Monday, February 21, 2011

30 Day Challenge - Day 21

Day 21 - A picture of something that makes you happy

© Kendall Davenport
One thing that can always make me happy is the temple. I mean, sure it's a beautiful building.
One of my college friends once called it "Mormon Disneyland." And I laughed, because it was funny ... and apt in a couple ways.
She was referring to how it's HUGE and right along the freeway.

However, really, it is the happiest place on earth.
It's where we are able to go to be sealed to our families for eternity -- so that our familial bonds are not broken when we die.
(Truly, I think that it's awful to consider that once people die, they aren't married or anything anymore. We are sent here to earth to have families ... but, if we choose not to be sealed to each other, marriages are dissolved upon death. And, therefore, our children aren't our children anymore. "'Til death do us part" is such a bittersweet idea to me. ... I love my family. I want to be with them for forever. Nothing else will cut it for me.)

Also, in the temple, we are able to do vicarious work for those who were not able to do it themselves. We can perform baptisms, endowments, and sealings. (Now, those that we do the work for are under no obligation to accept them. They still have their agency. But it allows us to serve them. And, in the cases of family members who have passed, we are able to create that eternal family bond. Which is quite a comfort.)

The temple (and I always think of the Portland Temple, because it's MY temple. I was sealed to my parents in the Seattle Temple ... but I was there for the dedication of the Portland Temple. It's where I always went for temple trips. It's where I was married and sealed to Michael. It's my temple. And I love it.) is a peaceful place where I can go to escape the cares and worries of the world. It's a taste of Heaven on earth. It's beautiful, tranquil, and sacred.

No matter what happens, I know that I can go to the temple to commune with my Heavenly Father, unimpeded by the bustle and distractions of everyday life. 

All I have to do is to keep the covenants that I've made so that I remain worthy of my temple recommend. As long as I strive to do my part, as long as I endure, Heavenly Father will bless me with wonderful blessings -- I will have a forever family, I will be protected; I will be able to see Him again, to be in His presence.

THIS is what I wanted, what I waited for, the whole time I was growing up.

When I was five, I was sealed to my mom and dad in the Seattle temple. I have some recollection of it.
One of the temple workers took me into the room where the brides get ready. She got in a little bit of trouble ... because I did NOT want to leave. I knew then that that was where I wanted to get married. In the temple.

Once, when I was dating Frankie, my first boyfriend, we were talking in his car.
"I don't see anything wrong with premarital sex, if it's with the right person." He told me.
"But how do you KNOW it's the right person?" I asked.
We talked some more ... and at one point, I told him, "Well, I know one person who'll be very disappointed if I don't get married in the temple."
"Who? Your MOM?" He scoffed.
"No. Me."

I really should have known right then and there that he was NOT going to be the right man for me.
But, hey, when you're young and stupid, you worry that THIS GUY might be the ONLY ONE who'll ever want you. Since, obviously, I wasn't fighting off the guys at school or church or ... anywhere.
Like I said, I was stupid. And I made many less-than-wonderful choices.

Still, because I had the temple as my goal, ... I didn't make any choices that were TOO stupid (at least for me).

I did finally date ("We're dating, but we're not boyfriend and girlfriend.") another member of the church ... A returned missionary, even. Which meant that there was the total possibility that HE could take me to the temple. And, OH, I was excited.
BUT, he wasn't the right one.
Which I kinda understood when he told me that he'd gone to the temple. And he received revelation that I was not the one.
(Yeah ... that knife in my heart? Could you twist it juuuuuuuuuust a bit to the left? Ah. That's better. *slump*)
Not one of my better memories.
But, hey, he was honest with me. I do appreciate that. Not that it felt a whole lot better at the time ... but still.

BUT, as John Bytheway says, "Sometimes the wrong one is the right one to lead you to the best one."
And I can testify that this was the case. Michael was a mutual friend ... who became more than a friend.
And HE took me to the temple. Because he loves me. Because he was worthy. Because he knew how very, very much I wanted this. And he did, too.
He is, as the sweet Temple Matron said, my eternal sweetheart.

And, through our faithful keeping of our covenants, we will be together for all time and eternity as husband and wife.
And this makes me happy.
I'm happy because our children are sealed to us. No matter what happens, we will be able to raise them -- whether it's here on earth or after we've been resurrected.
I'm happy because, as much as I miss family members who have passed on, if their work's been done (by themselves -- Like Grandpa C-- or vicariously by others -- like Pop-pop or Grandma Darlene or Grandpa I), we CAN be together forever. Our family bonds will still be in place.
I'm happy because the temple and its blessings prove beyond a doubt that Heavenly Father and Jesus love us. VERY MUCH. And that their love is for ALL people.

And, no matter what, that always makes me happy.

Other things that make me happy:
  • Baby animals. And cats, rabbits, hedgehogs, finches, turtles, tigers, manatees, ... lots of animals.
  • Cheesecake, chocolate, Sour Patch Kids ... sweets. 
  • BOOKS.
  • Learning things. I like to be interesting. Being boring (or bored) is not allowed.
  • My family (but that's one reason why the temple makes me happy).
  • Coloring, coloring, coloring!! (Obligatory PPG video!)
  • Cartoons, comic books, graphic novels, manga, anime ...
  • Things that smell nice.
  • Having a clean house (which I need to work on)
  • Songs.
  • Jokes.
Yeah, there are lots of things that make me happy. But the temple encompasses most of the REALLY important ones. And blows the other ones out of the competition.

The temple is a House of God,
a place of love and beauty...

The temple is a holy place

where we are sealed together.
As a child of God, I've learned this truth:
A family is forever.
(I Love to See the Temple - Hymn 95, The Children's Songbook)


Mrs Mayhem said...

I couldnt read your post (not for a lack of trying) because I'm way sleepy and keep going cross-eyed o_O. But I wanted to say that I used to have that exact picture of the temple, hanging on the wall in my first apartment. :) My best friend in highschool had given it to me for my birthday. It brought back memories! Thanks!

Allanna said...

^_^ What a happy coincidence!

(And I hope that you sleep well! Michael had me go take a Sunday Siesta ... and I somehow ended up sleeping for just over a couple hours. AND I managed to fall asleep at night, too. I didn't realize that I was THAT exhausted! :S)

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