Sunday, November 27, 2016

Kanshasimasu, we thank thee

I'm a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, also known as the Mormons. When possible on Sundays, I discuss some things related to my faith and what I believe. With respect to your own beliefs, I hope this gives you a chance to get to know me and my religion a little better. For previous installments, click here.

While some go out shopping all day, my day after Thanksgiving tradition since 2007 has been to attend the temple. We are very blessed to have a temple quite close to us in Tokyo and Blake and I took the day on Friday to visit it!
If I can find this Nativity in a personal size, I would love it for my home. 

I've written a little about temples before here, but for us it is a chance to make certain covenants with Heavenly Father and receive religious instruction through specific ordinances that can only happen inside of the temple. Unlike church attendance, which is expected weekly, temple attendance can be as often as a person chooses. Blake and I have, thus far, tried to attend once a month and we'd like to continue that tradition here in Japan. The Tokyo temple is about 90 minutes away on the train, well, three trains, so our monthly goal should be quite doable.
The grounds are small, but so lovely.

We arrived midday on Friday and were greeted with a beautiful sight, just around the corner from our subway exit.

While the session we attended was in Japanese, we were able to use headsets for translation into English and speak with English-speaking temple workers when necessary. There are enough similarities between all the different temples that we were able to navigate some on our own too. Obviously, the ordinances are the same, but there has been great effort on the part of the church to design many temples to reflect the area where they are built. The Provo City Center temple, for example, has many references in its architecture to its pioneer heritage as a tabernacle first, while the Sapporo Japan temple has a zen garden!
There is also bright, colorful stained glass in the celestial room, which is really gorgeous with the sun shining through in a room that is otherwise all white or cream. Of course my heaven, which the celestial room is supposed to represent, will have some color to it!

Many temples also have cafeterias, or at least vending machines or microwaves and some tables to eat at, so workers and patrons can fuel up while serving in the temple. I had actually never eaten at a full service temple cafeteria before, so that was interesting. What was also interesting was that it was vending machine ordering! Not the temple one, since you can't take photos inside, but as a reference:

There was also a vending machine for beverages, which are all over the place, but at least we knew everything in this one would fit into our Mormon dietary guidelines!

This was also the same vending where you pay for any clothing you need to rent (we wear all white in the temple), in case you don't have your own. If you order food, you take it to the food counter, but you'd take your clothing ticket to the clothing counter down the hall. We were particularly delighted by this.

The curry had been recommended to us, so that was lunch for us after our session, and it really was so good and only 350 yen. This may become a tradition for us. On our way back to the train, we stopped at The Little Pie Factory. Also tasty, but we'll try another pastry shop or the Baskin Robbins we also spotted next time.

Apple cream cheese

It was a lovely day, and one I look forward to repeating soon!


Giggles said...

That is a beautiful nativity.

I volunteered in the Provo temple as the cashier in the cafeteria for several months. It was an interesting and sweet experience.

AmandaStretch said...

Per our discussion recently, they are holding the baby!