Sunday, June 21, 2009

Something I've looked forward to

It was really fun to be in Rexburg and watch the Rexburg Temple be built. Granted, I wasn't up there yet when the construction was started so I didn't see the ground breaking or framework going up, but I was still able to see progress. I remember the morning that they put Angel Moroni on the spire. The weather was awful. It was pouring rain--I was soaked and i was under an umbrella. Everyone on campus was so excited to see the statue go up. I remember receiving an e-mail telling us that if we were going to watch it and were going to be late to class that we would be marked absent. And although I was very strict with myself about not skipping class for anything, I remember telling myself that I didn't care. I would much rather watch the Angel Moroni placed on top of the temple than go to class because that isn't something you get to see very often in your life. I'll be lucky if I ever get to see that again. (Though I will admit that I really didn't care for the class I would have skipped--but I was able to make it on time.) I wasn't able to meet up with anyone I knew, so I stood alone, but that didn't matter. We all cheered as the crane lifted Moroni off the ground. I remember tears running down my face as the statue flew through the air and was settled into place.I loved how I could see the temple from my living room window and how it was the first thing I saw when I walked out the door to class in the morning. I remember how excited my roommates and I were the first time they turned the lights on the temple at night. We stood outside taking pictures despite the freezing cold. I spent many nights taking pictures of the temple from our balcony.

I was up in Rexburg during the temple open house. I went through it several times, once with my family and the rest with roommates. I was even able to volunteer at the open house twice. I loved feeling the Spirit in the temple, even during the open house. I remember being so excited for it to be dedicated so I could go inside and do baptisms, which I did almost on a weekly basis after the dedication. And I remember being so disappointed that the dedication was postponed for a week because President Hinckley, who was supposed to perform the dedication, passed away. But when President Monson came to Rexburg to dedicate the temple, it didn't matter. We were ready. Knowing that a Prophet of God was in Rexburg meant so much to all of us. As I sit here tonight, I remember the strong Spirit that I felt as I sat in the Hart that beautiful February morning (though you wouldn't know it with the warm temperatures and sunshine that day) waiting for the dedication to begin. Each week, I made the long, cold trek up the hill to the temple so I could perform baptisms for the dead. I had a long wait each time, but I never minded. Being able to sit in my Heavenly Father's house brough such peace to my life. Sometimes I went with roommates. Once I took Kesha when she was visiting me for the weekend. But usually I went alone and spent time pondering and in prayer or reading the scriptures. My temple days were the best days of the week and helped everything go better.

Well, yesterday was a day I have waited for for a long time. The Idaho Falls Temple is closed for cleaning and maintenance. So Mom, Dad, and I woke up early (I was up at 5:15) so we could drive up to Rexburg and go through a session there. I was so excited. I still remember the Spirit I felt as I walked through the temple during the open house, but the memory of the beauty of the temple (other than the baptistry) was fading. After all, it's been a year and a half since the open house. All I could clearly remember was the chandalier in the Celestial Room. I was so happy as I walked through the front door. As I sat waiting for the session to start, I thought about what the Rexburg temple means to me. When I was little, I called the Idaho Falls temple "My Temple." I couldn't wait to go inside. But with all of the service I have done in the Rexburg temple--both before and after the dedication--it truly has become "my temple." It was such and awesome experience to be able to do an endowment session in the Rexburg temple, and I plan on going back this week despite everything I have to do before I leave next week. It was truly a wonderful experience to be able to attend that beautiful temple which has been so much a part of my life for the past year and a half--and then some as I watched it go up.

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