A Little Part of History
The other day Elder Holland said something at the groundbreaking ceremony for the Provo City Center Temple that really touched me. I can’t remember it word for word; so forgive me for paraphrasing. But he said something along the lines that sometimes we are so close to history we don’t even realize that we are making it.
I turn 28 tomorrow. It’s not big deal. I don’t like birthdays. Actually, I hate the attention that comes from birthdays. If you’re reading this before Wednesday, you would actually make me most happy by not wishing me a happy birthday. I only make mention of it though because it has me feeling somewhat nostalgic. And, coupled with Elder Holland’s thoughts from the other day, I can’t help but reflect on life.
Take today for instance. For those of us who are Latter-day Saints (whom this blog is really written for anyways) it is a day to rejoice. Why?
This is why…
As I wrote the other day, we’re living in some really historic times as far as the Dispensation of the Fullness of Times is concerned. We are getting to see the fulfillment of prophecy that temples would dot the Earth. Ol’ Moroni arriving in Gilbert and getting ready to take perch in the sunshine of southern Arizona tomorrow is part of that fulfillment.
I love temples. I love everything about them. I love their architecture. I love their landscaping. I love the smell of the chlorine from the baptistry. I love the hushed and reverent way in which everyone talks. I love the feeling you get when you see them. I love everything.
I remember when I was a young boy, perhaps only four or five years old, we would drive past the Manti Temple near my home of Redmond, Utah and I would press my head against the glass to watch it as long as I possibly could as we drove up Hwy. 89. I loved the Manti Temple. I thought it was a castle. And I remember telling my mom, my grandma, my uncle, my cousins, and everyone that I was going to live there some day. I wanted to be inside of it. I wanted that feeling that I got every time we went by to be with me always…
I wanted to return to my Heavenly Father.
Only I didn’t know that at the time.
To me it was a castle. No one was kind enough to inform me that it was a “Mormon Temple” until I was about eight or nine years of age. – That’s what you get for growing up a Lutheran boy in a family of Jack Mormons. – But the warm feelings I got when I saw the temple would never go away.
I still get those feelings every time I see a temple, or talk about the temple, or even think about the temple. When I was a teenager and got to go on our monthly baptismal trips to the Birmingham Alabama Temple, it was always the highlight of my month. When it came time to choose where to go for a senior trip after high school, I chose the Nauvoo Temple open house. And a year later when I was preparing to serve as a full-time missionary for the Church, I returned back to the Nauvoo Temple to partake of the holy ordinances of the Endowment there.
So what do history, temples, and feeling nostalgic all have to do with one another?
Tomorrow I’ll be turning 28, and I confess that I am looking at my life and pondering all of the experiences which I have had.
Would I change a thing?
Not a chance. Collectively, the good, the bad, the ugly, and even the heartbreaking experiences have all made me who I am today. I’m far from perfect (and far from even being the man I want to be), but I am happy with my life and at peace with where it’s at.
My life is simple. My goals are simple. But at the end of the day, everything for me centers back to the temple, and the amazing feelings that come from them.
Today was a historic day for the Saints in Arizona. They will soon have three Houses of the Lord in the Phoenix Metro area. But there will come a day when there are even more.
I hope that as we live our lives each day we won’t miss out on the amazing history that is occurring around us, both in the Church, and in the world at large.
In my original post about temples the other day I shared one line from The Standard of Truth. However, that does not do justice to the Prophet Joseph’s words. This is the entire thing:
“Our missionaries are going forth to different nations . . . the standard of truth has been erected; no unhallowed hand can stop the work from progressing; persecutions may rage, mobs may combine, armies may assemble, calumny may defame, but the truth of God will go forth boldly, nobly, and independent, till it has penetrated every continent, visited every clime, swept every country, and sounded in every ear, till the purposes of God shall be accomplished, and the Great Jehovah shall say the work is done.”
History of the Church 4:540
Though Hell itself with all its armies may fight against us, we will win. I’m just glad to be part of that battle and its history.