Brooke and Will,
I wanted to share some really neat things about Genesis 35.
This chapter builds on my testimony of the true pattern that our Heavenly Father works after.
Since the beginning of time Heavenly Father taught his children to build temples in order that we could have a place here on the earth, that was sacred, and holy; a place where He could teach us and make two-way covenants with us.
It is interesting that this chapter begins with Jacob having a vision of a ladder that reaches to Heaven, almost as if it is a premonition of the following direction given to Jacob of the Lord.
The Lord tells Jacob to go to Beth-el, which means " House of God ", and make an offering to Him.
( Genesis 35:1 -2 ).
Jacob tells his family that they have to be prepared to go to this place where he would make an offering to God, or in other words to the place Jacob would go to the temple.
To me, I see the true instruction that Joseph Smith was given in building temples by the Lord as well, and the fact that we must be prepared to enter into them by being worthy.
Jacob then tells his family to put away the " strange gods " they have among them. Meaning to go to this Holy place, you can not worship other Gods. ( Genesis 35:4 )
This reminds me of the way that we lay aside the things of the world as we prepare to enter the temple and as we strive to be worthy and hold a temple recommend. Truly the truth of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints shines through even stronger than common, in his chapter.
Then we see Jacob build this temple in Genesis 35:14, wherein this place Jacob also received a new name from the Lord which is " Israel ", and then gave a promise that " Israel " would be fruitful, and that nations and kings would be his.
Those nations and kings are now referred to as the Twelve Tribes of Israel, and even today, as part of those tribes, we have access to these same promises and blessings as we enter the temple and make and keep covenants with the Lord.
I feel it such a privilege to be past of this House of Israel. As a member of His church we are all part of " Israel " either by lineage or adoption into it.
I know that this pattern set forth by the Lord of building temples and all of the symbolism, and ordinances that happen there, are truly from our Father in Heaven. I know that the actions that we partake in there have actual Priesthood Power that is added to our lives each time that we attend the temple to help our brothers and sisters, and ourselves have communion with God in ordinances and covenants.
I can not wait to go to the temple with you my Brooke and William.
Love, Your Mother