Sunday, January 3, 2010

Temples of Utah

I had a goal this year to attend all the temples in Utah. I got very close to achieving that goal and intend to finish it very soon. I got to see 12 out of the 13. It was an amazing experience to see the difference in architecture from the pioneers to the modern day. I didn't see angels, or have any life changing experiences, but I did gain a stronger testimony and an appreciation for those that came before me and for those I was helping along in their eternal progression. 

April 29, 2009 - Salt Lake City

I have attended the Salt Lake temple many times, along with a few other temples I visited but seeing every one right after the other I was amazed at the ornate detail that went into this temple. I can’t even imagine the work that the pioneers put into this all by hand. No power tools, no assembly lines, just pure hard work and sacrifice. My appreciation for them has grown immensely. I am able to enjoy the beauty of the temple because of the faithful saints that followed their testimonies and the voice of the spirit. 

I had the most wonderful opportunity to go to Siri’s sealing. She is such a sweet girl that I consider one of my very own sisters. It was so wonderful seeing her take the right steps. It was a privilege to be a part of it. Being in a sealing session helps solidify my testimony of the divine role of women and men. It amazes me that God was so smart to make two totally different types of people that can compliment each other so well. Someday I will have the blessing of being sealed to a wonderful man and enjoy the blessings of Motherhood. What greater joy can anyone receive? Thank you Siri for letting me be a part of it. There was no better way to start off my Utah Temple Journey!

April 30, 2009 - Draper Temple

How wonderful it is to have a new temple to attend. The growing spirit of temple work in this church has just blown my mind. Just to think that only 10 years ago there were only 50 or so operating temples and now we have over 130 announced or working. And to think I have 13 of those temples just within a 4 hour drive of my house, not to mention the one I have only 5 minutes away.  What a blessing to live in Utah!

I was out looking for jobs this day seeing as I had just gotten out of school and needed to start saving up money. I decided to go to the temple and have Heavenly Father a part of the job search. I had one offer and interview at a dry cleaners, and although it worked out in my mind while I was in the temple I felt uneasy about committing to the job. I didn’t get there in time for a session so I did inititories. There was such a sweet lady named Sis Carter who was volunteering at the temple that day. While I was pondering my options for the summer she poked her head in and said “I just want to let you know that I love you and your willingness to follow the Lord.” It was so genuine and sweet. Some how hearing that cleared my head and I was able to concentrate on what to do about a job. I pretty much gave Heavenly Father an ultimatum... Either direct me to another job opening before Monday (when my dry cleaners offer expired) or I would take the dry cleaning job. On my way home I stopped into a few other places to turn in applications. I went to payless, which wasn’t hiring, but had an interview, and was hired on the spot. Funny how Heavenly Father works! 

June 11, 2009 - Jordan River Temple

The temple of my childhood. I remember attending this temple often to do baptisms, but since I have been endowed I have had very few chances to attend this temple. I was very surprised to receive a phone call from Taylor Thompson inviting me to attend the temple with her. Surprised in a good way. I wasn’t sure how she was doing and seeing her desire to go to the temple brought my heart a ton of relief. And seeing as I was on my way to the temple Satan obviously didn’t want me to go, so as I was driving there my car broke down (I know not a huge surprise). I called dad, he called Tim and I still went to the temple. The session was wonderful. It calmed my spirits and made all my car anxiety go away. It was so wonderful to pick up my friendship with Taylor again and I hope that temple trips can become a usual activity with her. 

August 27, 2009 - Provo Temple

Audrey, Alex and I headed to the temple to do baptisms. It was a first for me at the Provo temple. It has been a while since I have done baptisms, but I realized I love them just as much as before. It brought so many thoughts of eternal families being in there with Audrey. I don’t know how I would enjoy after life when we pass on if she is not there or the rest of my family for that matter. She is not only my sister but my honest to goodness best friend! Our relationship has grown in so many different ways this summer as we have both strived to build our testimonies. 

August 29, 2009 - Logan Temple

My home ward is trying to do the same as me and is working to hit all the temples in Utah in one year. so since they were all headed out to the Logan Temple I decided to join them. It was a beautiful trip. Both my mom and Audrey were on the road trip. I didn’t have any huge realizations or revelations while in the temple today, but I did feel an abundance of peace. It really is a blessing to have so many temples so close. On our ride back we made sure to stop into the cheese factory and pick up a few cheese curds, along with lunch at the Old Griss Mill. So delicious! A wonderful trip indeed!

September 19, 2009 - Mt. Timpanogos Temple

I met Nik Day at the temple and enjoyed  beautiful session. I had only been there for baptisms and sealings, never a session. I was amazed at the beauty of the chapel. Filled with natural light and soft colors it was so peaceful. I could have sat in there all day. 

I had a hard time concentrating on the session seeing as my cough has taken over my life! Luckily a sweet lady offered me a cough drop and it calmed it down enough that I could begin to listen to the instructions. Despite the coughing distractions I enjoyed the beauty of the temple. I often find myself distracted by the ornate detail of some temples (as beautiful as they are), but love the simplicity of this temple. The rooms are so warm and simple that anyone could feel at home and comfortable there. This has now taken the top position as my favorite Utah temple.

