I took this picture today just before I went home. I have always loved this statue of a family at the Los Angeles Temple. It is a beautiful, timeless reminder of what it’s all about.
A Thought on the Work and Effort of the Lord’s Lace and His House:
When I was working with our temple matron a few weeks ago, she paused right in the middle of the laundry area– we were up to our eyeballs in lace, pins and measuring tape, all the washing machines were humming and six other ladies were working on the various stages of cleaning, steaming and pressing, categorizing and folding everything that needed to be cleaned down in the laundry.
In addition to all the baptistry laundering, and endowment laundry, they’d just had a wedding party come through the weekend before with 72 guests. At the last minute, the bride decided she wanted her ceremony to be all white, so everyone rented the clothes and things they needed for the ceremony, creating quite a bustle for the laundry for several days afterward. Every bit of everything that has to be done to have that happen, has to be done anew, and perfectly.
In the midst of all the bustle and hum, she paused and said, looking around:
“All this effort. All this work. The Lord asks us to do all of this, with such precision, all day, every day, so His people can have the place he deigns right for His children to obtain His knowledge. I marvel at how blessed we are, and I can’t forget the strength of the saints in Nauvoo, laboring to finish their temple, with every detail, knowing they would be forced to leave it. Or the saints in so many ages who worked in faith their whole lives, and still did not have the blessing of the temple. We are so blessed. Somehow all this is a part of it. This is necessary work. It is required of us, I don’t know why it is that way, but it is. Is there a price too high to pay? No.”
Two of the women she introduced to me there had been working in the temple laundry for more than 35 years. Every day. As we examined each altar lace, we noticed some were marked on the back with handwritten tags telling the name of the person who had made each of the older laces, and which altars that lace used to fit. We noticed that some of the tags had E-1,2 written on them, or Endowment room one and two, which was perplexing because endowment rooms one and two do not have altars. Martha, the woman in the laundry who had been there the longest (39 years) explained that there was a time when there were altars in those two rooms.
Most of the women whose names are on the laces are gone now. So much history and sacrifice there.
As I was thinking about my experiences working on this project, I remembered the quote by Thomas Paine:
“What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly; it is dearness only that gives every thing its value. Heaven knows how to put a proper price upon its goods.”
In the original text he was speaking of the price of freedom, which for them, was steep. Part of the price his generation paid, and many generations before him paid, enabled us to have our temple.
If knowledge is freedom, and it is, I suppose that is what the temple is about also. Mortality seems to have this struggle as a theme, and the culminating fruits of that struggle are there, in those walls. It is amazing what we are tempted to take for granted. I suppose that is the reason for the work, to give us an inkling of the price and the value of what is there for us to become.