The 1960’s movie, Swiss Family Robinson, fired in my being an almost overwhelming desire to be part of such an idyllic setting.
Cast upon an uninhabited island after their ship has crashed upon the rocks outside an exposed reef in a raging storm, and then left to make do with what could be salvaged from the broken vessel, and such foodstuffs and materials as could be used from the bounties of such an island. With hard work, the family made lemonade out of lemons – so to speak. They built paradise!
I can still see in my memory the amazing tree house with its multi level rooms high up in the lofty branches, with a roped stairway from one level to the next, a water wheel driven bucket system which provided running water to the rooms high up, and the opening roof of the upper room which could be drawn back in the evening for star gazing.
The ingenious methods they devised to cope; i.e. fishing in the surf. The hilarious animal race, riding on Clementine the ostrich, Dutchess the zebra, Lightning the donkey and Rocky the elephant. Filmed on the Island of Tobago with its lush tropical vegetation, and many exotic settings, including its famous swimming hole under the falls. I hope the swinging rope over the pool is still there.
“The gathering to the New Jerusalem develops in time to the status of being “Zion” where God will visit. The growth is through refinement of the residents of the New Jerusalem… It will be a physical and spiritual enterprise to be accomplished by the hard effort of those interested in welcoming the Lord’s return.” (Was there an Original? Paper by Denver C. Snuffer Jr. P. 35-36.)
Perhaps, partly because of “Swiss Family Robinson” I have this longing to be in this New Jerusalem. I know many like me who have an aching desire to go there, but many of us have issues…
. We are old.
. We will be hard pressed to contribute physically.
. We are poor and contribute only little to the temple fund.
. We are unmarried, widowed, divorced. Can we go into the temple in such a state?
. I was/am a sinner.
. I would have to see it first.
. and many many more…..
There are probably as many situations for thinking we cannot or should not make a move to the New Jerusalem, if given the chance, as there are people. And sadly, there are those who think that because of their situations, they will not be given an invitation, nor even noticed. And others who think they could, and want to go there, but ask themselves questions like, can I go into the temple, or will my circumstances preclude me? If so then why pack up and move just to the “city?”
I know there are many who are so sure of themselves they would never think to ask any of these questions. Perhaps that is good and will work out well for them. There are, however, those like I have posed above. I know. I have talked with them. Mostly they have come asking these things of me. So I will ask this about myself:
“If I think that in spite of any existing circumstances such as listed above, or any other, that I can go to the city of The New Jerusalem, but doubt If I might ever be able to enter that beautiful edifice on the hill, why do I still want to go?”
Perhaps to answer that question, I’ll ask and then try to answer another related one:
“is there an umbrella of some sort which the Temple, set on a hill, will cast over the city, its surrounding precincts, and the people who will reside there, but who have not yet entered or cannot yet enter that Holy Edifice?” I think there is. Consider the following:
. Association with like minded, covenant people.
. Association with the endowed.
. Association with holy men, and angels.
. Physical and spiritual protection.
. Access to truth uncluttered by error.
. An increase of proximity with the Spirit, until the Perfect day.
. A library of the best books and artifacts of this earth. My opinion is that there will be a city library, separate from the library within the walls of the Temple.
. A holy place for conferences and festivals.
. One year for a vacation we traveled to all the temples in Utah in order to let our young grandchildren touch the temples. They knew they could not go inside, however the lasting impression on them has been immense in a lot of ways that are good. We too can be as little children.
. There will be many sacred things (I’m sure) visible from outside the temple, which to look upon will create a condition of holiness and wonder within us.
. In the encounter between the Lord and Paul as he was on his way to Damascus, Paul saw into the light, and heard the voice. Those with him seeing indeed a light, but hearing no voice nonetheless were left speechless by the experience. So too with Christ in the Temple.
. And then, one day, perhaps it will be my turn to go in. Oh be still, my heart….
I can yet think of many more benefits of coming to live within The city of The New Jerusalem, but even if I stop here, it –
Sounds like paradise to me.