After entering Jerusalem on Palm Sunday one of the first things Jesus did was to go to the Temple. There, inside his Father’s holy house, Jesus sees various merchants buying and selling to those passing by. How horrifying it must have been for him to see such a sacred and holy place – a house intended for the highest form of worship overrun by men and women filled with greed!
Speaking with unmistakable authority he commanded them to cease and leave.
The cleansing of the temple in Jerusalem was an act of bravery. Jesus stood up for what was right, whether it was popular or not.
There is an age-old excuse: “The devil made me do it.” Not so! He can deceive you and mislead you, but he does not have the power to force you or anyone else to transgress or to keep you in transgression.
– Boyd K. Packer, Cleansing the Inner Vessel
Cleansing the Inner Vessel
Symbolically, each of us – body + spirit – are considered a “temple” of God (1 Cor 3:17). The more we place Christ in our lives, the more likely our temple may undergo times of chastisement, humbling, unexpected course corrections and change. I believe that the Lord gives us these experiences as opportunities for us to change what is not quite right in our lives – whether it’s physical, emotional or spiritual. When we do go through these times – which are usually uncomfortable and often even painful – we are receiving the gift of an inner cleansing. Jesus Christ is the master of Renewal. From personal experience, our trials are custom designed to peel back the dry, damaged layers of our soul, and we can emerge a “new creature,” more holy, pure and virtuous.
Virtue is a word we don’t hear often in today’s society, but the Latin root word virtus means strength. Virtuous women and men possess a quiet dignity and inner strength. They are confident because they are worthy to receive and be guided by the Holy Ghost. They are strengthened to stand for what is right.
“You be the one to make a stand for right, even if you stand alone. Have the moral courage to be a light for others to follow. There is no friendship more valuable than your own clear conscience, your own moral cleanliness—and what a glorious feeling it is to know that you stand in your appointed place clean and with the confidence that you are worthy to do so”
– President Thomas S. Monson, Examples of Righteousness, Apr. 2008 General Conference).
Have you seen a time when you underwent an inner cleansing of your “temple?” How has that experience helped you to become closer to the Spirit of the Lord? – MoSop