The featured image is the home I was raised in. As I visited this home recently it struck me how we live in homes in this mortal life that prepare us for life in our Heavenly home. In this post, I want to discuss this relationship and how we can make our homes more like our Heavenly home.
The Home We’re Reared In
For most of us, the home we’re reared in is where we learn about being a family. I was taught values that have served me my whole life in the house my dad built. He didn’t just build a physical structure. Along with my mom, they made a home where the family was most important. Love abounded in our home. We learned skills that have led us to be productive adults.
I learned what it was to support each other in marriage as a partnership. I knew that disagreements could be worked out. Work was taught inside and outside the home. Fun was had often. Expectations were set that were appropriate for our ages.
The home I grew up in has become an anchor to help me remember the values that are most important. I return and remember the things I learned and the times that strengthened our bonds. That home became a foundation I built on in my life after becoming an adult.
The “Single” Home
When I went to college, I experienced a different kind of home. I started in a dorm with a roommate and floormates. We were about the same age and had similar goals. We had varying life experiences and I learned what it meant to make friends and find out how other people were raised. There were many differences, and I learned that their experiences could enrich my life.
An example of this was at the end of my Freshman year of college. There were many of my floormates that were going on missions, others were getting married and others, like myself, were moving to other living arrangements for their Sophomore or another year. We came up with the idea of making a time capsule that we would open after those who went on missions returned. After gathering mementos from each participant, we boxed them up, sealed them, and left them with the Resident Mother who promised to care for them until we returned. A few years later there was a gathering where the box was opened and memories shared. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to participate in the opening, but I ran into some of those young men a couple of weeks after, and they shared the experience. Unbeknownst to them, I had put in a little note about our time there as a last-minute entry. They read that before going through the items and all were touched.
I had several memorable experiences in my “Single” home phase. There are countless roommate stories and interactions that I reflect on at various times. These experiences helped me prepare for the next phases of the homes I would live in.
My Mission Home
In the middle of my “Single” Home phase, I spent two years serving a Church mission in Chile. I was assigned to the Santiago South mission and lived in six different areas during my time as a missionary.
On a mission, you live with your missionary companion seven days a week, twenty-four hours a day. This experience can be difficult for a young man who is used to having time to himself. One of the rules is that you are to always be within sight of each other. Obviously, there are times when that isn’t feasible, but in general, you’re with your companion ALL of the time. Having someone that close all the time means you have to find ways to get along with your companion. Communication is a big key to success and I had companions where communication was good and times when it was not.
The other part of my “Mission” home was that we lived with families. We would rent a room in their house, but we ate meals and interacted with these families every day. I learned a lot about Chilean culture through these interactions. I also was able to observe life in families of religions different from mine. Not all the families we lived with were Latter-day Saint families. Some were Protestant, others Catholic. I learned how to interact and understand the various beliefs of these families.
Married and Family Home
The next phase of home life started when I was married to Cheryl. This is the phase where all the previous homes come together in the building of our family home. It has been a merging of our experiences to form what our home is.
We have spent the past twenty-seven years creating a home and trying to teach our children the values that are most important. Those values have been taught to us through our various experiences. As our children have grown we have seen some of these teachings sink in. We hope we are doing a good job so that our children will be productive adults and have homes that are happy.
The Temple as a Home
There is one more home that needs discussing. That home is the temple. It is not a home that we abide in daily. We don’t prepare meals or teach lessons to our children. Instead, it is a home where we go to be taught, renewed, and commune with God in a way that is different from any other place on earth.
The temple gives us a glimpse of what life in our Heavenly Home will be. It is a place where revelation can be received. We unload from the burdens of the world and experience peace on God’s level. We are taught how to live in a home that is Celestial. We learn how to make our earthly home more like our Heavenly.
Earthly to Heavenly
All of our earthly homes prepare us for life in our Heavenly home. The values we learn will be found in heaven. The work ethic we acquire will serve us well as we progress on our eternal journey. The things that we teach to our children will help us teach spirit children in the next life. When we finally achieve being perfect as God is perfect (see Matthew 5:48), we will be prepared to lead the next generation of spirits on their eternal progression.