Monday, July 27, 2009

Bound by Time (or When Not To Be?)

We had a lesson on the temple today in Relief Society, using the General Conference talks from Elder Bednar and Elder Scott.

Perhaps you recall the list of suggestions Elder Scott had, including the one to remove your watch while in the temple.

Now, when I first heard this counsel, I was a little concerned about how I could really follow it, because by definition and circumstance (late sleeper-inner, kids need to be picked up from school -- I'm squeezed in from both sides). But I have heard some great stories of people giving it a try (even a temple worker!) and having great experiences doing so.

But this isn't actually a post about removing your watch at the temple (although, of course, I think it's good counsel). It's about the thread I noticed in a good chunk of his counsel.

It had to do with time.

He talked of scheduling carefully. Of leaving sufficient time so that we are unhurried when in the temple. Of removing your watch.

And I recalled something from my patriarchal blessing that often rings in my mind -- the reminder that "the Lord is not bound by time as we are."

And that made me see Elder Scott's counsel in a different light. I understand at one level why he encourages us to not be hurried...so we can enjoy what is going on, and don't rush through the experience lest we miss spiritual experiences.

But perhaps it's also to help us get into a different mode...not bound by time, as God is not.

Most of the time, we have to be bound to time to function in this world. And of course, even in our gospel living, time is of the essence. But by scheduling carefully, trying not to be rushed, and removing our watches, might we be trying to let time go for a brief...er...time?

I dunno. It struck me as something to think about.

What think ye?

9 comments:

FelixAndAva said...

I've been taking my watch off at the Temple since before that talk, for that reason. For me, it's helpful to disconnect from worldly concerns as much as possible, and leaving behind reminders of worldly time helps me there.

Also, I find that if I'm wearing my watch, I get distracted checking the time again and again. :)

Jill said...

I have pondered also what he said about taking off your watch at the temple. Actually I only wear my watch in 2 places...at the temple, or when I am giving a lesson at church. I wear it at the temple so if something starts hurting I can look at my watch and tell myself, "You can hang in there, you only have __ minutes left." But other than that I wouldn't need a watch there. I also keep tylenol and a small bottle of water in my pocket.

Michelle said...

interesting. I've never worn a watch at the temple-- I've always just figured there's no way to hurry up anyway.

I was disturbed though (and have pondered writing a Segullah post about it) about the irreverence in sealing rooms at the temple: poeple checking cell phones, making gorcery lists etc.

m_and_m said...

FelixAndAva -- thanks for stopping by! I agree with what you have said.

Jill...sorry to hear about your pain. There are times I have a hard time going to the temple because of my body as well.

Michelle -- really? Grocery lists and cell phones? I haven't ever seen that! (Thank goodness.)

FelixAndAva said...

Michelle, I'm amazed! I've certainly never seen anything like that in any Temple I've attended.

On a semi-related (to the original post) note, I was once talking to a member of my Stake Presidency (at that time), and commented to him I found it odd that we lock up belongings in the Temple, since anyone who can get in there is presumably trustworthy. He told me that he saw that as locking away the things of the world so we can focus more on the things of God waiting for us there. He made sense to me.

m_and_m said...

I like that. (I still think it's for safety, too, but I will never think of locking up my stuff in the same way again. :) )

Thanks for sharing that.

Ginny said...

i, too, like that thought...that locking up our belongings can have temporal and spiritual purposes. thanks for the paradigm shift.

jendoop said...

Actually locking things up in the temple is good, because there are people like my DH's grandmother. She often forgets where her locker is because... she doesn't take her key! So she just checks the ones that have keys in them until she finds her belongings inside.

But seriously, back on topic. There is a family where I live that schedules their lives like they did on their mission. Everyone up at 6:30am (even Saturday), every activity planned, T's crossed, I's dotted. I can't get my head around it, although I try to reason it out. Am I too lax? Then I let it go and realize I believe more in your idea of God not being bound by time. I need flexibility in my life to deal with the unexpected and to be open to responding to promptings. It would really stress me out to have my days planned so much.

Time is a mortal convention, created because we have a finite amount of time on earth, so we have found a way to measure and define it. If we were acting in an immortal sphere (as God is) then time would be irrelevant because we would have no end of it.

AdamF said...

Unfortunately, some people do steal stuff in the temple, hence the locks. Some people even break off pieces from low-hanging lights, or scrape off bits of gold. (my father has worked at a temple for quite a few years now...)

Nice post. I always took off my watch for the same reason. It is just easier to get into it that way. I did the same thing on my mission - I found I worked a lot harder without it.