Thursday, December 31, 2009

Temple Trip #15 - Ogden Temple

The temple has been a place where we have received instruction from on high.  We have found guidance and direction and strength as we have visited nearly every temple in Utah in 2009 (Monticello pending).  These temple trips were made as opportunities presented themselves and babysitters became available.  It became natural for us to think of how we could make a temple visit in correlation with other trips.  Though each temple trip provided great peace and direction to our lives, this most recent temple trip came out of necessity due to recent trials where a greater eternal perspective was required.

Our faith has been tested in light of recent trials as we strive to have a family.  Miraculously Melissa once again became pregnant.  God's hand once again had been recognized and excitement and preparation permeated the holidays.  The joy of the holidays was dampened with the news that the baby didn't have a heartbeat and that there was no growth in the 7 week old fetus.  Needing greater strength provided only through the Lord, we traveled through the snow and smog to the Ogden temple.  We found understanding and a greater perspective as we worshipped in the Lord's house.

This temple and each temple has taught us much in whatever circumstances we find ourselves in.  How grateful we are for these sacred "schools" that educate us of God's ways and His plan for us and for our family.

Total miles = 370 heart-wrenching miles

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Temple Trip #14 - Jordan River Temple -Happy Birthday Joseph - 10 years

104 years ago this day the Prophet Joseph Smith was born. 10 years ago this day I went through the St. George temple with my family and Mark Corry and his family for the first time. Today we found ourselves remembering all that the prophet Joseph Smith had done in restoring the gospel by partaking of the blessings that flow from that restoration by going to the Jordan River temple.

In a way this was a birthday gift to the man who has done more for our family than anyone else, save Jesus Christ. The irony of this is that in giving this so called "gift" we got more in return by drawing closer to God, strengthening family by remembering covenants, and finding peace, joy, and revelation.

Total miles = 274 Birthday miles

Winter Wonderland

Though the best experiences happen in the temple, tonights winter wonderland stroll on temple square was just that, a "wonder" to behold. Minus Parker, who was enjoying the comforts of Grandma and Grandpa, we were able to have some time together to enjoy the beauties of nativity scenes from around the world and lights galore. It had the holiday feel as a fresh new coat of snow had recently blanketed the city. Amidst the crowds of people and the occasional snow plow, we took time to listen to the story of the first Christmas and reflect on the reason for the season.

After enjoying the lights and holiday cheer, it seemed fitting to get a nice cup of "hot chocolate." My suggestion of doing this was misunderstood and interpreted by Melissa as getting a "hot pocket". After a laugh and some clarification we stopped by a nearby market only to find that the machine was broken. Though disappointed not to have got "hot chocolate" or a "hot pocket" we returned home having warmed ourselves in the winter wonderland that temple square brings this time of year!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Through the Fog

A couple of conferences ago, one of the brethren talked about how we are really never lost when we can see the temple.  Well what happens when you can't see the temple?

Such was our experience in our trip to the Logan temple.  We found ourselves arriving in Logan in a dense fog, not knowing where the temple was in ideal conditions, let alone in foggy conditions.  We were assured that "you can't miss it".  Well, we were pretty sure that you can and luckily we didn't.  Following Melissa's instructions to "turn right" proved to be the smartest thing I did all trip.  We found the temple without much difficulty but learned a lesson in the process.

As we made the decision to "turn right" we were unsure of what we were doing but as we looked through the fog we could scarcely make out the temple.  We kept driving in the direction of the temple until it came into full view.  I learned that what happens in the temple and what we are taught within those walls helps us see through the "fog" that life sometimes is.  When we keep covenants, we are able to see right from wrong and what direction to head.  The more faithful and consistent we are in keeping those covenants, the clearer that things come into view.  This was the lesson I learned that "clearly" taught me something I hope we never forget.

Temple Trip #13 - Logan Temple - Over the Mountain and through the fog to the Lord's House we go

The warmth of the bed was abandoned early for this temple trip to Logan as we loaded the car at just after 5:00 AM leaving Parker in the ever eager and willing hands of Grandma, Grandpa and Aunt Brittany.  Braving the elements of single digit temperatures and dense fog we traveled over snow capped mountain passes and through fog engulfed valleys.  True to the spirit of the season we were traveling "over the mountains and through the fog to the Lord's House we go".  As we entered Logan we were unsure where the temple was.  We were told that we couldn't miss it.  The hovering fog eliminated this possibility but after a right hand turn off of main street and looking through the fog, we were able to spot the temple.  

We found warmth in all of its forms as we entered this pioneer temple.  We were well taught and grateful for the chance to serve those who have passed on ever mindful of the significance of this sacred work.

Leaving the temple and back into the brisk Logan temperatures we traveled home stopping a few times to do some last minute Christmas shopping and a visit with family.

Total Miles= 459 frigid miles - temps ranging from 0 - 32 degrees

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Touching the Temple

We have often heard the following story

 “Early in the week, Elder Thomas S. Monson of the Quorum of the Twelve suggested deep spiritual meaning in the physical presence of the temple. He recounted the late Elder Matthew Cowley’s story about a grandfather who took his small granddaughter on a birthday visit to the Salt Lake Temple grounds. With permission of the groundskeeper, they walked to the large doors of the temple. He suggested that she place her hand on the temple wall and then on the door, saying tenderly to her, ‘Remember that this day you touched the temple. One day you will enter this door.’ His special gift to his granddaughter was an appreciation for the House of the Lord. Likewise, counseled Elder Monson, ‘As we touch the temple, the temple will touch us.(’In JoAnn Jolley, “A Shining Beacon on a Hill: Jordan River Temple Is Dedicated,” Ensign, Jan. 1982, 77)

We took this counsel as we recently visited the Salt Lake Temple.  

One Grateful Husband

Saturday's mean football games and yard work.  They are days to get caught up on all that has been delayed and needs to be done.  It is a day to relax and enjoy stress free time.  This was what I thought Saturday's were for until my dear wife taught me otherwise.  Saturday's are days to be found in the Lord's house.  With the recent fall and surgery of Grandpa Gus and no doubt much on her mind she woke up early and did a session in the Salt Lake Temple with her dad.  Having been home alone all week and anticipating her return I anxiously called her hoping for a quick arrival only to get her mom on the other line telling me of their early morning trip to the temple (Saturday October 10).  

How grateful I am that I have a wife that loves the temple and goes there often.  How thankful I am that she goes there when the turmoil of life is pressing down on her.  How appreciative I am of a loving wife who sacrifices the Saturday pleasures to be serving in the Lord's house.  

As for her experience in the temple, I am going to leave that to her for the telling but in my case her actions have spoken louder than words.  Her actions echoed the words, "I love to see the Temple".