I don’t know how it works out in Utah… but out here the members in the temple district clean the the temple. On Monday mornings they do the deep cleaning, and then each night thereafter members go to the temple 10 min to 9pm to keep the temple looking radiant.
This past Thursday I went with my friend Cam. She’ s been doing this for well over a year. I’d always wanted to do it, and when I realized it was late enough that I could sneak out while the kids were in bed, leaving my hubby on guard duty… I was in.
Walking into the temple in my cleaning attire (read, holy work out clothes) was humbling. There were people leaving sessions in Sunday dress, and I couldn’t help but feel that I was missing something. It was an odd experience entering those temple doors without my Sunday dress.
Of course, upon entering I felt like I always do when I’m in the temple. I was immediately filled with peace. I’m usually a high-energy gal. I don’t do the diet coke/pepsi caffeine regimen, because I don’t need it (and soda/addiction isn’t my thing). The temple is one place that I can feel my breathing slow, my heart relax and all the worry wrinkles in my mind get ironed out.
I was able to work with my friend at the temple. I rarely have toilet duty at home. My hubby takes care of them. At the temple I was on toilet duty. So there we were dressed in white temple scrubs over our at-home scrubs, cleaning.
As I was spraying down, and scrubbing the toilets I felt like every little movement was sacred and important. I had to get this right. This was the Lord’s house, and I was going to make each spot shine. It felt reverent. The role of cleaning is already a pretty humble one.
As we cleaned the offices in the temple, I noticed how sparkling they already were. Sure there were little spots that needed cleaning, but overall, it was better than any day at my home. I realized that our lives need to be like that. That I’m too often happy to have a few spots here and there, letting them buildup (much like the dust bunnies in my home), when I should be eradicating them at every step of the way. It’s so much easier to get rid of little spots right away, than after they all buildup into an intimidating mound of gunk.
At one point a beautiful sister in charge of the cleaning that night told me about some stain in the President’s office. It was on the plastic that the computer chairs roll on. I was a little nervous, wondering what kind of a stain it was. When it wasn’t coming out immediately I figured it was time to get my nails involved. I quickly discovered it was a white skid mark from the shoes they wear in the temple. I was determined to get it out. After using degreaser, some glass cleaner and a lot of elbow grease, it came out. In my head I was exulting and thinking “oh yeah… did you see that? Yep, I got your stain out.” I wonder if the Lord laughs at me too.
There was also light mopping, wiping, emptying, dusting, vacuuming… it made me want to clean my own home with such reverence. If our homes are to be like a heaven on earth, maybe I need to start treating my own home with that kind of joy.
I left the temple with my friend about a quarter to 11pm with the same feeling I do, when I’m in there for sessions, feeling refreshed, invigorated and totally at peace. I will definitely be back to clean with the night crew. It was just cleaning, but it was a fun highlight of my week. For those that aren’t terribly comfortable in the temple, this is a very good way to get acquainted with the layout, and feel the spirit that elegantly resides there.
I always feel grateful to enter the Lord’s house, and I can’t wait to go back.