Tuesday, September 13, 2011

The Temple, Family and the Power of Prayer

Our family drove to Salt Lake City last month to attend two weddings; one for my sister-in-law and another for my niece.  I had quite a few powerful spiritual experiences there.

First off, I want to make a simple comment on the power of prayer.  Time and time again, I have seen our family "rally around" someone who needed our faith.  We prayed faithfully, as a family, for something we knew was a righteous desire.  Often, we would pray for months and even years for the desire of our hearts.  It worked.  Our prayers were answered.  Prayer works.

In the weeks leading up to my sister-in-law's wedding, we all were discussing if and how we would pull off doing a session together as a family in the SLC temple.  The challenge was finding someone to babysit the kids, get to the temple in time, then pick up the kids before making it on time to the wedding dinner.  There was discussion about whether it was even prudent to do a session with the family.  But in the end, things worked out.  It was a bit stressful ensuring the kids were ok and then getting to the temple, but in the end, we all made it there on time.

We sat together.  The image of seeing us all together in the SLC temple in the various rooms - especially the Celestial room - was powerful.  My wife's family, growing up, had a motto that was reduced to CKOB - Celestial Kingdom or Bust.  Seeing them all, with their spouses in the Celestial room was a preview of what is to come.  I felt privileged to be a part of that session.

Looking back, I understand precisely why my father-in-law and mother-in-law desired to do a session so badly.

And now a quick word about the Temple - as we walked to the different rooms in the SLC temple, I was overcome with powerful emotion as I felt the collective spirits who have walked those halls all these past years.  As I examined the intricate designs and architecture, I realized the profound dedication and sacrifice those saints made to build the SLC temple.  They too desired the blessings of the temple for their posterity and they wanted to pass that legacy on to their children and grandchildren.  That legacy lives on today as we see the explosion of growth of temples throughout the world.  And we have as many temples in the world today because of the sacrifice of those saints who built the Kirtland, the Nauvoo, the St. George, the Manti, the Logan and Salt Lake City temples.  I will never forget those feelings I felt in the SLC temple ... they will always come back to me each time I attend any temple.