New swarms of teeny bugs in the basement this morning. Wondering if the stuff I spread around outside, forced evacuations into to my house. Grr.
So, it was more "pick up the bugs with tape" game this morning. Followed by, using the vacuum to pick up any bits of whatever it may be that attracts the bugs on the basement floor, application of foam insulation around possible gaps between window frames and cement foundation, cleaning of basement windows and screens, purchase of alternate pest control product, etc.
The children also did some weeding in the front flower bed, weeding in the vegetable garden, and trench digging. My husband fixed the weed whacker, whacked some weeds, dug some trench and then directed children in washing both vehicles.
Over all, a productive morning in some ways, but not in the ways that I had hoped. I really wanted that trench to get a lot longer today. Maybe tomorrow.
After lunch, and a shower, my husband and I went to our nearest LDS temple and "did a session". For those who are not familiar with LDS doctrine, we believe that everyone will get a chance to hear and decide for themselves whether they will accept the gospel of Jesus Christ. Not everyone has lived in a place or time where the gospel was accessible. LDS members don't believe in a limbo necessarily, but for those who didn't have the chance to hear the gospel while they lived on this earth, there is a place where they can hear it in the hereafter. Jesus said baptism was required for salvation. So if someone couldn't have the opportunity to be baptized, someone else can represent them and then be baptized as a proxy for them. Of course, we don't know who would have accepted the gospel in life had they had the chance. So we try to search out our ancestors who might not have had the opportunity and we do that ordinance work for them in our temples. We don't assume that just because we have been baptized for someone that they are automatically "saved" or members of the LDS church. That is up to the person that the work is done for. They can choose to accept the gift, or not.
We didn't do baptisms for the dead today, but we did perform other vicarious ordinance work for deceased persons. These simply involve covenants with the Lord to do our best to obey His commandments. Again, the people we did the work for can either accept the work done on their behalf, or not. It's their choice. But since we can't ask them personally, we just do the work and trust that God will work everything out in the end.
I know some people think this is a crazy idea, and some think it insulting. For those who don't believe in a Supreme Being and say that we are arrogant to think that anyone who is dead could possibly want or need this work be done for them, well, all I can say is, if there isn't a God then we're not hurting anybody by doing what we do. As long as we are doing the work for our own ancestors, then it's our family business. I definitely don't like it when some members take it on themselves to try to do work for those who are NOT part of their family, especially those whose legitimate heirs have said "no". We are not supposed to search out people who are not in our direct family relations. Members have been told this many times and I hope the word has gotten out by now and is taken very seriously.
On the other hand. If we assume there is a God, and assume that He wants every one of his spirit children to have a chance to hear His gospel and follow his commandments. In that case, what we do in our temples is a vital service to those who never had the chance to be baptized or receive the Gift of the Holy Ghost, etc. It would be cruel not to do this work for those of our brothers and sisters who died without baptism.
We believe Jesus Christ loves all of us equally, and doesn't ask anything of us that is impossible to do. I don't believe He would want to say to anyone, "Oh, you never heard my gospel while you were alive on earth? Too bad, so sad." I'm sure he wants to give everyone their best chance to obtain salvation. So that's why we believe in doing vicarious work for the dead. The work has to be done, and for those who can't do it themselves, the work is done for them if they choose to accept it.
Okay you got the longish explanation.
Tomorrow I'm determined to get in that trench and make some progress!