Sunday, April 27, 2008

Unadorned Chapels

Today as I sat in our unadorned LDS meeting house chapel, I was struck by the contrast to so many of the beautiful places we saw in Italy. I have often wished our chapels were not so stark. You know how much decorators love adornment, right? Today I realized I love the simplicity of what we have. There is absolutely nothing visual to distract us from the reason we come to worship. Being a very visual person, this is something I can really appreciate as it helps me to focus on what is being said by our leaders and teachers. I can remember that as a little girl we attended a church that had beautiful stained glass windows and I can recall looking at them all the time and thinking more about the artistry and less about what they depicted.

I have to admit I love the beauty of the chapels in Europe, but my testimony became stronger today about being in the right place this morning. Although this chapel is a little more stark than most I have been in, today I just appreciated it more and found it restful to my eyes and spirit. I found it easier to feel of the Spirit and to learn. I found it easier to concentrate on all my blessings, to take the Sacrament, and to think about the central figure in our lives and our purpose for being there~Jesus Christ~ and all He has done and will do for us. I felt great joy in the choices we have made that have brought us to a humble place of worship each week for over 30 years. Affirmations like this are wonderful things, and today I felt especially happy to be a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Later-day Saints. The great beauty here goes deeper than the eye and well into the heart.

P.S. I do love it when someone puts fresh flowers on the stand though!


Laura said...

I had never really thought about the unadorned nature of our churches, but yeah, especially compared to Italy---they are very stark, but like you said, it makes you focus on the "real" things. Interesting, something to think about. Thanks, Laura