Friday, June 12, 2009

Day of Mixed Feelings

Yesterday was both sad and rewarding for me. It was my last day serving at the Jordan River Temple. It has been almost a year since I began there and it's hard to explain the depth of the relationships formed in that time. In all my years working in the public sector, I never experienced with my co-workers the closeness, respect, warmth, and shared common purpose I have felt in the temple. There were a lot of tears shed and a lot of hugs received. Being the last day for me and both of my partners, who are also leaving for the new temple, we worried that so much emotion might interfere with performing our assignments correctly, but I don't think I've ever had a day before when I've managed to say everything I should right or feel a more spiritual connection.

Leaving isn't easy for me because I've had a stake in that temple since it was first announced. The evening before the announcement my husband and I went for a walk and witnessed a shaft of light just at sunset settle on the spot where the temple was to be built. The following day when the location was announced we weren't surprised. I was a reporter when the groundbreaking occurred and arrived at the bottom of the hill on Thirteenth South just as the General Authorities did and walked up the hill with them. I did the temple work for my great grandmother there and attended weddings of family and friends in that temple. Jordan River was the first open house and temple dedication I ever attended. And the past year has been a remarkable spiritual experience serving there.

I'm looking forward to the opportunity to serve in the new Oquirrh Mountain Temple soon. It's a beautiful building (except for one sofa upholstered in really ugly yellow fabric). Gorgeous stonework, beautiful woods, and brilliant use of glass and light highlight the interior. Even though the grand staircase is a work of art and the chandliers are amazing, what impressed me most on the quick tour we took a week ago is the feeling of peace that wrapped around me as I stepped through the door and which stayed with me as we viewed the beautiful rooms.

I really like the huge murals that are being painted for the new temples this one included, but the murals I like best are the ones in the new Twin Falls Temple and I like the light, warm Fall changing-of-the-seasons one in the Draper temple. I don't doubt that in time I will feel as closely connected to the new Oquirrh Mountain Temple as I do to the Jordan River Temple, but I'll always have a love for the Jordan River Temple in my heart too.

Any of you who get a chance, be sure to attend the open house for the new temple that continues until the first of August. If you think that because you visited the Draper Temple there's no point in visiting this one, you're wrong. They are so different from each other. The ordinances will be the same, but each is a different artistic statement, has a different feel, and a different traffic flow. The view from each is spectacularly different too.

I have temples on my mind right now, but I really can't think of anything more suitable for this month's reflection on fathers, both our earthly ones and our Heavenly One.


Britt said...

We're going to the open house tomorrow! Very excited!!

I love Jordan River too-- it's where we were married.

Amy Btw M said...

Well, my hubby's family lives in Magna, so their temple will now be the Oquirrh Mountain temple. We are excited to go to the open house. Incidentally, my brother-in-law was supposed to have his missionary return address the same week that the dedication was scheduled. So instead the out of town family is just going to have a fireside Saturday to celebrate his homecoming. I like that idea even better.