The temple is a beautiful place, inside and out. The work that is done there for those who have passed before us is sacred and special and, we believe, necessary. And, contrary to negative reports, available to everyone. Of course there are certain steps that are required, but they are very achievable. Like the phrase "where much is given, much is required," I think it makes perfect sense. And the blessings of attending the temple are abundant.
So, with my recommend in hand signed by my bishop and stake president, I drove the 55 miles down to Lake Oswego, Oregon. My plan was to visit the nearby Deseret Bookstore/Distribution Center and buy what I needed and then drive the half mile to the temple and take some pictures and absorb the specialness of actually going inside in a few days. I didn't want to rush the experience.
The 2 ladies who helped me at Deseret were wonderful. I wish I knew what my face looked like when I walked in, because one of them came up to me and said "You look like you're looking for something." She and another lady gave me an hour of their time as I tried on temple dresses and bought the necessities. Despite the fact that I was there by myself, I didn't feel alone in the process. And on Tuesday, when I actually go to the temple and do a session (maybe 2,) there will be wonderful people inside to guide me as I refresh my memory.
I need to take a moment to give a shout-out to my wonderful husband, Eric, who has been extremely supportive. I feel very, very lucky. Because let's face it, if he wasn't supportive, it would be very challenging. There are plenty of non-LDS spouses who aren't. Fortunately, he's a stellar person, and I would expect nothing less from him. What can I say? My husband is awesome.
After spending a total of 3 hours at Deseret and getting some so-so teriyaki to fend off the hunger pangs, I drove to the temple. I had never seen it up close, and had only seen it once from a distance while on the freeway.
Talk about maximum dramatic effect. After driving down a long tree-lined road, the road forks. In the middle of the fork is the temple, surrounded by nature in all its glory. I had to take a picture of the first glimpse:
Believe me, the picture does not do it justice.
After parking the car, I got out and walked around, soaking in the breath-taking beauty of the temple's aesthetics. I took pictures from every angle while the weather teased me with alternating clouds and sunshine every few minutes. Thank goodness I could preserve the day. A great, great day. Even the horrendous traffic on the way home (that nearly doubled my travel time) couldn't bring me down off my cloud.
I'm counting the days until Tuesday when I return and do a session. The first of many.
Enjoy my pictures! I touched them up a little to make them sharper, but the greens and blues are just as they were yesterday. Click on them to see full-sized. The view is so stunning, it is hard to take a bad picture! =)