Monday, February 25, 2013

D&C 88:119

Why is it that when the brethren in any given ward talk about the "house of order" verse, they talk about all of it (faith, learning, glory, etc), and they talk about "order" in terms of priesthood and priorities, and when the sisters in any given ward talk about the "house of order" verse, they talk only about those three words, and they talk about "order" in terms of toilets and window washing and which pictures to hang on the walls?

It's as if the sisters think the verse says, “Organize your toys; prepare every needful thing; and establish a house, even a house of prayer, a house of fasting, a house of faith, a house of learning, a house of glory, a house of clean floors, a house of God.”

It seems like we have a disconnect here.

Especially since D&C 88 is a grand, sweeping view of the the temple and the things we learn there, and it's supposed to be a message of peace for us, and the "house of order" verse has nothing to do with organizing shoe closets. It's about building a house of God--literally. About building a temple and what a temple is supposed to be for. And, if we apply that to ourselves, building our souls into temples (not our living rooms).

I find it fascinating that the word order came from the Latin for ecclesiastical order, which also spawned the word "ordination" (as in the priesthood), and it's closely related to the word in Latin that meant lay the warp in weaving. The warp is the foundation of the weaving. It's the part everything else wraps around. Laying the warp properly would determine how the weaving came out--beautiful and strong or haphazard, disorderly, and weak. If we have a house of order, looking at it in a weaving sense, we have a house where the foundation, the important things, the part everything else wraps around, are done right. If you want to wrap your life around your daily housekeeping routine, you're welcome to. I'd rather wrap the weaving of my life around God and His teachings and commandments.

I was reading about what "order" means, and I discovered that Merriam-Webster does say "order" means "a regular or harmonious arrangement," but it also means "the state of peace, freedom from confused or unruly behavior, and respect for law or proper authority." The expanded meaning seems more in keeping with the meaning in the rest of the verse and its definition of what a temple is (both building-wise and soul-wise).

Why have we women taken a verse defining what a temple is and twisted it to make everyone but the most sequential, handicapped-by-their-ability-to-not-see-past-messes people feel guilty for not scrubbing the bathtub more often? We miss the glory of the whole by focusing on a narrow, misguided interpretation of the part.

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