Monday, October 3, 2011

I'm Going There Someday

This last July, while teaching Sharing Time during Primary I gave a lesson on Temples. Even to the youngest children within our church, we recognize and understand temples to be sacred, holy temples. Not only do we believe temples to be the House of God, we believe temples to be places of refuge, security and ultimately the key to our eternal salvation.

As I taught the particular lesson that July Sunday, I became emotional as I looked out at the Primary Children in the room that have all seen numerous temples in their lifetime. All of the children in our Primary can see a temple from their bedroom, house or nearby street. I explained to these children that there are some children in the world that very day receiving the exact same lesson they were, that would never in their lifetime see a temple.

A very humbling thought.

And then there is Joshua and Drew. Both of which began singing the Primary favorite, "I Love to See The Temple" before learning any other song. Both of them, but especially Joshua has always seemed to have a soft spot for temples, perhaps it is from having it within view of his bedroom window since birth. At least a couple of times a month Joshua asks to drive by the temple. Though only a ten to twelve minute detour at the most, I always seem too busy, too rushed, or too distracted to oblige.

On top of that, our two-three times a year visit to the Salt Lake Temple grounds has been put off for far too long. We have been long overdue for a visit.

On Thursday afternoon Joshua asked to drive by the temple. With a tight schedule ahead for the afternoon/evening, I began my typical 'not today' speech. But then I interrupted myself. I remembered my sharing time lesson from July, and while recalling the thousands of Primary children who have never seen a temple, I drove Joshua and Drew right by our temple. Their smiles were big, only stopping to sing out refrains from their Primary favorite. We circled the temple three times and went on our way.

Joshua, obviously feeling as though he had finally conquered one of his long term requests, stepped up his request and asked, "Now can we go see the 'other temple'?" Knowing full well I could not fit it in that night, I promised him, 'Very soon.'

About 24 hours later, I delivered on my promise.

I won't tell you that it was a spiritual, peaceful, family outing. It wasn't.
But we went.
We saw the beautiful temple, we basked in the beauty of the temple grounds, and I did my best to instill in my children the gratitude they should feel for having so many temples so close to them.
It was the perfect beginning to what we members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, call Conference Weekend. (A chance we have to listen to the leaders we believe to be prophets, seers and revelators, speak to us.)

Capped off with a visit on Sunday afternoon to a session of General Conference with Mike, Megan and Luke. I'd say it was beautiful, spiritual and enlightening, but I would be cheating myself of remembering that Mike grabbed and held on pretty tight to Luke's knee to prevent any further misbehavior during one of the talks. I swore at both kids as we navigated our ways through the crowded traffic. I gave Megan a threatening look to diffuse a giggling fit she and Luke were about to embark on at the wrong time. I packed and ate too many Hot Tamales during the session, that I ended up wishing desperately that I'd packed a toothbrush and toothpaste.

But it was spiritual and enlightening in it's own way. There is nothing that compares to standing and singing a hymn of praise with thousands of others. There is nothing like being within feet of our beloved prophet and leaders. There is nothing like having the exposures, and experiences that we do living within minutes of our church headquarters.

We are blessed, and I am committed to not let my kids take for granted their close proximity to our church headquarters, or to the temples scattered within miles of our hometown.

And so contrary to Luke's desperate hopes that I will never again get tickets to a session of conference. (I admit, two hours is a long time to sit listening.) I told him I will. Sometime when Ellie is old enough to go (children over 8 only allowed to attend inside the Conference Center), and then again when Joshua is, and then again when Drew is, we will do our best to attend a session of conference.


Like my little boys' favorite 'I Love to see the Temple' song says:
"...A place of love and beauty."

Indeed it is.

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