This week we learned about some of the disadvantages of a cash society. When you need a sizable amount of money, you cannot withdraw it all at once. So Tuesday through Friday we had to get to the closest ATM (about 1 1/2 miles away) and withdraw cash every day. The largest bill in Ghana is the 50 Cedi, worth about $12.75. So at the moment we have a large envelope stuffed with 50C notes ready to pay to the finance office tomorrow.
We also had to contact our credit union and our credit card companies because of purchases we could not make online. It appears that if your order is coming from Ghana, credit cards are regularly refused. It makes access to our money in the US rather tricky.
We have now been here for 4 weeks and have been reflecting on how our hearts are softening. Working in the temple 5 days a week is a different experience from one shift a week.
We are taught that the temple is a house of learning and it has been instructive to us to ponder the teaching methods that the Lord uses there. Among those would be: presentation, symbolism, participation, covenant making, and repetition.
The more we serve in His house, the more we understand that repetition allows us to think and ponder the profound meaning of ordinances. The doctrines taught there are also taught outside the temple, yet in the serenity of the temple and the context of those sacred ordinances, the doctrines become more clear and powerful.
The plan made before the earth was created was that we would come here to learn for ourselves to deal with the physicality of a body and with the challenge of choosing right over wrong. It was understood that with discovery and experience we would make mistakes and have need of a Savior to answer the law of justice and help us from grace to grace to follow Him. This would occur through a pattern of receiving truth, recognizing the need to change, making covenants, and being empowered by the Holy Spirit to make that change. That enabling power brings greater love for God and our fellow men. Despite our lowly status in comparison to God, He wants to help us grow, to become like Him, to receive His power, to put His name on us, and to reclaim us as His family. All this is made possible through Christ.
Every presentation, symbol, participation, and covenant in the temple fits into that plan, teaching and reinforcing its truths. Those who come for the first time can usually sense the holiness and power that is present, even if their understanding of it all is just beginning. We learn gradually, step by step. The more time we spend in the temple, the more that experience changes us if we are willing.
D & C 84:19-20 “And this greater priesthood administereth the gospel and holdeth the key of the mysteries of the kingdom, even the key of the knowledge of God. Therefore, in the ordinances thereof, the power of godliness is manifest.”