Two words that may appear to have a lot in common.
A child might even confuse them.
They sound similar.
They look similar.
But they couldn’t be more different in meaning.
How can you make sure that your children understand the difference?
The first step is to make sure we know the difference ourselves.
The world certainly doesn’t.
Remember that that which cometh from above is sacred, and must be spoken with care, and by constraint of the Spirit;
and in this there is no condemnation.
Do your children think the Temple is sacred or secret?
Some synonyms of secret are:
While the word sacred is synonymous with:
If someone asks your child to keep a secret, its often a big warning sign.
Secrets can often cover dark deeds.
(Think “secret combinations”)
The things taught and experienced in the Temple are NOT clandestine, furtive, underhanded or stealthy.
They are holy, blessed, consecrated and sanctified.
I could include beautiful, tender, loving, hopeful and empowering.
Now that you have a clear picture of the difference between secret and sacred …
It’s time to help your children understand
Ask your children a few questions like:
What does secret mean?
What does sacred mean?
Which word applies to Temples?
How will you feel the first time you go to the Temple (Scared or excited, confused or ready to learn)?
If they feel scared or confused about what happens in the Temple, then they have probably misunderstood the difference between sacred and secret.
It’s time to snuggle up with your child.
Add a warm blanket, some hot chocolate and quiet words.
Help them to know how sweet their future Temple experiences can be.
Help them understand that Heavenly Father wants their Temple experiences to be joyful, peaceful and healing.
He wants Temple experiences to be sacred.
If there were preaching which was sacred, or revelation which was great, or prophesying,
that I should … touch upon them as much as it were possible, for Christ’s sake, and for the sake of our people.
Elder Bednar’s two guidelines will help you
Guideline #1. Because we love the Lord, we always should speak about His holy house with reverence. We should not disclose or describe the special symbols associated with the covenants we receive in sacred temple ceremonies. Neither should we discuss the holy information that we specifically promise in the temple not to reveal.
Guideline #2. The temple is the house of the Lord. Everything in the temple points us to our Savior, Jesus Christ. We may discuss the basic purposes of, and the doctrine and principles associated with temple ordinances and covenants.
With the guidance of the Holy Ghost you can avoid the mistake of never talking about the Temple for fear of saying something wrong.
You can take your experiences in the Temple and fashion them into tools that will bless your whole family.
I would love to hear how your “sacred or secret” conversation went.
Will you please respond down in the comment section?
Here are a few more ideas of topics you can discuss with your children:
- What does the phrase “Holiness to the Lord” mean? Where can you see that phrase? (See Exodus 28:36)
- The Temple is a place of revelation. Explain exactly what happens, step by step, when we are baptized for our deceased ancestors.
- You could even draw pictures about what happens at the baptistry. (Stick figures work fine.)
- The Temple is all about service. Here is a gift from me to help your children learn what a joy service is.
Here are 10 more ideas.