Each time I go to the temple, I realize just how much I took it for granted to live in Utah with REALLY easy access to 6-7 temples within an hours drive. Today was our stakes Day of Consecration at the temple. Basically, everyone takes the day off if they can and get to the temple and work as much as possible. Mom and I went down yesterday afternoon and had a little adventure. We didn't actually make it until after 8 pm, but we hadn't had dinner and it was WAY past time. Just around the corner from the hotel we stayed at was a Carraba's Italian Grill. I have only been to this restaurant one other time about 2 years ago, but it is Italian, so how could it be wrong?? When you go (because you should) order the Bacon and Caramelized Onion Flatbread!!! Sooooo good!!
This morning we got up and headed over to the temple. We got to spend several hours there - it was absolutely perfect! I wish I lived closer so I could make it there more frequently, but the feelings I have are probably stronger because I do go less frequently and truly appreciate the blessing the temple brings to my life.
Each time I attend the temple, I learn at least one new thing, or I understand something with a different perspective. Today I had so many experiences, it blew me away a little bit. What I want to share isn't really anything I learned, more something I remembered and felt. Because it was our stakes "reserved" day, everywhere we turned we saw someone else we knew (which doesn't happen as often in these parts as it does elsewhere...or perhaps I just don't know as many people here as I have in other places). So that in and of itself made it extra special. Today the feelings I had were of wonderful memories of temple trips past. Of the many weekly trips while living in Utah with Lori. And other amazing trips with close friends as we went with friends who went for the first time, and of others when we just went as a group and were able to have those experiences together.
Today I couldn't help miss all my friends!! I remembered especially one of the very last trips I went on before I moved back to Georgia. We had a ward temple trip to the Oquirrh Mountain temple, but only about 10 people were there. A small group went and did one thing, but the rest of us, kind of what I consider my "core friends" group, went and did something else. We had the best time that night...at least I did. I miss these people, it kills me a little inside being away from them.
What I felt in the temple today was a two fold idea. The first part is that by continuing to go to the temple and make memories, though we may not physically be close to people, spiritually we can still have that and being in that sacred place, those memories are even sweeter. The second part was a realization of what the reunion in the next life will be like. As we greeted people we knew in the temple today, it was so joyful and wonderful, and I saw many of them on Sunday! When I think of seeing friends and family I haven't seen in weeks, months, or even years, I get so excited!! Being in the temple gave me that little glimpse into how wonderfully amazing eternity will be when time and distance won't separate us! Until then though, I will keep on missing you...all of you, wherever you are and whatever you are doing!