Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Moving forward while cherishing the past


[Mormon Temples are a place where members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints believe we can learn about Heavenly Father's plan for us, and make sacred covenants with our Heavenly Father that are necessary for us to return and live with him again.  If you are interested you can learn more about temples here.]

One of the hardest things to leave behind in North Carolina was our monthly temple night.  For years and years we’ve gone to the temple almost every month.  At some (wonderful, brilliant) point we asked Ken & Alisyn if they wanted to go with us, and a tradition was born.  Each month I’d meet them at their house and we’d drive together to the temple, usually meeting Russ there.  Sometimes Russ would work that afternoon from home and we’d all drive together.  After we were done at the temple, we’d always go out for dinner, usually at Panera Bread.  Where occasionally we’d fight over the last bowl of Broccoli Cheddar soup. 

Throughout the years other friends joined us from time to time, but Ken & Alisyn were our regular temple friends and I think it really deepened our friendship.  In the midst of busy lives we had that hour long drive to the temple to look forward to each month.  We always found interesting things to talk about, and in all of the years we only had to make one emergency bathroom stop.  In the temple we would sit in the Celestial room together and talk quietly about thoughts that we had had that evening.  Then there was dinner with everyone’s favorite soup and more conversation, followed by the hour long ride home with Russ. 

One of the last things we did before Russ left for Oregon last February was to go one more time to the temple together.


I went with them again before the kids and I left Oregon, this time with Ann too.  That evening was an incredibly sacred experience for me, and I left the temple knowing with a certainty that Heavenly Father was deeply aware of me, and with one last beautiful memory of our time together in the temple.


For people who’d had such a long-standing once-a-month temple habit, it was a few months after I arrived in Oregon (and then re-arrived) before we were able to go to the temple again.  Our ward here announced a ward temple night and with some trepidation Russ & I decided we’d go.  It wasn’t that we had anxiety about going to the temple, but we did have anxiety and sadness about going without our regular temple people!

We made it through that first night and enjoyed seeing the beautiful Portland temple.  It was the last large temple built before they starting building the smaller ones, and it really is imposing.

Even after going that first time, we’ve had a hard time really getting back into a once a month temple routine—we moved again, Russ hurt his back, I started having my stomach problems, life has been busy, etc.  But last month we decided that it was a new year and we were going to figure out a way to make it happen again.  (After all—we don’t even have to make an appointment here!) 

So one foggy evening in January I met Russ at work and we headed off to the temple together. 


After we were done at the temple we headed to the Olive Garden (there’s no Panera near the temple) and shared a meal.  The evening was wonderful—just what we needed in so many ways.  As we drove back home I thought again about our years of temple nights in North Carolina, and what a special place those will always hold in our hearts.  Right now I can’t conceive of something like that ever happening here—it takes a long time to get to that point in a friendship, and I don’t know how many times in a person’s life they get to have friends like that.  So for now it’s going to be the two of us going to the temple together, and that’s ok.  But every time we go, I’ll be thinking of other temple nights and how grateful I am to have had them.



  1. Thank you Cindy, the memories, the incentive to go (to be with you and Russ AND to enjoy the temple), the food, the conversation, will always be the most cherished memories. But, I will say that the referenced emergency bathroom stop is way up there, too.
    We don't mind if you enjoy the Portland temple (beautiful photo), but always keep a small space for Moroni in Apex, NC.

  2. I love these thoughts, Cindy.

    And I remember tagging along on a few of those trips- the most fun I have ever had going to the temple, for sure!

  3. There needs to be a button, like the "like this" button, only it needs to be the "I appreciate you having written this because I've carried it around in my head all day and thought about it from time to time but as yet haven't come up with any stellar conclusions but it's been nice to have it in there" button. Because I would click yours.

  4. Sweet thoughts about sweet experiences and friends.

    And gorgeous, almost haunting, pictures of the Portland Temple.