On Sunday Brooke and I had the chance to participate in the Dedication of the Draper Utah Temple. It was a fantastic experience that I will always treasure. For more information please see the following links:
My family has deep roots in the Draper area. I remember when I was a small boy visiting my Great-Grandparents who lived in a small house surrounded by a big field out in what was then mostly undeveloped farmland. Now Draper is an area with huge developments and lots of fine homes. But the heritage of the pioneers that settled that area is evident in the building of a new House of the Lord in the place they settled.
Brooke and I had the wonderful chance to volunteer at the Open House prior to the dedication. Brooke played the piano in the Cultural Hall while I served cookies on one occasion and ushered on a bus on another. Although we no longer have the chance to help build the temples like our ancestors did, I am so happy that there was a way provided for us to help in some small way to participate in the preparation of this new Temple.
On Sunday there were several speakers who addressed us before the dedicatory prayer. The Relief Society General President Sister Beck spoke about how temple covenants empower women while Elders Callister and Kikuchi of the Seventy spoke about sacrifice and family as important aspects of temple work. Elder Bednar of the Quorum of Twelve Apostles addressed the protective power of temple covenants and how the temple is the end goal of everything we do in the church. President Uchtdorf spoke about symbolism in the temple in ancient and modern times. Finally President Monson came up to offer the dedicatory prayer. However before proceeding he saw one of the contractors responsible for building the temple and he invited him to come and say a few words. After the brother sat down he went over and gave the man’s mother a hug and then came back and said that what we didn’t know was that the mans father had helped build several other temples and had recently passed away, and assured the man that his father had come to see his work.
How amazing that the Prophet would take the time to speak to one individual in such a large crowd! But then I guess that we shouldn’t be surprised: that is how the gospel works after all! It’s all done one person at a time. That’s why temple work takes so long and is so important; we remember those who have gone before and honor them even if the rest of the world has forgotten them. Why? Because they are our brothers and sisters and children of our heavenly father!
Right before proceeding with the dedicatory prayer President Monson told us to look around and remember where we were. He said he wanted us to have a special memory of this temple so that we could take make it a personal experience.
Despite cold rooms, long waits and hard chairs this was an amazing experience. I am very grateful to my father in heaven for the chance to have participated in this wonderful dedication and look forward to attending the Draper Temple as part of our new Temple District!