Wednesday, May 11, 2022

The Mountain of Aslan's Country

I wrote previously about how the move to Texas affected my mental health. Thankfully things have improved for me emotionally since I wrote that post, but I still take Anna’s words to heart, “Stumbling toward the light.” One place I have found that light and peace: the temple. 

Living in Utah for twelve years, I got accustomed to living near temples. Even when COVID hit and I couldn’t attend the temple, it was still possible to visit the grounds. Now living in Texas, I have to be very intentional to make time to drive into Dallas for the temple. 

Sometime after a particular temple trip last year, I was driving to work, listening to my audiobooks. I came across a portion of The Silver Chair that struck me:

“Here on the mountain I have spoken to you clearly: I will not often do so down in Narnia. Here on the mountain, the air is clear and your mind is clear; as you drop down into Narnia, the air will thicken. Take great care that it does not confuse your mind. And the signs which you have learned here will not look at all as you expect them to look, when you meet them there. That is why it is so important to know them by heart and pay no attention to appearances. Remember the signs and believe the signs. Nothing else matters.”

It’s interesting that CS Lewis would use the mountain of Aslan’s Country as the setting for Aslan to give instructions to Jill Pole, who has stumbled into Narnia for the first time. In the church, we use “mountain of the Lord” synonymously with the temple. That’s literally what we’re looking at here in The Silver Chair!

Once we leave the temple, life gets complicated again and it’s instantly harder to stay focused on the covenants and impressions from the temple. Just like Aslan’s signs, if we don’t keep the gospel and the Celestial perspective in our minds, we will lose our focus and forget. The moment Jill stopped reciting the signs and keeping them forefront in her mind, they started being forgotten. 

In the temple, we can find “strength beyond [our] own” as we meditate and ponder on the experiences there. It’s so much easier to feel the “quiet and calm in my heart” with the outside world shut out. We can “feel heaven here” as we serve in the temple. And as we keep our covenants in focus, we can bring that feeling of heaven into the world as well. (lyrics from "Strength Beyond My Own" and "I Feel Heaven Here")

And if you can believe it, Aslan’s Country in The Silver Chair was even a poor representation of the final Aslan’s Country in The Last Battle. So if the temple is heaven on Earth, imagine the peace of real heaven!

If you live in the Washington DC area, check out the temple open house between now and June 11

Check out the virtual tour of the Washington DC temple by Elder Renlund and Elder Stevenson

List to "Follow Him" by John Bytheway and Hank Smith for their recent podcast episode (episode 19) about the Biblical Israelite temple/tabernacle

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