A Temple Stroll in the Court of the Gentiles

West side of the Brigham City Utah Temple

I walked around the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints temple in Brigham City, Utah seven times today.
Throughout the week I had an incredible desire to spend some time on the temple grounds. I yearned for the peace, the enlightenment and the lifting of my burdens I have always felt there. I thought today would be the perfect day to go. I actually didn’t consider that the grounds would be locked. I should have, but I didn’t.
So, I walked 4 times around the city block and 3 times outside the fence inside the parking lot.
As I walked my outer path, I noticed beauty of the temple walls mingled with the noise of the traffic on the streets. As I walked my inner route I observed the beauty of the paths, fountains and flowers surrounding the temple. As I pondered I remembered so clearly a time when I could not hold a recommend but spent hours inside the temple in the waiting room studying, praying, feeling the potency of the Spirit and receiving profound answers to my most weighing questions. Finally, I was drawn through my memory up the stairs to the celestial room where I have spent time filled with light, joy, and so much peace.
As my mind wound around these memories a certain story of Jesus settled powerfully on my mind. You know the one. In great frustration He braided a rope and drove the moneychangers from the temple. This story gets a lot of attention and the focus seems to be about His emotions rather than His motives. I remember the time I learned the different parts of the temple in Jerusalem and how it helped me better understand this story.
The Herodian Temple had segregated courts for specific people. There was the court of the priests, the court of the Israelites, the court of the women, and the court of the gentiles. This last court is where Christ accused the people of defiling the temple. This court was one where everyone was welcome regardless of status, gender or religion.
This understanding made this story one of my favorites. Our Savior, Jesus Christ, cared so much about every single child of God (regardless of their personal restrictions) that the ability for this court to remain a sacred space for communion with God mattered to Him. He wanted ALL to have the right to worship in peace.
It is hard not to have the availability of the temple in a way that I definitely took for granted. But today, I am going home having felt peace, enlightenment and a lifting of my burdens with a wonderful reminder that every bit of the grounds are sacred and the promises made to us about the temple are still available for receiving even if all we can do right now is spend time in the beautiful “court of the gentiles.”

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