Saturday, July 27, 2013

I Love to See the Temple

This was a week of miracles. One of the biggest struggles I've had this summer is trying to balance out college life and getting ready to leave on my mission, and trying to make it so the Spirit is always with me. It's very different from home, and I'm trying to find new creative ways  introduce the Spirit into my everyday life.
One of the ways I've done this in the past few weeks has been to make it to the temple before one of my best friends leaves on his mission to Oaxaca, Mexico. He's been pushing me to get it done ever since my call came, and I wanted to get it done while he's still here. 
So, I pushed through temple prep, and I got my temple recommend, and I assumed it would be easy enough to just schedule an appointment with the Bountiful Temple this week since it's the temple closest to my home. And then things started happening. For one, Pioneer Day is kind of a big deal in Utah, so of course every temple was closed. Then, someone chose to inform me that the Bountiful Temple was in fact closed all week for yearly maintenance work, and it doesn't open again until August 5th.
Luckily, other temples in the area were still open, so on Tuesday, I called the Draper Temple, and set an appointment to go through on Thursday, and continued to get everything ready to go. Here was the first miracle; just minutes before the temple called me back to confirm my appointment, someone else called in to cancel their appointment. If that hadn't happened, it likely wouldn't have even been possible for me to go through this week.
The next miracle came Wednesday night and into Thursday morning. Late Wednesday, the Stake Clerk in my home stake called to say that they were having difficulties in locating my records. Although I'm home every week to meet with my bishop, all of my records are apparently with my YSA Ward at BYU, and this created a problem on Wednesday when they told me I might not be able to go through. I jokingly told a friend with all my usual sass that I would be going through the temple Thursday night, but I really did mean it. It had been a goal for the past month to get it done, and I knew that going through the temple was something I needed to do ASAP. So, I kept a prayer in my heart all of that night. The next morning, I rolled out of bed and said my prayers, pleading with my Heavenly Father that I would be able to enter His house that evening. I nearly started crying when I opened the door of my bedroom to see my mom walking down the hallway to tell me that she'd just gotten off the phone with the stake clerk and that I would be able to go through the temple that night. My Heavenly Father knew it was what I needed.

And it was exactly that. I will not pretend to understand everything about LDS Temples, and I'm grateful to have a lifetime to come understand them a little bit better. But there is one thing I do know, and that is that there is a spirit unlike anything else inside the temple. Going through, two things truly struck me: 1) God has created a beautiful world for us to live in. It is meant to test us, to break us, and to reform us into something more than we were before. It is a blessing to be here, and it is a blessing to know that we have the ability to become infinitely more than we could every hope to be on our own through Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. 2) God loves us. Of all the things I have a testimony of, I think this is one of the most important. God loves us, and he wants us to succeed; he didn't place us here on this earth to fail. There were moments inside the temple that I could feel such love that it brought tears to my eyes- yes, moments, as in multiple times.
The temple is beautiful both inside and out, and it's truly representative of all that God desires for us.
I'm grateful that I have another 67 days until I leave for the MTC; it means I'll get many more opportunities to go through and come to know my Heavenly Father better each time. 

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