Leave behind the things of the world

My 30th temple visit was at the New York City temple in Manhattan, New York. Since I work for an airline, I try to make an effort to go to the temple if there is a temple in that city. I was there for a work event and invited a few friends for the trip. I stayed at a different hotel than theirs on the night of the event. The following day, I boarded the subway to meet up with them at the hotel they were at. I noticed on the subway a guy who was likely homeless and seemed to be high on something. He soon became agitated and approached me, trying to talk to me. I remained focused on my phone and turned away. He did not like this, so he decided to try to get my attention by physically assaulting me. Thankfully others on the subway worked to divert his attention. This whole incident was one of the most frighting events that have happened to me in my adult life. I remember sending text messages to my husband telling him goodbye, and this was it. I was texting my friends as well. What seemed like hours was finally my stop, and I quickly exited the train and breathed a sigh of relief when that guy did not get off the subway. The whole time this was happening, I was praying for protection.
Once I got off the subway, I thought my heart rate would come down, and I wouldn’t feel so scared anymore, but it did not leave me. I was so frightened and wanted to crawl into bed and nap. But we were in New York, no rest for the weary, and we were going to the temple that particular day. There is something magnificent about seeing the angel Moroni in the middle of a busy city, just seeing the statue gave me a little bit of a more peaceful feeling than I had previously been feeling.
If you have never been to the Manhattan temple, you need to know that the temple is built in a skyscraper. One level is the ward house, and then a few levels up is the temple. The moment those elevator doors opened, and I entered the temple, I felt this peaceful calm surrounding me and finally felt safe again. I knew instantly that the Lord had protected me from that man on the subway. I couldn’t think of a better way than to show gratitude to my Lord and Savior by being in the house of the Lord.
There always seem to be obstacles in our way to getting to the temple, even when we have good intentions. These obstacles occur because the adversary does not want us to enter the temple. After all, he knows he has no power over us the moment we do. We are in the house of the Lord, which is dedicated for us and higher learning. I learned that day that no matter the troubles I’m facing in the outside world, once I enter the temple, those troubles are left outside, and we can focus wholly on what the Lord wants us to focus on.
Additionally, sometimes we go to the temple to help deal with those troubles. I know I have many times. But because the adversary is not welcome there, we can more fully focus and hear what we need to hear.
That day in New York almost four years ago still is as clear as if it happened yesterday, I still remember the fear, but what I remember more than that is the love and safety I felt that day as I entered the temple that day and continued to feel for the rest of the trip. It is up to us to put our burdens at the Savior’s feet. He knows how we feel and is with us in those hard times, even when we feel alone.

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