Monday, February 17, 2014

Provo Temple: House of the Lord

I have just finished my last day of volunteer work at Provo Temple.  Just one of our many bittersweet goodbyes in Provo before we begin our road trip to our first duty station.  I LOVE the temple!  It is my absolute favorite place to spend time.  It is the house of the Lord.  If you haven't been to an LDS temple before, it's a very unique experience.  Stepping onto temple grounds is like stepping out of this world.  The cares of the world fall silent and forgotten within the temple gates, and a peaceful spirit is nearly tangible.  It is a place of peace, tranquility, joy, learning and healing.  The sacred spirit of the temple provides comfort and an eternal perspective for me even on my hardest days.
A February Morning at the Provo, Utah LDS Temple
The temple is so important to Rob and I.  While I lived in Oregon the nearest LDS temple was in Portland, a two-hour drive away.  Between travel, meals and time spent at the temple, it was an all-day experience, so I only made it to the temple twice a year with the youth in my ward.  It was such a special occasion I looked forward to throughout the year.  When I moved to Provo, Utah for college, there were suddenly 12 temples within a two hour drive of my home!  The Provo, Utah temple is only 6 minutes from home, and the Provo City Center LDS Temple is being built only 2 minutes away!  Wow!  I'm in heaven!  At first I would walk or carpool to the temple as often as I could, and now that Rob and I have a car we go together every week.  We started "collecting" temples just for fun and we have done work in 9 out of the 15 currently operating temples in Utah so far.  When Rob left for training, I continued to attend the temple weekly, and it's one of the things that most helped me "endure well" while he was gone.
The Amazing Provo City Center LDS Temple on Stilts
There were a couple weeks during Rob's absence when I started to lose momentum and I slipped into a very deep, lonely sadness.  Tears came out of nowhere, I lost my appetite, and I could not find peace.  Out of embarrassment I shut myself in, rarely left the house and ignored the door bell, emails, texts and phone calls.  Due to isolation, my somber mood and my lack of appetite, I became very sick and weak.  I did everything in my power to reach out to God for help and healing.  Still, I felt so alone in my trial.  The days I attended the temple were full of peace.  I could feel God's love for me and I knew again that everything would be okay.  The rest of the week, though was just as hard to bear as before.  When I finally found the courage to act on a promise given in a recent LDS General Conference talk, things started to turn around for me.
"Tiny Roses" Just Outside the CTB on BYU Campus
In the April, 2012 LDS General Conference, President Dieter F. Uchtdorf gave a talk titled, "The Why of Priesthood Service."  During the talk, he shared the promise, "God is faithful.  Through the Holy Spirit, He will speak to our minds and hearts concerning the path we should follow during each segment of our lives."  During my dark hour, these words echoed in my heart and mind until I visited a sacred, quiet spot in the Mount Timpanogos, Utah LDS Temple and prayed to my Father in Heaven that I might be able to know my purpose in this season of my life.  The impression I received was very clear.  I need to spend more time in the temple.  I should ask my bishop for the opportunity to work in the temple.

I started working as a volunteer in the Provo, Utah LDS Temple in early September 2013.  I wish I would have thought to start earlier! These last 5 months of service have been so blessed!  The more time I spend in the temple, the closer I feel to my Father in Heaven, and the stronger I become even against my greatest trials.  I've met some amazing people through my service, and learned so much.  With a little help from the temple workers and patrons, I caught the genealogy bug and have since spent hours finding and serving my ancestors.  I have found greater purpose in my existence and true joy in service.  My hardships seem so small when I'm focused on serving God's children.

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