Thursday, December 19, 2013
# 15: My Walk Around the Temple
A year ago, I was going through a very difficult time in my life. I was going through a faith crisis. I no longer believed in many of the foundational events of the Restoration, and I no longer believed in many of the claims of the Church. I still believed in God, but staying Mormon didn't make much sense to me. I went to Church mostly just because my wife wanted me to. I wrestled back and forth in my mind constantly, trying to answer the question, "Should I stay or should I go?"
During this difficult time, I didn't have a temple reccomend. I felt I couldn't honestly answer yes to the two questions, "Do you have a testimony of the Restoration?" and "Do you sustain the President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints as the Prophet, Seer, and Revelator and as the only person on the earth who possesses and is authorized to exercise all priesthood keys?"
So, I wasn't allowed inside the temple, but I was allowed on to the temple grounds. So one night my wife, my two little daughters and I went on a walk around the temple. It was Christmas time, the lights were up, and there were hundreds of people there. The lights were beautiful and the people were friendly. We saw various Nativity scenes, a huge statue of Christ in the Visitor's Center, and several outdoor displays of baby Jesus in the manger, with Joseph and Mary and the new star and the three wise men. And I remember there was a mannequin of the prophet Isaiah, with a voice coming from a nearby speaker reading verses from the Book of Isaiah that prophesied of Jesus' birth.
We ran into some people that my wife had visit taught but who had moved out of the ward. It was a pleasant conversation. My wife has a way of making genuine connections with people. She's good at making and keeping friends, real friends, not just superficial acquaintances.
Lots of people were busy setting up a stage for a concert they were going to do that night. It was a free concert. I don't know what group or individual was going to sing, but they were going to sing Christmas hymns. I saw on a poster that there was going to be a free concert, almost every night, during December.
Everything was just really good and really nice.
And then the thought struck me, like a revelation, "would you really want all of this to come to an end?"
I felt at peace. I felt the Spirit. And I answered, "No."