Sunday, August 30, 2009

On Temple DEDICATION, in Every Sense

Our gospel doctrine teacher opened his lesson today with an oddly gleeful admission that he had skipped church while vacationing in Utah last Sunday. I must admit to being a little surprised by his obvious pleasure, because he's pretty much of a stickler for such things. Then he explained.

As those of you who call Utah home are already aware, LDS church services were not held in your state last week. In other words, there WAS no church. Why? Because President Monson cancelled it. Yep, for the first time ever, in my memory anyway, the Prophet called the whole thing off! Instead, members were encouraged to attend a dedication session of the Oquirrh Mountain Temple with their families.

As it happens, four people from my ward family were visiting the area last week and managed to attend the dedication on the spur of the moment. This morning, each one of them spent a couple of minutes during Sunday School sharing their experience, and each one of them was overcome with emotion in speaking of it. Listening to their powerful testimonies of the temple made me wish I could have been there as well.

Several years ago, I was privileged to attend the dedication of the Palmyra Temple in a similar manner. Being there (even vicariously) affected me so deeply that I wrote down a testimony of that day for my posterity. This very personal witness, recorded expressly for my children (and my children's children), feels a little too sacred to share in such an open forum as this, but these two excerpts describing my thoughts and feelings do seem appropriate:

"I felt a love for my Redeemer and for the temples He has commissioned to do the work of bringing eternal families back to Him; and I knew that I wanted my children to understand, as I do, the significance of temples and the saving and exalting ordinances performed there."

"Everything we came here [to earth] to accomplish is centered in those sacred buildings, and as I heard the Prophet invite the Lord to visit His house, I knew with even greater clarity that He would and does visit His house, and that He desires us to be there with Him, as frequently as possible."

A valuable personal challenge, inspired by the dedication of each beautiful new temple like this one, would be to increase my own dedication to serving more frequently in the temple near my home. I miss too many opportunities to be there, and I need to do better.


Jill said...

Thank you for sharing this. I needed to read it.

Carolyn said...

Wonderful words to ponder.

jen said...

We attended the open house while we were in UT in July, and it really is beautiful there. Quite a view of the valley. I just don't think there can be too many opportunities to get my whole family in the temple together.
Maybe they'll do that in the Valley here when they dedicate our two temples under construction. Hope so.

karen said...

I know - why is is that we have a temple so close, yet I have such a hard time getting to it on a regular basis? Too tired after work, too busy on Saturday, on and on... You're not the only one who needs to do better.

Natalie said...

I need to do better also! Thanks for the inspiration. ;)

KC Mom said...

I'm a huge fan of those temple dedications!! My first one was the Portland temple with President Benson...amazing.
I've also attended Winter Quarters and Palmyra. The spirit is so strong at dedications.
I'm really looking forward to ours in KC!!!

em said...

i'm working on getting a babysitter once a month so i can go all by my very own self one morning. i think i'm all set for next week:-) can't wait!

Heather Anderson said...

I went to the dedication of the SD temple (years ago) as a teen and it changed my life and gave me the desire to find Matt and marry in that temple... and we did on June 12 1999 the BEST day of my life. Temples are the most peaceful place for me and I am so grateful that they dot the earth and remind us of our purpose here.

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