This past weekend was huge for me. I got to do something that I have been planning on for as long as I can remember. I got to go through the Draper temple. This moment that I have dreamed of since I was a little girl finally became a reality. But there was one stark contrast between my dream and my reality. I was missing the man that had always been part of my dream. The LDS temples are sacred houses of worship where people who attend "are taught, make covenants, and are promised blessings" (for more info on temples visit lds.org). Marriages also take place in temples and that is where I was lacking.
I always dreamed that I would go to the temple with the man I loved where I would be endowed and we would be sealed for time and all eternity as husband and wife. It wasn't until about a year ago that I realized my dream might not happen in reality. I might go through the temple before I met the man of my dreams. When the day finally came to prepare for the temple I was so excited. My bishop gave me the okay and I started reading, praying, and preparing to enter such a holy and sacred place. I was so excited and I felt like it was the right thing for me to do.
As I interviewed with my stake president I might have teared up when we talked about temple sealings. I knew this would not be part of my temple experience at this time. My stake president is a wonderful man and he said all the right things to comfort me (Yikes! Crying female!).
As the day came closer I had very mixed emotions. I was so, so excited to go through the temple. I knew it would be a special and sacred experience for me. I also felt sad knowing that I was not going with my future husband. Each of my married sisters had gone to the temple right before they got married. I felt like I was missing a huge, important step in my journey through life.
Thursday night ( the night before I went to the temple) I really struggled with my emotions. I was so happy and so excited and so sad. As Friday night approached I became nervous. I didn't know what I would feel inside the temple. Would I feel peace? Would I feel inadequate? Would I still feel sad on what should be such a wonderful day? I honestly didn't know. The drive up to the temple was stressful for me and I felt like I wasn't much of a conversationalist (or a good driver-sorry Mom. Aren't you glad we didn't die?). My thoughts were consuming me and I didn't know how to express them without unleashing a river of tears.
As I entered the temple I was overcome with peace. The stressful drive was immediately out of my mind and I felt right. My family was meeting us there and as I walked into the room where we would be I saw my sister Alyssa and her husband waiting. Just then the others that would be joining us walked in and I knew this was where I needed to be. I had the support of my family and that was what I needed. As I sat in the quiet temple my thoughts were my own and I was able to sit silently and think. I knew, I knew that I was where I was supposed to be. I was doing what was right for me and even though it didn't include a husband, it was still perfect. It was such a spiritual experience for me and I am so glad that I got to experience the temple for myself. I went in with so many confusing thoughts and I left with a clear mind and a comforted soul.
I am grateful for my experience and for the support that I had. It was the best day ever and I wouldn't have wanted it any other way.
The beautiful Draper temple: