In her General Conference address last Fall, President Beck said, “Growth happens best in a “house of order,” and women should pattern their homes after the Lord’s house (see D&C 109).”
[Sidenote: I’m still irritated by the frequency with which President Beck was misquoted (both on blogs and in print) to say that she thought that women should keep their homes as clean as a temple. But that’s not the point here. If you want to criticize this talk (or your invented version of it) I imagine that you might possibly be able to find a thread or two where you can do that. But you can’t do it here.]
What do you think could be included under the banner of patterning a home after the Temple? Here are a few ideas:
(1) Everything in the temple is goal-oriented: nothing there “just happens.” I’ve had days where I’ve felt that the only goal was to keep everyone alive; I don’t think that that is compatible with a temple-patterned home. Do we have goals (major and minor, daily and long-term) for our families or are we just filling time? What would be some appropriate goals for a family to have?
(2) Temples (usually) have kitchens and laundries. But those aren’t the point of the temple–they are there in a supporting role. Similarly, the point of being a mother isn’t to do housework but rather housework is done to support the larger mission. In some smaller temples, laundry and kitchen work is farmed out–while these things have to be done, they don’t have to be done on-site. There’s nothing wrong with delegating your housework if it helps your family meet larger goals. But it would be as much of a mistake as to see a homemaker’s job as “about” laundry and meals as it would be to see the temple’s job as about providing laundry and meals.
(3) Temples are very well-organized–you don’t find people searching frantically for that list of names or canceling sessions because they couldn’t get their hands on some necessary materials. I’m not convinced that dust is fatal to family life, but I am convinced that extreme disorganization and clutter can hamper the peaceful, successful working of family life.
(4) Most LDS have a reaction to simply seeing the temple; I know I did when I got to see the Oakland Temple every day on my way to and from work. But do you ever wonder how many people drive by and never give the place a second thought–people who have no clue of the importance of the work done within? Similarly, it is easy for the unaware to dismiss what happens within a family as unimportant work. But inside of a temple, heaven and earth are linked. The same can happen in a home.
(5) I’ve never seen a temple worker become despondent over the fact that they only made it through 200 of the billions of names that needed to be done that day. They do what they have the resources to do and don’t worry about the rest. In a home patterned after the temple, we don’t agonize over what we didn’t do. We just do what we can.
(6) In the temple, women exercise power and authority in a way that they don’t outside of the temple. President Beck made reference to the power that women exercise in the home.
(7) The temple president and matron delegate almost all of the work (both auxiliary work such as laundry and essential work such as performing ordinances) to other people–they do very little (percentage-wise) of the work. Similarly, I think mothers should delegate more work to their children.
In what other ways might we pattern our homes after the temple?