Tuesday, July 28, 2009

July VT Message

Dear Sisters,

Because I have family living in Laie, I travel down there several times a month. I must admit, while it is under construction it does not look very inviting. It has been an automatic habit of mine to gaze upward towards the temple each time I pass it. For the past few months that it has been under construction, I have gazed up only to be in shock that it is grey instead of white, the water that flows down in front is gone, and the flowers are no where to be seen. Even though I know what I should expect, it is still a shock to me when I see it. Normally the temple stands out. Right now it just looks like a big house on a hill, nothing special, nothing curious, and nothing to draw me to it.

Have you ever had a yearning for something but didn’t know how to satisfy the need or want? Seen something on the television or out in the world that you’ve always wanted to do or be a part of but haven’t had the chance? I know for me there are a handful of things I could name off the back of my hand. That little twinge of want/need is how I feel about the temple. Especially since it is closed right now. Trying to live life right is always hard, but I find that not having the temple to turn to, to be allowed in, to find solace and peace during the past few months has been really hard. It reminds me of when I was younger. I would exercise every night by walking one of 3 different routes. All of them ended with stretches outside the temple grounds. Seeing it all lit up with water fountains and waterfalls flowing, missionaries walking all over the grounds and happy people coming and going from the place all the time made me long to be part of that. When it was finally my turn to enter, I could not believe my ears. Some of the first promises and blessings that were given to me made me happier than ever in my life. I wanted to go again and again. I tried to go as often as possible. I wanted to learn as much as I could. Later, after I had returned from my mission, I learned first hand how going to the temple not only teaches you but also gives you peace, and strength, and answers. For me the feeling starts before I even enter the temple. The pride and care I take with the temple clothes, while I am cleaning them or ironing them, or even packing them I am focused on the trip and on our Heavenly Father. As I ride down to Laie, the music and topic of conversation are focused on the Savior. Once I am in the temple I still get butterflies before I am able to enter the final room, and then I try to make sure I have planned for enough time to spend there before I go back into the real world. Sometimes I feel exhausted, sometimes I feel excited, but I always feel loved and peace.

Sisters, I hope you can reflect upon a time that you have been to the temple. If you haven’t been through, I encourage you to prepare to go. There are few times and experiences I have had that equal the love I have felt while in the Lords own home.

I pray you can ready yourself for the re-dedication and re-opening of the temple.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Wedding Cake

Here's the cake I made for Ed's wedding.. .petals were added by his mom.