Saturday, February 13, 2016

What God Can Do

 I have never been to the Provo Tabernacle.  It is a building used for conferences, seminary graduations, concerts and other civic and church events.  It was built by the Mormon pioneers who settled there.  In fact, General Conference was held there.  Clare recalls having her Stake Conference there when she lived in Provo.

Five years ago in the middle of the night, a fire started, completely gutting the facility.  Much of the community was devastated.  
With all those flames, I can't imagine that there was anything left.  But actually there was.
 There was a set of scriptures that survived the fire with just a little charring on the edges.  The pulpit was also left completely in tact.
 But really is was a burned out shell of a building.
President Monson announced a few months later that it would be rebuilt and turned into the second temple in Provo.  They would call it the Provo City Center Temple.  
After an engineering feat, it is finally finished and Pat, Erin and I had the opportunity to tour the facility.  
 There is a floral pattern throughout.  There is much stained glass both interior and exterior.  The rich dark wood is so rich and beautiful.  Upon entering these exterior doors, a person walks up to the 
recommend desk.  I love the Savior standing there with His sheep!
 I don't know if I recall seeing a baptismal font on the backs of dark oxen. 
 What bride wouldn't want to spend a little time in this room?
 The largest sealing room.  I believe it holds 48 people plus the witnesses and the couple.  I will have the opportunity to witness a sealing here in October.
 The Celestial room.
 I am not all that impressed with the exterior of the building, but the grounds are beautiful!  The interior is absolutely stunning!  I look forward to going back.
 As we attended church with Erin on Sunday, the bishop stated that he had been to the open house and witnessed all the beauty there. 
He then said something that will stay with me.  He said if the Lord can take a burned out Tabernacle and turn it into a beautiful temple, imagine what He can do with us! 
At times in our lives we struggle and we don't make good decisions.  In effect, we burn to the ground because of ourselves.  Other times, the circumstances and actions of others burn us down.  Only the Savior has the ability, because of His atonement, to build us into what He knows we can become.
In seminary on Friday, we talked about Solomon's temple and how important it was to get it built with the best materials available.  I showed the above photos to the youth and was pleasantly surprised with their reactions.  None of them have ever been to a temple dedication or open house.  At least that they can recall.  This was as close as they've come.  
I invited them to always to worthy to enter those sacred doors.  If they aren't worthy, to get themselves there.  Their temple recommend will be their most prized possession ever.  
I didn't know this lesson would turn out this way.  I never felt impressed to go further into the prepared material.  Just stay with them in our virtual temple.
Each of us has been given a tabernacle for our spirits.  
God is in control and He can take that tabernacle and create a beautiful temple for our spirits if we will allow Him to do so.  
I want to live in a temple!

A Mid-Winter Trip

Last week Thursday, Pat and I headed to Chicago.  We went to the temple and then met up with Candi McGregor for dinner.  It was a wonderful visit!  The next morning, after our workout, we headed for the airport and winged our way to Salt Lake City.

Erin picked us up at the airport and we headed to West Valley City to take a few items to Andrew. Most importantly, his driver's license which the USPS lost TWICE! I wasn't trusting them to deliver it to him.  Since we were already headed in that direction, we dropped it off at the Mission Office.
Erin is doing the goofy Andrew face.  We met some wonderful senior missionaries who love our son.
While in the office, we saw the companionships for each zone.  Elders Pleshek and Wells are in the Granger East District.  We heard Sister Caldwell call Andrew and tell him his things were delivered.  We got out of there!
We attempted to go the the Provo City Center Temple on Friday afternoon.  Who knew that it would be so busy???  The standby line was a 1 1/2 hour wait at a minimum.  One sister told us that if we came back in the morning at 7am, we would be able to get right in.
Pat wanted a good hamburger so Erin took us to the hospital cafe and he got his burger.
We attended the open house the following morning.  What a spectacular building!  I will write about that in my next post.
When we finished at the open house we drove to Payson and attended the temple there.  Another beautiful place.  
We spent some time with Sharla, as Dean was at school working on a project.  We decided we needed a D.I. run.  So off to American Fork we went.  Some very successful shopping was accomplished.  
On Sunday morning we attended Erin's former single's ward.  This is where Bishop Manwaring and his wife Melanie are serving.  They are incredible people and I understand why Erin loves them so much.  
We also attended Sacrament meeting with the Bohls but with Erin not feeling well, we left afterward and headed to Salt Lake to our hotel.
We had time to spend with Erin so we walked temple square. We spent some time roaming through both visitor's centers before we headed to the Tabernacle.  There we spoke to this wonderful sister missionary.
After sitting in the Tabernacle for some time, I decided that the Conference Center is much more comfy.  The acoustics are incredible though.  I was careful not to be too loud or laugh as the sound carried.
Pat gave Erin a father's blessing before she went back South to Provo.  I really wanted to bring her home with me.  It broke my heart to leave her.  That's not normal for me.
On Monday morning we worked out again and after showering, had a wonderful breakfast at the hotel.  We packed everything and since we didn't have to be out of the hotel until noon, we walked back to the Square and visited the Church History Museum. 
There we saw an inspiring film of the First Vision.  We all know what surround sound is, but this was Surround Vision.  It was as though you were walking through the Sacred Grove.  
We spent 1 1/2 hours touring at our own pace and not really being able to take everything in.  A person could easily spend the better part of a day in order to see everything.  
One of the things I really enjoyed was the artwork.  Someone painted the above picture.  I love the story of Peter going out to meet the Savior as He walked on the water.  This shows how we all need to lean on our Savior more than we may recognize.
We walked back to our hotel and grabbed our bag and headed to the airport.  A wonderful weekend to be able to be with Erin.  So many instances during the days where I felt the Spirit very profoundly.  Again, in the next post.