Emily Belle Freeman
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THIS IS MY JOY

AND MY GREAT REJOICING

The Way of Holiness

Isaiah 32:15 - Isaiah 38:15

This weekend I accepted an invitation to walk from the Draper Temple to the Salt Lake Temple.

We left the Draper Temple at 7:00 AM.

We arrived at the Salt Lake Temple at 3:00PM.

We walked to honor a man named John Moyle.  You can read his story here.

22 miles in 8 hours.  A day that will be forever etched into my heart.  The walk began with a quote from J. Golden Kimball, "When I think about the temple, every stone in it is a sermon to me.  It tells of suffering, it tells of sacrifice, it preaches ––every rock in it, preaches a discourse.  Every window, every steeple, everything about the temple speaks of the things of God, and gives evidence of the faith of the people who built it."  We thought about the stone that John Moyle carved, "Holiness to the Lord," after walking 22 miles on an artificial leg at the age of 77.  That stone became the evidence of his faith.  Holiness to the Lord became his sermon.

We each asked ourselves, "What is my sermon?  For the next several miles we spoke of what our individual sermons were...  Love well, serve well... carpe diem... live with no regrets... enjoy every moment... talk of Christ... stand as a witness... kindness matters...

At mile 11 we stopped for a rest.

We spoke of Saints who built the temples long ago.  "Come ye, with all your gold, and your silver, and your precious stones, and with all your antiquities; all that will come, may come...to build a house to my name, for the Most High to dwell therein."  (D&C 124:27-28)

These were Saints who brought their gold, their silver, and their precious stones.  They brought their finest.

We considered what it means to bring our finest to the Lord.  We thought about our service in our callings, our responsibilities for watch care, our willingness to keep covenants and commandments, and we committed to be more like those Saints who have gone before, to bring our finest.

We stopped again at mile 17.

We were foot sore and weary.  We looked to each other for strength.  The conversation turned deeper, we spoke of what it meant to be holy.  From the Bible Dictionary we learned that things that were considered holy were set apart for a sacred purpose.  We began to realize that if we want our life to be holy, then it must be set apart, consecrated, for a sacred purpose.  We considered what that holy purpose might be.

Brigham Young counseled, "Every moment of my life must be holiness to the Lord."

Every moment of my life must be set apart to the Lord.

Every moment of my life must be consecrated to the Lord.

Holiness comes from consecration...

Now, as we walked, we spoke of holiness.

Every one in the group had shown up that morning in exercise clothing. Every person except one.  He unexpectedly showed up in a kilt.  It was in the last 6 miles that I heard his story.  He made that kilt all by himself.  Ordered the fabric straight from Scotland.  The kilt would be worn only on special occasions.  He knew today was going to be special.  A day he wanted to always remember.  It qualified for wearing the kilt.  A day set apart, consecrated, holy.

"And an highway shall be there and a way, and it shall be called The way of holiness...but it shall be for those: the wayfaring men...the redeemed shall walk there...and come to Zion with songs and everlasting joy upon their heads: they shall obtain joy and gladness, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away."  (isaiah 35:8-10)

I spoke with a girl who moved here from Peru one week ago.  She heard about the walk on her first Sunday here, and she wanted to come.

In broken English she explained that this would be her very first time to see the temple.  She knew she would never forget it.  She worried her muscles were not strong enough for the challenge.  She spoke about the pain as she endured each step, eyes focused on the goal.

I won't ever forget the girl who walked with her the last mile, arm in arm.  In that moment a new friendship was forged.

On mile 22 I walked behind two brothers.

One brother could barely lift his foot to take another step, it was so blistered.

But giving up was not an option.

The other brother matched his stride step for step.

Speaking softly words of confidence, hand on back to steady...to offer strength.

Ensuring he would reach the end.

"Strengthen ye the weak hands, and confirm the feeble knees.  Say to them that are of a fearful heart, Be strong, fear not..."  (Isaiah 35:3-4)

There is something remarkable that happens when you walk the way of holiness.

You learn things about people you never knew before.  You learn things about yourself you never knew before.  This way of holiness is not meant for everyone...only the wayfaring ones...the ones who travel by foot...walking in the footsteps of the Lord.

One who walks in holiness every moment.

On the morning of June 23 we will gather together for a celebration in which we too will walk in the footsteps of the Lord.

Our walk will celebrate the Deliverer of the Old Testament, and the Savior of the New.  We will remember His tender mercies contained in the Book of Mormon, and the call to action found in the Doctrine and Covenants.  As we walk, we will consider the importance of allowing the Living Water to continually flow through our lives.

Last week we began putting together the final plans for the walk.  Details set in place months ago are being molded and shifted.  Inspiration is guiding the process.  My heart is filling with anticipation.  Every day I have received RSVP's.  Many of us will be walking here in Provo, Utah.  There is a Relief Society group that will walk with us on that same day in New Zealand.  Others will be walking in Nova Scotia, California, and Nevada.  If you would like to join us from where you are just send me an email...we will send you all of the instructions and supplies you need to do the walk from wherever you are.  Some have expressed a desire for a more manageable length of a walk.  This week we are considering several different trails.  They are between 7 and 10 miles in length.  We don't want anyone to feel excluded from participating, so we will try to find a route that will allow as many to participate as possible.  Next Monday I will include the exact milage and update the training chart.

This is a walk that will be different then any you have taken before.  It will be filled with experiences.  Along the way we will focus on the things of God, we will share evidences of faith, we will speak of Christ, and we will celebrate the opportunity we have to come daily closer to Him through the scriptures.

It feels like something remarkable is about to happen.

Friendship will be forged.  Hearts will be strengthened.

As we walk together in the footsteps of the Lord.

Emily Freeman