October 10, 2009 - Bountiful Temple

I had rehearsal at the Conference Center early this morning and only found it only logical to continue heading north. I met Fyffe and Alex there. It is amazing to me how when in the temple it is so easy to see everyone the way our Heavenly Father sees them. I saw everyone’s light and desire to be in the temple and to serve the Lord and our ancestors. 

This temple is also simplistic and beautiful. My favorite part about being there was having all of my memories rush back to me about the first time I went through the temple. It was 3 1/2 years ago when we went there late one night and I was surprised and pleased to see my whole family there to support me. It was amazing to have them all in the Celestial room with me. How many people can have that happen? I don’t know how Mom and Dad did it, but they did everything right to have us all turn out this way.

As I sat in the Celestial room I took the time to pray that my Savior of the World experience would be a strong missionary opportunity. Names started to flood my head. I attempted many of those invites, but only a few worked out. One or many, it does not matter. As long as I do as the Lord asks, and I know I helped strengthen at least one testimony. 

October 17, 2009 - Oquirrh Mountain Temple

What a beautiful temple. On the outside it clearly looks like the Rexburg, ID temple, but the inside has the most beautiful grand staircase. I walked in to do inititories and was surprised to find Aunt Alice there. She was volunteering at the temple and I was lucky to have her help with the ordinance. It kept my focus on the eternal family, it’s purpose and importance. It was a perfect addition to the spirit. I was able to then go and sit in the Celestial Room. There was not a soul in there. I found the silence beautiful and a pure help to open my heart to the Lord. I was given the calling earlier that day to be the Relief Society 2nd Counselor. The calmness helped me understand the importance of my calling and showed me that I can achieve anything with the help of the Lord. 

October 24, 2009 - Ogden Temple

Alex was so kind to drive to the temple today. We had some wonderful conversations on the way. This temple is beautiful in a very different way. I find it far more functional than anything else. Simple or ornate it all hold the same spirit and is still consecrated as the house of the Lord. After such a spiritual rehearsal this morning I was so excited to attend the temple. It is amazing how much this show makes me feel like a missionary again. It is my chance to feel everything again, take it and love it!

December 5, 2009 - Manti Temple

It was wonderful to be in the company of five of my friends to road trip and attend this temple. Alex, Adam, Ian, Marie, and Brooke. We laughed and giggled the whole road trip there. Seeing as there were 6 of us we convinced Dad to allow us to take his car. We watched Toy Story 2 on the way and enjoyed it very much. Nothing better than a temple trip and good friends. 

As I walked into the temple I was taken back at the beauty of the main hall. I felt like I was in a European castle. I felt like that all through the temple. Each room had a sense of beauty and antique. It was a blessing to see the craftiness of the pioneers. Pure beauty and sacrifice for the Lord. 

December 12, 2009 - Vernal Temple

Another road trip! This time the weather wasn't as kind. it took us far longer than expected to get there, but we still made it safely. It was a tight squeeze in the car, but endurable. Alex drove with Ian in the front and Alex, Jeanne and myself in the back. 

The Vernal Temple is a refurbished tabernacle. It is beautiful and modern. The painting (The Second Coming) in the Celestial room was breath taking. I have seen it many times, but at the size and magnitude it was I was taken back by its beauty. I enjoyed sitting in there with Jeanne enjoying the peace and quiet and reading from the scriptures. 

December 19, 2009 - St George Temple

This trip I made on my own. I volunteered to take Kimber home from Rexburg so I could have an excuse to go down there. It was nice to be in the temple alone. It has been a while, but I do enjoy the quiet and time to ponder. I had all the time in the world. No one to wait for, no one to wait for me. I was on the Lord's time and enjoyed it very much. It was a beautiful temple and made for a fantastic finish to the year's journey. 

I know I missed one temple, but although it was a missed goal the journey was beautiful and turned me into a better person with a stronger appreciation and testimony of temple work. Now I can continue to go once a week, any temple will do. 

Monticello Temple

To be posted as soon as attended...

5 comments:

Kathryn said...

This is absolutely the coolest! What a goal! What an achievement! When I grow up, I want to be just like you. Love you, and congratulations!

Katies Korner said...

This is amazing! Thank you for sharing your experience in each temple. What an amazing thing for me to read to start my day. Truly, thank you!

Hillfivesome said...

I don't know if you remember me but I used to babysit you when you lived in Boise. Emily, you have grown into a beautiful young woman. What a great goal about the temples. I hope that we can keep in touch and get to know each other again. I love your parents so much and have such a deep respect and admiration for them. I have a special place in my heart for you five kids also. You will always be my kids. Emily Stoddard Hill. Do you remember me?

Sierra said...

Wow!! That is so great!!

Michael said...

I am the creator of the photograph of the Oquirrh Mountain Temple that you are using on your blog. I don't mind that you are using it, but please add the following: (c)2009 Michael Provard.

Thanks,
Mike Provard
provardmr@comcast.net