Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Brides Galore

On Sunday, I gave the lesson in Relief Society which was on the blessings of the temple for both us and our ancestors.  In the lesson, it posed the question of how we can prepare our children and youth for the temple?  How can we foster an importance of the temple?  How can we get them to look forward to the temple?  Be excited about it?  Want to live worthily so they can enter and receive the blessings?  I shared an experience that I had with the kids about visiting the temple a few months back, and I realized that I never blogged about it.

One afternoon, our whole little family was at the temple, including Courtney's little one Makenzie.  It was prime bride season!  Brides were coming out of the doors quicker than we could count, and Sariah and Makenzie couldn't get enough.  She sat (and she doesn't sit!!!) on the bench just outside the front doors for a good 30 minutes while we watched brides come out.  She was fascinated.  She was mesmerized.  She was dreaming about the day she would be a bride.

 Once her attention was lost, we started walking around the temple grounds.  I talked about the day I married my sweet bacon bringer, about how much I loved him, and how happy I was that we were married in the temple.  I told her all about the bride's room, how my locker had my own name on it, and how almost our whole family was inside to watch us get married. 

As we walked, we held hands.  And then Sariah stopped dead in her tracks.  15 feet in front of her was a bride, getting her pictures taken.  Sariah's jaw hung open as she watched this beautiful young woman having her dress fluffed, her hair primped, and her husband of 10 minutes kissed her.
(Doesn't Makenzie have the cutest bum?!) This sweet bride then called Sariah and Makenzie over, fluffed out her dress, and invited the girls to sit down with her.  They asked her all kinds of questions!  But what I will never forget is the glow on this bride's face as she described how lucky she was to have a temple to get married in, how much she loved her new husband, and how she couldn't wait for these two girls to get married in the temple.
I can talk all I want about the temple - what an honor it is to go, etc.  But nothing will ever compare to that experience for my future bride.  A real life bride, in Sariah's eyes, was one of the most wonderful things that could have happened.  I want to do this often as a family - visit the temple, watch brides come out, and have it be a very active part of our lives.  There is a special spirit that exists on the temple grounds of peace, hope, and assurance.

As we found more brides, Jared and James were busy in the visitor's center.  We met up with them, and went to see the kids' favorite part - the Christus statue.  They remembered it from when we went to visit the temple lights with Grandma and Grandfather Franklin just after Christmas, and they couldn't wait to see it again!

 I love how James is reaching up, and his belly is totally showing!  He had a growth spurt, and all of his clothes became too short within about a week.  

As I have these experiences with my love and my two children, I am overwhelmed with feelings of gratitude for a loving Heavenly Father.  For His plan.  For His son.  For His temples.  For His purposes.  We shared many tender moments together that day, my daughter and I.