In the dedicatory prayer of the Kirtland Temple in 1836, the Lord revealed, through the Prophet Joseph Smith, the high standard of devotion he desired for his people as they endeavored to become temple worthy and visit his house. This is also the pattern for each of us to follow as we strive to establish gospel-centered homes:
Organize yourselves; 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 order, a house of God (D&C 88:119; 109:8).
The Lord's counsel to us in this scriptural text is inspirational in its entirety, but it is even more impressive and powerful when considered one phrase at a time. When “unpacked” line by line and analyzed closely, it becomes apparent that each phrase builds upon the preceding one, leading us incrementally to a glorious goal.
- “Organize yourselves.” This is where we start, with ourselves. We must first get ourselves put together, become disciplined, and take charge of our lives in compliance with the principles of the gospel.
- “Prepare every needful thing.” We need to prepare ourselves by gaining the necessary temporal and spiritual knowledge and acquiring the related basic skills to make a home.
- “Establish a house.” After organizing ourselves and making adequate preparations, we are then ready to embark upon “establish[ing] a house.” This house is not just about boards and bricks and mortar. It is a structure whose foundation is the rock of our Redeemer, who is Christ, the Son of God. (see Helaman 5:12).
- “A house of prayer.” Blessed is the family that makes prayerful communications with their Father in Heaven an integral part of each day.
- “A house of fasting.” Through fasting we are humbled and we become submissive to the will of the Lord, trusting that whatever happens is for our ultimate good and blessing. At the same time, fasting enables us to help those around us by calling upon the powers of heaven in their behalf.
- “A house of faith.” Through prayer and fasting we can then be worthy to have “a house of faith.” Faith is the reward of righteousness.
- “A house of learning.” This faith then entitles us to have “a house of learning,” to be tutored by the Spirit.
- “A house of glory.” Taught and tutored by the Spirit, we then have “a house of glory.” A house of glory is one of adoration, praise, and thanksgiving. It is a house of joy unto the Lord.
- “A house of order.” Think of the peace and comfort that comes to us through temporal and spiritual order in our homes. We are prepared at this point to have the Spirit of the Lord in our midst.
- “A house of God.” With the Spirit of the Lord in our midst, our house literally becomes “a house of God,” a place wherein the Spirit of the Lord may dwell. A house of God is illuminated by light and truth. It is a safe place, providing a refuge for our families from the spiritually destructive storms of the world. A house of God is a holy place.
What more could we ask for in our homes?