Saturday, April 21, 2012

Birthday Blessings

On March 30th 1992--My 8th birthday,  I stood in front of this beautiful building, just after having been baptized by my Dad, in the Pacific Ocean.

On March 30th 2012 -- My 27th birthday,  I finally got to go inside the Laie Hawaii LDS temple. It was a dream come true, and an amazing miracle on how we got to be there! Ivan and I had been just wishing we could go--being SO close--(just an island away!)...but didn't know how we'd ever be able to island hop on a tight budget.

Perhaps you think you've got some pretty great parents, but let me tell you--mine are pretty stellar too. They planned this whole excursion for us to go, plane tickets, car rental and all--AND babysat our chickens and goats while we were gone for the day.

If you had a miracle happen in you life, would you recognize it? This was a miracle for me.

And what a gorgeous day we had! Look at that sky! No dreary grey March here.

These trees by the visitors center used to have all sorts of messages written--scratched-- on them, but I guess they've all fallen off and grown a new batch by now, huh?

 After working/worshiping/learning/crying/rejoicing/pondering/listening in the Temple, I wandered the grounds and talked with the gardener. I told him all about my Great-Great (great?) Grandfather Davis who organized the first Boy Scout troop on the island and who planted the royal palms that line the fountain up to the temple. He smiled and told me he had the best job in the whole world.

The design on the right symbolizes the Hawaiian tree of royalty and birthright, it was inside the temple as well.

The other symbol all over the inside of the temple was the Kukui leaf and nut. Kukui translates to "light". The Hawaiians would burn the oil from the nuts for lamps. It's also the symbol for enlightenment, protection and peace. 

All around the top of the temple are these amazing carvings. ART HISTORY TIME!

 { Hopefully if you click on these they'll get bigger }

OLD TESTAMENT: In the middle is Adam, and Eve is kneeling at the alter of sacrifice. There's Moses sitting by the tree, with the tablets on his lap, and Israel represented by the woman on the far right--looking forward to a Messiah.

NEW TESTAMENT: Mary waits with a shepherd on the left, John the Baptist is featured and Christ in the center, and his left hand is restraining Peter from using a sword (remember that part?), while Jesus heals a blind man. Cornelius is seeking baptism from Peter, and we've got Saul/Paul being touched by the rays of light--then the edict of Constantine, the growth of the church and the reformation. Whew! That's some history to cover in one tight frieze.

ANCIENT AMERICAS: Lehi holding the Hebrew scriptures in the far right, followed by his young son Jacob and Nephi standing up to his brother Laman. Then we have the "Title of Liberty" and Samuel the Lamanite looking at the star. Christ, again in the center signifying his visit to the "other sheep I have that are not of this flock"...then the story of Hagoth sailing and expedition in a canoe never to return (believed to be the descendant of the Polynesian people) and interestingly we have on the far left, Colombia (the United States personified.) with a shield and a protective hand over the people of Hawaii...

MODERN DAY: The young boy Joseph kneeling and seeking an answer to prayer with God and Christ in the center. Notice a family in the background representing the family bonds that are connected through the ordinances in the temples. Also see Women representing the Relief society and the divinity of motherhood.

Below is another amazing piece by Avard Fairbanks -- MATERNITY --
 (Which unfortunately in our society has come to be only tied to pregnancy--so lets go back the original meaning of MOTHERHOOD. Because let's be real, you don't have to birth a child to be a Mom.  )

The plaque at the visitors center says it was done to add "charm and spiritual significance to the landscape." Charm? How about, "Finally, a piece of art that honors and gives some voice to something we profess to hold in high esteem!
Anyway, it was still lovely and I was happy to see it there...and check it out, she's wearing at lei!

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