|(Click photo to see the full-sized version)|
When I wrote my last post I still did not have someone to go with, but there was a voice inside of me that said not to worry about it, it would work itself out, and it did. On Sunday, my good friend and neighbor, Diane, came up to me at church and asked it I had found someone to go with me. When I said no, she said she wanted to go. I had a very short list of who I wanted to share this experience with, and she was definitely on it, so I was very glad that she offered!
As I told Diane's husband, Steve, when I went to pick her up yesterday morning, I think I was more nervous yesterday than the first time I went to the temple back in 1993. And I was. I woke up with butterflies in my stomach and zipped around the house attending to the pets and morning chores. My stomach was doing such flip-flops that for a blink of an eye I even considered postponing until another day. Just a blink, mind you. I was in the middle of making the bed when the thought entered, but another, stronger, thought came immediately after which told me that it was the Adversary trying to bring me down. I felt impressed to stop what I was doing that second and get on my knees and ask Heavenly Father to watch over me that day, to give me peace and focus and the knowledge that I was doing the right thing. Satan is strong, but there is someone who is much stronger if we ask for His help.
The feeling that came over me is indescribable. The jitters went away, the butterflies flew out of my tummy, and I just felt a calming peace envelope me. Answers to prayers are not always immediate, but it was this time.
An hour later, after taking a head count of the pets, I picked up Diane at 8:30am. That 55 mile drive down to Lake Oswego went very quickly because we just talked and talked and talked. Before we knew it, we were there!
Unlike the Los Angeles Temple, which, although very big, does not have a large area inside for unendowed people to wait, the Portland Temple does. Diane also showed me a lovely indoor atrium that is very unique and available for families to take pictures in after a wedding or family sealing. Perfect for our many months of inclement weather.
Then it was time to go in. As I went through the session and absorbed the beautiful words I was reminded of the sacredness of the temple experience. And there is something about being in the temple that makes you feel like you've left the world behind for just a little while. We all need that once in a while.
The inside of the Portland Temple is beautiful and serene, as all temples are. That's the word for the entire experience--serene. Most people have a special kinship with the temple that is closest to them, and I really felt that yesterday. Actually, I felt that when I visited it last Friday even just walking around the grounds. And, now that I know that there are 3 temples in Washington (although the one in Portland is still the closest,) I look forward to visiting them too one day.
After the session it was time for lunch, then Diane and I went back to Deseret Bookstore and looked around for about 15 minutes. It is such a fun place to visit, and that location is the closest one to us. Then we got in the car and returned to our little city in Southern Washington.
There are so many feelings and thoughts that went through my mind and my heart yesterday that are too personal to share on a blog, but, suffice it to say, it could not have been more perfect. From the weather, to the timing, to my companion for the day, it was all just right.
Last night I was looking at the pictures I took of the temple last Friday and one that I had not paid much attention to before caught my eye. I started playing with the light levels on iPhoto and it quickly evolved into the image that is at the top of this post. The sun is in the right spot, the light is the hitting the spires in just the right way--all symbolic of my day yesterday with everything falling right into place. What better picture to put in our house than one I took myself that perfectly represents my feelings while visiting such a beautiful, special place.