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Monday, April 4, 2011

I LOVE TO SEE THE TEMPLE

I grew up near a temple.

The magnificent Alberta Temple was a part of my hopes, my dreams and part of all the teachings of my parents and grandparents to their families.

There is a picture of when the cornerstone was laid 19  September 1915, in my mother's photos.




It shows David O McKay at that time (standing) .  Within arm's length in the background is my grandfather, Neil Snow Forsyth and, just behind him, his father George James Forsyth (white mustache).


As a child, I was taught reverence for the temple. I felt something when I saw it - when I walked on the surrounding grounds or touched its stones. I watched my mother care for, wash and iron, the white clothing they wore when they 'went to' the temple and puzzled a bit about all the effort she made.  We did not have the song, I Love To See The Temple, but I remember our Primary went to see it once and that we could walk up to the frieze depicting Christ, sculptured in bas-relief on the front of the building, and touch His stone figure.

As a teenager the temple was just a large building my gym class ran around - 2 laps was a mile.  I said, and acted as if, I hated religion and everything to do with religion BUT inside there was still a place that was set apart - a sacred different place - regarding the temple.

Alberta Temple Dedication Ticket 27 August 1923 6 pm

When my maternal grandmother, Elna Bohne Campbell, once showed me a trunk of her 'important' papers and treasured mementos one of the things I noticed there was a smallish pink card.  It was a ticket and recommend allowing her to attend the dedication of the Alberta Temple on the 26 August 1923. She was 14. She told me she went to that ceremony with her father. He got all the children in his family that could go to the dedication tickets and they went. [Only children age 8 and older are permitted to attend.] When the building was remodeled and then rededicated in June 1991 grandma was still living and thrilled to see it restored and renewed.

My father tells me that as a child he saw her father walk, about 5 miles (each way) from Aetna where they lived, to the temple in Cardston several times each week. Dad lived on the South Hill in Cardston and the road went past his home.  Dad said that Henry Bohne was known to all the boys as 'Old One Eye' and endured much teasing.

Recently David and I received a phone call from the temple president.  He wanted us to come to our nearest temple for an interview.  We were asked if we would accept a calling to serve there for two years.

This calling has become my greatest and most cherished opportunity.  As I go there each week (we are assigned to serve one shift per week helping the temple patrons) I have found more peace and more tranquility and understanding than I have experienced in the entire 30 years I have been able to go to the temple.

There have been times when I have not been able to go to the temple because of distance or circumstance for long time periods but mostly I have tried to go once a month. When we lived in Utah for a couple of years we attended weekly but I was very young, had a large family and being religious was new to me because I had spent many years seeking for and searching for what my parents and their parents had tried to GIVE to me (genuine, real truth and all the blessings it can bring into lives and hearts and minds - even the gospel of Jesus Christ - the good news that he was born, and lived and died).

This past Sunday morning Thomas S. Monson, President and Prophet of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, spoke in the 181st Annual General Conference of the church about temples.  I listened to most of the conference via the internet in my own home.  Modern media and technology make his words, and the words of other General Authorities and church leaders available to almost anybody anywhere anytime. [see here]

After explaining why, he instructed us to make going to the temple our highest priority and to make any sacrifice necessary to go there as often as possible.

Anyone can have this blessing in their life - anyone that wants it. With all my heart and soul I commend his words and all the talks given, but especially these specific instructions, to each of you my loved ones. What ever it takes, what ever you need to do - please, please make that sacrifice or change in your life.

There you will be able to resolve and understand any problem or difficulty. There you will gain the strength to accomplish all things that are good or right. There you will find peace and hope and tranquility.

There, in the temple and its ordinances and covenants, is the very way to heaven - the way to be with God again, here and now in our every day lives, AND forever through all eternity.