Sermoncitos, a family tradition
We all need a tree!
JoAnn and I look for a "worry tree" in front of each temple we enter, that we may hang our worldly cares on, before entering the house of the Lord. The Spokane temple has two of them on either side of the walkway. They are spiral in cut and are perfect to deposite such thoughts and worries. We figure they spiral right down into the depths of the earth, some never to be heard of again. True, some are clinging to the roots when we come out again, but strangely, they don't seem as threatening as when we hung them there.
I read the following story of a man who had a similar habit with a tree that was positioned in front of his house.
"I hired a plumber to help me restore an old farmhouse, and after he had just finished a rough first day on the job: a flat tire made him lose an hour of work, his electric drill quit and his ancient one ton truck refused to start. While I drove him home, he sat in stony silence. On arriving, he invited me in to meet his family. As we walked toward the front door, he paused briefly at a small tree, touching the tips of the branches with both hands. When opening the door he hugged his two small children and gave his wife a kiss. Afterward he walked me to the car. We passed the tree and my curiosity got the better of me. I asked him about what I had seem him do earlier. 'Oh, that's my trouble tree', he replied 'I know I can't help having troubles on the job, but one thing's for sure, those troubles don't belong in the house with my wife and the children...so I just hang them up on the tree every night when I come home and ask God to take care of them. Then in the morning I pick them up again.' 'Funny thing is', he smiled, 'when I come out in the morning to pick'em up, there aren't nearly as many as I remember hanging up the night before."
Elder Packer said, "Sometimes our minds are so beset with problems, and there are so many things clamoring for attention at once, that we just cannot think clearly and see clearly. At the temple the dust of distraction seems to settle out, the fog and the haze seem to lift, and we can see things that we were not able to see before and find a way through our troubles that we had not previously known."
Go to the temple often. Don't drag extra worldly distractions into the your home or into the temple. Turn your attention to Heavenly Father and the Savior and the Holy Spirit will help you solve what seemed to be insermountable mountains of problems and worries.
Nathan L. Howard