Yesterday was an eternally significant day.
On Friday, October 5, 2012, I entered the Twin Falls Temple to make and keep sacred covenants in the house of the Lord.
My parents and older sister and I woke up bright and early and made the two-hour drive from our home in Boise to Twin Falls, where we arrived just as the sun was rising on an absolutely beautiful day.
For members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, temples are the most sacred places on earth. They are different from our regular meetinghouses (where visitors are always welcome), and are where worthy members of the Church go to learn more about God's plan for His children, make sacred promises, and strengthen their relationship with our Heavenly Father. Here in the temple families are bound together forever, and as a result of what is done there, we can receive the greatest blessings that God has to offer His children.
We do not talk about what goes on inside the temple outside of it, because these things are very sacred and precious. We want to give them the respect and honor they deserve. The things of the temple are not secret, jealously guarded by a select few who try to make sure that no one finds out about them. Rather, we invite all to prepare themselves and qualify for the blessings of the temple.
I was so privileged to have three generations of my family with me in the temple yesterday. I felt so prepared and comfortable there because of the faithful examples of temple worship that have been set for me by my parents, my older sister, and my grandparents. I come from a long line of covenant-keeping men and women, and I know that many of my family members, seen and unseen, were rejoicing yesterday because of the choice I have made.
Left to right: My sister Tara, my mother, my father, me, and my Grandma Ward in front of the temple.
This is my Grandpa Ward. Anytime the camera comes out he bolts and runs for cover, but we ambushed him in his truck and even got a smile out of him. Isn't he wonderful?
These wonderful people are Sister Elann Petersen (left) and Sister Janice Hendry (right). I was sad that Sister Karen Stephens, my other friend who came to be with me at the temple yesterday, had to go before we could take a picture. I missed Sister Charisse Coles, who couldn't make it to Twin Falls yesterday as well. These women have loved me and supported me and counseled me, and really, have helped raise me. They have been my spiritual mentors, my leaders, and my friends. I am the woman I am today in part because of their wonderful influence in my life.
This is Sister Call, my attendant at the temple, who helped me and guided me and was with me every step of the way. I was so grateful for her service, and I was lucky enough to catch her just as she was coming out of the temple so we could take a picture. She was so lovely and kind and very in tune with the Spirit of the Lord.
Yesterday was a glorious day. I can't describe the feelings of joy and love I experienced at the temple. The day was perfect. It did not happen the way I expected, but it happened exactly the way I wanted. I can't wait to return to the temple again and again and again to learn more of the ways of God and become more of the woman He wants me to be.
I know that God desires all of His children to receive the blessings of the temple, and I invite all who are able of the general public to come to the open house of the Boise Idaho Temple that is happening October 13th through November 10th. Come and see for yourself what temples are all about.
I am reminded of the words of a children's song we sing in our church:
I love to see the temple
I'm going there someday
To feel the Holy Spirit
To listen and to pray
For the temple is a house of God
A place of love and beauty
I'll prepare myself while I am young
This is my sacred duty.
Yesterday, "someday" was today.
And I am eternally grateful.