The temple has been on my mind a lot this week. Tomorrow we are going to the Ogden Temple Open House. It is a wonderful chance to see in side the temple before its rededication next month. I love any chance we have to take our children to the temple, and for these special opportunities for them to see inside these holy buildings. I am so excited for tomorrow! We have taken the kids to two other open houses in the last five years and they were both special and wonderful experiences.
Another reason the temple has been on my mind is because this week marks 14 years since I entered this holy building, made covenants with my Heavenly Father and received my endowment. (For some great information about what this means go here. The second paragraph under the first question is a great explanation.)
It was a special day! Something I had planned for and looked forward to from the time I was young. I was blessed to have a few special people with me; my parents, grandparents, an aunt, my brother, Brian, his parents and his older brother.
This week is also our anniversary. Fourteen years ago tomorrow is the day that Brian and I returned to the temple together and were married. Because of the sealing ordinance available in the temple (there is a paragraph about this at the link above) it is possible for us to live as husband and wife and for us to be linked to our children for eternity. I was very grateful for these possibilities on the day we were married, but fourteen years later that gratitude has only increased as our love and family have grown.
I have many other cherished memories of the temple. I was able to be there when my older sister received her endowment, and when she was married. When my younger sister went to the temple for the first time and received her endowment it was the first time I was in the temple with all of my siblings, which meant that my parents were in the temple with all of their children. I felt like I witnessed a piece of heaven that day. After all, that is what temples are for, to help us return to heaven as families.
When my brother was married it was the second time that the four kids in our family got to be in the temple all together (with our parents too), and even more amazing was when my younger sister was married. There I was with my parents, my wonderful husband, my three siblings and their spouses, my grandparents. All of the members of my family had partaken of the blessings of the temple. Brian and I walked out of the temple to our happy children, enjoying the wonderful morning with their cousins. That day was full of so much love and joy, I cannot put it into words.
Two of our children are old enough to go to the temple. While they are not old enough to make covenants for themselves they are able to do baptisms for their ancestors who passed on without receiving the essential ordinances of baptism and confirmation and the ordinances available in the temple. They are able to feel the power of the work that goes on in the temple. When Nathan attended the temple for the first time (Liz was there too), I watched Brian performing the ordinances with Nathan and Liz taking turns to stand as proxy. Tears rolled down my face into my lap. My heart was so full.
The temple is all about families. Our Heavenly Father loves us, his children, so much that he has given us the way to return to him. I am so grateful. The temple brings us closer to Jesus Christ. When I go to the temple I feel my Heavenly Father's love, and it increases the love I have for Brian, for our children, and for those around me.
I found this quotation by President Thomas S. Monson that I love. "As we touch the temple and love the temple, our lives will reflect our faith. As we go to the holy house, as we remember the covenants we make therein, we will be able to bear every trial and overcome each temptation. The temple provides purpose for our lives. It brings peace to our souls—not the peace provided by men but the peace promised by the Son of God when He said, “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.”