Today is still rainy. It's been rainy since Wednesday. It's been cold, too, which has made me nervous. If the clouds clear in the night and it is this cold, it will probably freeze. It did that Wednesday night. I got up really early to go to my temple shift, and I was leaving the house at 4:30 a.m. There was thick frost everywhere! I was sure my beans were goners. But when I got back from the temple, my beans were fine! I was so glad.
My regular temple shift is on Thursday morning. I am a temple ordinance worker, and it is always a great experience. But all the shifts have to take a turn occasionally working on Saturday. Yesterday was our turn. But it was nice because we didn't have the early morning shift. We went in for the evening shift!
For those of you who aren't a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, you may be wondering what on earth I might be talking about. So I probably should explain a little. If you are familiar with the Bible, you will remember that ancient Israel built a tabernacle, and later a temple, to perform sacred ordinances. We do the same.
You may be wondering what an ordinance is. I have been asked that by people, but for some reason it is hard for me to explain. I have known what they are all my life, but you can't spill out a lifetime of learning out to someone who has never heard about them before. And I guess I'm not very good at condensing it down.
But I recently ran across one of the best explanations I've ever heard about ordinances in True to the Faith, pages 109-110:
"In the church, an ordinance is a sacred, formal act performed by the authority of the priesthood. Some ordinances are essential to our exaltation. These ordinances are called saving ordinances. They include baptism, confirmation, ordination to the Melchizedek Priesthood (for men), the temple endowment, and the marriage sealing. With each of these ordinances, we enter into solemn covenants with the Lord.
"Other ordinances, such as naming and blessing children, consecrating oil, and administering to the sick and afflicted, are also performed by priesthood authority. While they are not essential to our salvation, they are important for our comfort, guidance, and encouragement.
"Ordinances and covenants help us remember who we are. They remind us of our duty to God. The Lord has provided them to help us come unto Him and receive eternal life. When we honor them, He strengthens us."