Today is a very happy day for me. The LDS Jordan River Temple has been re-dedicated and will be opening for regular temple service this coming Tuesday, May 22nd at 5:00 am. DH and DD1 and I were able to attend one of the three dedicatory services this morning. The service was wonderful, and I came away with a renewed commitment to make regular temple attendance a priority, hopefully THE priority of my life. Throughout the history of the world, the Lord has provided sacred temples for his people to visit, draw closer to him, learn more of him, and make essential, eternal covenants: The Tabernacle of Ancient Israel, Solomon's Temple, and Herod's temple in Jerusalem where Jesus Christ visited many times during his life.
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is know as a temple building church. Latter Day Saint Temples are different from the meeting houses where we hold our weekly meetings. Marriages are performed there, but other sealing ordinances are performed by proxy by worthy members in behalf of deceased family members who may not have had the opportunity to receive these ordinances for themselves. Members of our church have often made great personal sacrifices in order to contribute to, build and to attend the Temple. There are currently 159 functioning LDS Temples all over the world, with more under construction or announced. I have not had the opportunity to visit each of these temples, but there are several temples that I have visited often and that hold a special place in my heart.
The Salt Lake Temple is the temple that my parents made it a priority to regularly attend at least twice a month during the years that I was growing up. The temple was a 40 mile drive from our home, but their planned dates of attendance were marked on the kitchen calendar every single month, and almost nothing would prevent them from making these visits. This is the temple that I first attended back in 1981, and is the place where DH and I were married nearly 35 years ago.
The Washington DC temple was the temple that DH and I attended during the years that we lived in New Jersey. It was a 3 to 4 hour drive from our home (depending on traffic and who was driving), so we usually would visit only once or twice a year. Often we would drive down on a Friday evening, spent the night, and then spent several hours in the temple before returning home. Sometimes we would leave the children with friends, and other times we would travel with friends and take turns watching the children and attending the temple. DH was able to attend more often than I was since many times during those years I had a nursing baby, and he was also able to serve as an ordinance worker there. It has been several decades since we visited Washington DC, but I would love to go back again some day.
Once we moved back west and bought our home here, the Jordan River Temple has become "our" temple. I remember visiting the original open house for the Jordan River Temple back in 1981, but I was attending the Missionary Training Center when it was dedicated on November 16th of that year, so had not attended the temple here until we moved. We have not always been able to schedule a regular time to attend together with young children and a family business, but after the children were all in school and I was only working part time. I would many times drive over in the morning and attend a session before going in to work. Since working full time I still try to attend at least one evening or Saturday during the month. I can't help but think of all of the individuals who have lived on this earth without having the opportunity to learn of Jesus Christ and his gospel and atonement. Attending the temple as proxy for these sisters of mine, also daughters of our loving Heavenly Father, is one of the greatest priorities of my life.
Photo Source Artist's rendering of the Barranquilla, Colombia Temple which will be dedicated December 9, 2018
Another temple that is very close to my heart is the Barranquilla, Colombia Temple, which is currently under construction, very close to being completed. This temple is being built very near the neighborhoods where I lived and worked as a missionary for six months during my year and a half mission to the country of Colombia and met many wonderful people! I don't know that I will ever have the chance to return to the beautiful city of Barranquilla or the country of Colombia, but I am so very grateful that the blessings of the temple are being made available to these beautiful people.
There are many other special temples all over this country that I have visited at different times, and I hope to be able to visit many more during the coming years. But the blessing of this happy day is that beginning this coming week, I will once again be able to make the short fifteen minute drive to the Jordan River Temple!
Read more about LDS Temples here.