Don’t be Discouraged

My 17th temple visit wasn’t one that I’ve ever forgotten, mainly because of all the roadblocks that happened. Although I live in Layton and am part of the Bountiful Temple district, the Ogden temple is still closer to me. Since it was March and still relatively cold in the morning, I thought I would wear white tights to the temple with my dress. (This is an essential detail for later). I headed to the temple that day per my usual mid-week visit. I wanted to make the 8:30 am session, so I left a little earlier than usual. As I approached the parking entrance for the temple, my heart sank because the gates were up. The temple was closed for cleaning.

I was so disappointed and started to turn around to head home. I thought to look to see if the Brigham City temple was open. I did a quick check and confirmed that it was, in fact, open. I put the address into my GPS to determine how long it would take. It told me I should get there about seven minutes before 9 am.

Once I got on the freeway, I focused on the time and my GPS rather than my speed. I started paying attention as I passed a highway patrolman. No sooner had I passed him than he pulled onto the freeway and turned on his lights. My heart sank again, knowing that I was speeding and deserved whatever punishment came my way. At that moment, my hope to make the 9 am session didn’t look like it would happen. I also know I couldn’t wait for the next one because I had to work later that day. As I went to pull over, he passed me and pulled over another person. Tears filled my eyes, and I said a prayer of gratitude to my Heavenly Father because I knew that the hand of the Lord was watching over me that day. I want to be clear that it wasn’t okay that I was speeding, but I am grateful that the Lord knew my heart and my intent that day and helped make it possible.

I was mindful of my speed the rest of the way to the temple. As I pulled into the parking lot, it was 8:53 am. I had no idea if I would make the session. As I walked into the temple, I was greeted by the temple workers, who immediately asked what ordinance I would like to perform. I said endowment if possible. The temple worker asked me, “How fast can you change?” To which I responded, “Fast.” I was rushed into the dressing room, where I changed into my whites as fast as I could. Because I had worn white tights that day, it was a matter of getting out of my street clothes and getting my dress on. This one action saved me a lot of time. I can’t say how I managed to change so quickly, but I think I had heavenly help in that dressing room that day.

The door closed behind me right after I walked into the endowment room. Despite many obstacles that kept getting in my way that day, I made it. After I sat down and finally felt like I could breathe, I started looking around at the others in the room that day. It was when I noticed a young woman that clearly had some health issues. Then I thought about all my obstacles that morning and that woman again. Obviously, for this woman, her health issues created many obstacles in her life. Yet she was at the temple serving the Lord despite the physical obstacles she dealt with.

The adversary doesn’t want us in the temple. He placed many obstacles in my path to stop me from being in the temple that day. We can look at the barriers we face and throw in the towel or plow through them. In life, we will never not have obstacles or distractions that will get in our way and try to derail us off the covenant path. It is up to us to find a way around them and continue to hold fast to the iron rod, which can lead to our being able to return to Heavenly Father and his Son and our Savior.

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