Went to the temple yesterday for the first time in 8 years.
My wife and I got married 8 years ago. Sealed in the Oakland Temple. We lived in an area where the temple was pretty far and even beyond the distance, you had to pass a toll bridge, go through the traffic of two major cities, etc. It was just a hassle.
So we didnt go to the temple while we were living there.
After two years we moved away. We moved to Utah because we both got job offers out here. I now live about a 10 minute drive from the Manti Temple.
Despite this, my new work was so demanding (it was just a terrible company and I often likened it to being in an abusive relationship. Im not kidding. That company no longer exists and good riddance.) that a lot of personal things went by the wayside. My church attendance suffered.
I often got home so late and so tired, that scripture reading and nightly prayers as a couple faded away too.
After a while, we didnt pray for meals either.
My wife is not a social person at all and is very uncomfortable in crowds, so she wouldnt go to church if I didnt. So she almost never went.
Never once have a questioned the church or doubted my faith, etc. Nevertheless, "life got in the way".
Then a few months ago, my Elders Quorum President called and asked me to teach a lesson. I hate teaching lessons. Its terrifying. But my own personal belief is when you are asked to do something for the church, the answer is always Yes.
So I taught a lesson. I dont even remember the topic now, but I do remember it was a very good lesson. I felt good to teach it. The quorum members threw in feedback and it was just a great discussion. One of those ones where you really feel like almost everyone took something good from it.
I guess my EQ Pres liked me, because a few weeks later I was called as his 1st Counselor. I thought, surely there must be someone better than me. I dont know anybody in the Quorum. I dont know anyone in the ward. I hardly ever even show up. You really want someone who's darn near inactive as your 1st Counselor??? But when your asked to do something for the church, the answer is Yes.
So I am now the 1st Counselor. It is my job to conduct EQ one month out of every three. So basically, due to my work schedule, I would show up to church one month out of every three.
I recently got a promotion at work (for a new non-terrible company) where I am the weekend Supervisor, and I accepted on the condition that I be relieved for a few hours every Sunday so I can go to church. My boss agreed, but never really followed through, so yeah. One month out of every three.
Then Im at church one week and my Bishop says he wants to talk to me. I sit down with him and he doesnt say this, but the message is essentially, "You need to start coming to church, or we're going to have to release you."
I dont want that to happen, because I was really proud of myself for finally having a real calling.
(I have to admit that church became a miserable experience for me because we were in Primary or Nursery for 7 years across three wards. I love kids, but any calling gets tiresome. And after my wife's miscarriage, I wasnt too thrilled to be working with little kids every week...)
So I really didnt want to lose my calling. I felt like a had a real purpose in the ward. I felt like I had a chance to do some good. Not only for others, but to work towards making up for my mistakes. I felt like I was about to fail the Lord.
Im not a really pushy person, and I didnt want to hassle my boss about getting Sundays off. I was even more afraid because I was worried that if I asked for Sundays off, I might get demoted. I mean, whats the points of a weekend supervisor who needs half of every weekend off? So I felt like a had to choose between my sweet gig at work and my calling in the church. My pay might get cut. My hours might not be so nice anymore. We might not have such a comfortable financial position at home anymore. But when youre asked to do something for the church, the answer is Yes.
So I sat down with my boss and asked that I be relieved for a bit each Sunday and he readily agreed. So now I go to church every week on months when I conduct and every other week on months I dont.
Im really enjoying my calling. Im going to church WAY more often. I texted my EQ Pres a few days ago telling him I want to do more. Being the first Counselor shouldnt be something I do for a few minutes a week one out of every three months. It should be a part of my lifestyle. It should be part of who I am. It should, to a certain degree, define me. I want to do more. Give me more assignments. Give me more to do for you.
So I have to meet with the Bishop again because I helped set up a Valentines Day BBQ and had some things to get reimbursed. That meeting turned into a long discussion where we talked about a lot of things. Many things Ive shared here. My job being demanding. My attendance sucking. How I dont want to lose my calling, etc.
We also talked about my wife and how she didnt want to come to church for a while and serve in the Nursery right after her miscarriage. My wife showed up that day with me and it was her first time in like a year. Bishop says hed like to meet with her too.
So after church, I find my wife and bring her over and they decide to meet that afternoon. I had to go to work right after church, but when I get home that night, my wife says, "Bishop invited us to do Sealings with him and some others from the Ward Thursday."
I dont like doing Sealings, to be honest. I love endowments, but I dont really enjoy Sealings. But when youre asked to do something for the church, the answer is Yes.
So I had the day off that day. My wife got her shift covered. She bought a new dress. I got new slacks because my old ones were... old. I wanted to look nice, and maybe I felt like I was making a small gesture to the Lord. Just trying to show some care and thought for what I was about to do.
So the day comes and my wife and I go to the Temple. Some issues came up and there were a few moments we almost called it off, but we went.
It was nice. It had been a long time. But it felt familiar too. I had never been tot hat particular temple before, but it felt the same as I remember. It was just so quiet and peaceful and you dont even have to try to relax. I didnt realize how much I missed it.
Im definitely going more often. I really missed it. My wife wants to go twice a month. I want to go weekly. But my work schedule is such that I can go on my own sometimes while shes working, so whatever.
I was talking to her about how I feel like a fire in me has been rekindled.
I dont want to get detailed about the Temple, but at one point the Sealer stopped doing Sealings and just made a comment. He made a comment about how he does not believe there are any coincidences in the Temple. Nothing in there happens by accident. Certainly I believe that is true, but I would go so far as to say there are probably no coincidences in the church, and probably not anywhere at all.
All these things came together so that we would be sitting there in the temple that night. But for what purpose? My wife and I talked about that too. He made all that happen just so we'd be sitting there, but why did he want us sitting there?
I dont know. I cant pretend to understand his ways. But Id wager that he wanted us sitting there just because we should be sitting there. Thats where we should be. Thats where we belong. That was the purpose of it all. It wasnt some means to an end. It is the end. Us sitting there in the Temple is the ultimate goal.
Anyways. I guess the moral of the story is, When youre asked to do something for the church, the answer is Yes.
Thank you for sharing this.
This is a great story! I was happy to read it. Thank you for sharing!
Thank you for sharing. I can relate to this story and I’m glad my situation isn’t as unique as I previously thought.
Awesome! Very inspiring. Love your attitude.
Thanks for your testimony and your faith.
Thanks for sharing. I love those kinds of stories!
Thank you. I very rarely read through a long post such as this, but I'm very glad I read this one to the end.
Yeah, I really wasnt expecting it to be this long, which is why the title is relatively vague, but it just kinda kept going :p