
I looked at him kinda funny. What was he talking about? Then he explained, “If He was physically here, would you not let Him finish it? The Lord knows you’re learning and trying but sometimes it’s too hard. It’s the same with life and the Atonement and you already know exactly how He feels about you. He’s only expecting you to do your best at what ever you’re doing. He’ll understand that you’re not gonna be perfect the first time…or the second…or even the hundredth time. It’s okay.”
I cried for a little longer while he held me; not out of frustration anymore, but this time because of the peace I felt standing in the middle of that room. I cried because how much I love my husband and how much my Savior loves me.
I am so grateful for the knowledge that my Heavenly Father loves me so much. I am so grateful for all of the little reminders that he gives me to show me how much He loves me, including my husband, the temple, and new learning experiences.
He loves you too. He’s also aware of you. Look for those tender mercies and blessings that are in your life. I promise that they’re there. The more you look for them, the more you’ll notice His love.