A Monumental View Of Heaven


Having grown up in the suburbs of Maryland gave me proximity to our Nation’s capital.  In fact, I was born in it.   So, on occasion as a family, mostly when relatives came to town,  we would go sightseeing to Washington D.C.   One of the sites we often visited was the Washington Monument.  Erected in 1884 in commemoration of our first president, it stands 555 feet high, (almost two football fields), and is still the highest building in the city.  It is certainly one of the most famous landmarks of our country. I recall as a small boy playing on the fields surrounding it while Fourth of July fireworks exploded above it in the hot humid air; its white marble obelisk shape silhouetted again the black of the night.  Back in the 1960’s you were allowed to climb the stairway up to the top of the monument.  My siblings and I would enter its doors, then race as fast as we could to see who could get to the top first.  Once there, you have a wonderful view of the entire city as well as parts of the countryside of Maryland and Virginia.  I still recall the beauty of it!

Between the “demands” of high school days, a mission and college, years went by before I found the time to revisit the Washington Monument one hot summer day.  By his time I had become a man, married with a small child.  Fortunately rules had been implemented making the “scaling” of this great monument illegal, thus allowing me the dignity of taking the elevator to the top. When I reached the top for my panoramic view of the area, I saw that something else had changed.  The view!  There, nestled above the tops of the green trees, almost as if it was floating on air, was the majestic Washington D.C. temple. It had been built just a few years before.  The angel Moroni’s gold horn seemed to be sounding to the world “Come to the house of the Lord!” and its white marble seemed to outshine the marbled building in which I stood.

As I stood there that day, my mind started to soak in that sacred edifice and it’s significance in my life.  In it I had made sacred covenants to the Lord to give of all that I had, or would ever have, in building up His kingdom.  It was there that I had entered and promised before Him, angels, and all witnesses that I would love, honor, and cherish my wife, not just for this life, but for eternity.  It was there that promises were made to me that if I would live according to my covenants, my wife, children, and I could “inherit eternal life” together.(Matthew 19:27) It brought to my mind that it represented so much more than the monument I was standing in.  Its spires, that stood reaching to the heavens, represented all of my hopes and dreams as a man. It stood as a monument to my faith in a God, His plan, and of the purpose of my own existence.  In short, it peaked out of the greenery as a reminder that it could give me a glimpse into the eternities.

Now, so many years later, I have a better perspective on the short duration of this “so-called life”. It is temporary, it is short, and it will end sooner than we want or expect.  It is a testing ground of our faith.  It is a battleground for the souls of men.  A visit here is a necessary part of our progression. But, lest we forget our home, we have been provided sanctuaries, places of repose and peace called temples.  They are “monuments” to our God, our Father and our Savior.

I have since returned to the top of the Washington Monument on a number of occasions. But none have been sweeter than that day, when I first saw, from its top, a “monumental view of heaven” from here on earth!

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