On Tuesday The Captain and I took lunch to Wild Man and work and visited with him for a little while. On our way home something kind of special happened and I wanted to share the experience.
Before we had our son Wild Man and I were awesome at going to the temple. For more than a year after we were first married we went once a week and once that became a little more difficult we still were able to be there once a month, if not twice. When I got pregnant is when things started to slow down – way down. I was always terrified to be in the temple for fear of throwing up and not being able to make it to a garbage can, or passing out or who knows what else could happen to a sick pregnant lady. I know it was wrong, but that became my excuse as to why we couldn’t go very often. Then we had our baby and the temple has embarrassingly basically become a distant memory.
I know that when you become a parent getting to the temple is harder, but its certainly not impossible. People do it all the time, yet I was still making that my excuse. I couldn’t make weekly or even monthly time for the temple because I had a child. (shaking my head at myself)
As I was driving home with H chatting in the backseat I was thinking about this. I made a mental note that we needed to get there and soon. Almost immediately after I thought that another thought popped into my head – and I don’t think it was a thought of my own – that said, “then go.” I kind of shook it off and thought again that we need to go soon. Then the other voice in my head said, “then go.” I will, I thought to myself, but again I heard, “then go!” a little louder.
Um. I couldn’t go. Not right now! I had my one year-old in the back seat and you can’t enter in the temple until you are eight, everyone knows that. But again and louder I heard it, “then go!” More excuses popped into my head. Am I just supposed to stand outside? I can’t go in with H. It’d be silly to just stand outside, its freezing! I thought of every excuse I could, but then I also thought about how both H and I had our big winter coats in the car. We could wear those? But wouldn’t people think we were weird or think I’m a bad parent for taking my young child out in twenty degree weather to stand on the temple grounds for a while? And as you could probably guess, I heard it again. “Then go!”
So I changed my course and we drove to the Provo Temple.
I’m embarrassed it took me so long and that I came up with so many excuses to not go. Because the second my car pulled into the temple parking lot my eyes immediately filled with tears and my heart and stomach felt like a fire was burning inside them. All the sudden I realized just how badly I needed to be there. I didn’t need to be physically inside the temple, I just needed to be in the presence of the temple and be able to feel the peace that radiates from it on its grounds.
H and I bundled up in our coats and hats and I carried him to the front of the temple and sat him down. Immediately he began running around and headed straight towards the fountains. We spent the next half hour pacing around the beautiful temple grounds as that same spirit kept raging inside me. I would look at my son and feel overwhelmed with love as I thought of our eternal family and how blessed we are. I felt so peaceful and joyful and like everything was right in my world for those thirty minutes. I was so happy I’d finally listened to the prompting and gone to the temple with my son.
I had no idea that I was in need of a spiritual boost and just a boost of heart. I had no idea how badly I needed to be on the temple grounds and to feel the spirit so strongly. It reset my heart and mind and gave me renewed perspective and positivity. It charged my battery exactly how I needed it to – even though I didn’t know I needed it. The Lord works in such amazing ways.
It was the highlight of my year so far. Being on the temple grounds chasing my sweet son and talking to him a little bit about the gospel and saying a quiet prayer in my heart. A sculpture of Joseph, Mary and Baby Jesus were up in front of the temple and that made the experience all the sweeter. It was incredible.
I want to also remind all the parents that even when you think you don’t have time for the temple because you’re a busy mother or father – you do! Heavenly Father loves you and He understands your situation and sometimes just being on the temple grounds is enough. I truly believe this now. (though I definitely still recommend planning a date to go inside the temple)