Today's adventure started at 6:00 AM. We had the wonderful opportunity to go to Oakland to see the temple, and we needed to wake up even earlier than usual to be ready for our ride. As we hustled out into the rain, crammed into a small car with two other missionaries (and the driver), and drove off into the grey split-pea soup that is the bay area in the morning, our spirits were high. Several rounds of "20 Questions: Scripture Edition" later, we were looking at the majestic golden spires of the Oakland Temple.
It was a wonderful morning! The fog was so thick when we got there we couldn't even see the temple in the parking lot. :P Luckily, it cleared out around noon and when we came out, the view was clear. San Francisco stood cold and gray in the distance, and the ocean reflected the steely demeanor of the overcast clouds. Sunshine is nice, but I personally believe cloudy days have their place too.
As we perambulated around the upper tier of the temple grounds, we got a close up view of the panorama carved in the temple face. I had always thought it was Christ simply addressing His apostles. I was surprised to find, as we got closer, that it was not the apostles, but the multitude Christ visited in 3 Nephi.
"And it came to pass that Jesus commanded that their little children should be brought. ..So they brought their little children and set them down upon the ground round about him.. ..And He said unto them: Blessed are ye because my joy is full.. And when He had said these things, He wept.. And He took their little children one by one, and blessed them and prayed unto the Father for them.. And when He had done this He wept again."
Of all the things that could be inscribed here, I found it both interesting and beautiful that it was This, Christ's love for the children, and blessing them, that was written.
I wondered a bit about the implications of this scripture, and again, why it was this passage that was there. As I reflect on my morning at the temple, I think I finally understand.
Heavenly Father is constantly seeking to bless us, help us, and show His love for us. We Are His children. What greater blessing to His little ones than to give us a place to draw nearer to Him, to strengthen and uplift us, to act (in this temple's case, quite literally) as a lighthouse to guide us safely home. It is a refuge from the storms of life that constantly berate us, offering us, if only briefly, a clear view of why we are here and what is to come. It is our home away from home.