Monday, June 10, 2013
Trek Prep Devotional - Jason & Bobbilyn Hogge
One of the greatest blessings in our family's journey has been living in the Midwest and New York. In both locations we took full advantage of being so close to church history sites and visited them every time we got the chance. The spirit in these sacred places was undeniable. Nauvoo has always a favorite of mine, but I'll never forget attending the Nauvoo temple for the first time as it was dedicated. All temples have an immediate calm and comforting spirit that speaks to our spirits from the moment we enter the doors, but Nauvoo for me has always had such a tangible undeniable spirit that penetrates my soul. I not only feel the overwhelming love of our Heavenly Father and the Savior there but also the deep love, devotion, and dedication of the early saints who gave their last pennies and most prized possessions along with countless hours of manpower to build their beautiful temple so that they could worship and serve there. I can't imagine the tremendous feeling of loss and sadness as they watched as it was burned to the ground. It's almost too much for me to comprehend. But as I visit now I can feel that amazing spirit of those early saints, their love, incredible faith, and tremendous joy that their beloved temple has been rebuilt. What a powerful witness of their their devotion to the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
Elder L. Tom Perry taught “There is a special spirit in these older temples, which were constructed at great sacrifice by the early pioneers. … As we progressed through the temple session, I could hear in every room those early pioneers saying, ‘Look at what we built with our own hands. We had no power equipment. No contractors or subcontractors were involved in the construction, no fancy cranes to lift up the heavy stones. We performed this labor under our own power.’”
Reflecting on this heritage that the early pioneers left, Elder Perry remembers the words of a former president of the United States, who talked about “[going] back to the past way of thinking.”
“His counsel still resonates within me,” Elder Perry says. “There is something about reviewing the lessons of the past to prepare us to face the challenges of the future. What a glorious legacy of faith, courage, and ingenuity those noble early Mormon pioneers have left for us to build upon. My admiration for them deepens the longer I live.”
I love this thought of taking the immense gift of their sacrifice and building upon it. I'm grateful for this opportunity in a very small way to remember and review these incredible lessons from the past.
Jason and Bobbilyn Hogge