I belong to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I know who I am. I know God's plan. I'll follow him in faith. I believe in the Savior, Jesus Christ. I'll honor his name. I'll do what is right; I'll follow his light. His truth I will proclaim.

I Know that My Redeemer Lives!

I Know that My Redeemer Lives!

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Gospel Message Day 56

Temple Ordinances, Day 3

So, before I move on to some of the other ordinances, I just wanted to share some personal experiences I have had with the first two. Nothing too sacred because that would lessen their sacred nature. These are just a few things which have provided sweet, strengthening memories that have more firmly anchored my experience and testimony of temples and temple work.

Where I grew up, we did not have temples nearby. Our closest temple was 8+ hours away (depending on who was driving). Traveling there included going through some very windy roads in mountains, not safe to cross during at least half of the year. (Trust me--I remember traveling that pass twice. Once as a teen, another as an adult. Both times were horrendous and quite frightening.) It meant a great deal whenever we managed a trip to go.

Because of cost, our stake (geographical boundary that contains an average of 8 congregations or wards within it) was only able to hire a coach bus twice a year and load it with teens from each ward in the stake. It was very rare for you to go more than once a year on a bus temple trip because seating was so limited. I'm not sure of the exact reasons, but just after I was eligible to go to the temple, they stopped the bus trips. I worried that meant my chances to go would be even less, but they actually increased. Now ward members worked together to try to get as many of the youth who wanted to attend the temple to be able to go both times in the year. I was blessed to be able to go twice as much more, and I'm grateful for all the sacrifices my ward members made to help us youth go to the temple more.

The temple trips as a family were the best. Temples are all about family. We create eternal links to ancestors and descendants--dead, living, and yet to live. So traveling in a car for 16+ hours together, plus being together in the temple serving others is a great way to increase and strengthen the eternal bonds we have as a family.

I especially loved seeing my siblings perform these ordinances. I looked up to my siblings more than I did with any one else. I admired them and adored them. They were part of the bus temple trip experiences. I listened to each of their stories enraptured. There were the funny 2am restaurant experiences, but there were also the spiritual ones. I spent my childhood and teen years watching each sibling gain experiences and privileges (going to dances, going on dates, attending the temple, etc.) as they got older, which had me all the more excited and looking forward to when I was able to have those for myself. They helped me gain a testimony of temples before I was ever able to enter one.

As a teen whose emotions were medically more roller coaster than the typical teen, having a place to go where I could find peace inside and out meant a lot. The temple was the only place that provided that for me. I was serving. I was at peace. I was with family and friends. And I knew I was loved. To have that available during my formative years, I don't think it is any wonder why I still love temples so much. Temples are a solid, foundational part of my testimony of the Gospel.

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