Friday, August 7, 2015

temple tradition

On July 26, most of our youth spoke in sacrament meeting.  They were to speak about a family tradition and how it builds family unity and strengthens faith.  It was a great meeting...wonderful to hear the different traditions that were shared and to have the opportunity to reflect on our traditions.  Michelle spoke about how we always stop to see the temple when we travel to any city that has one.  I'm honestly not sure how this tradition started...I don't think Alfredo and I consciously made the decision to do this, but it definitely has become a that he is just as responsible for beginning.  We took our honeymoon to Washington D.C. and walked around the grounds of that beautiful temple together just days after being sealed in the Salt Lake Temple.  And a couple of times when we have traveled, he's suggested going to see the temple.   a couple of times I have suggested it...and now we always do.  We just took a trip to San Francisco and this trip was no different.  I definitely think it blesses my children's lives  to walk around the temple grounds and feel of the spirit that is there and see the beauty of these houses of God.

On this most recent trip, we stopped in Reno to stretch and eat...and decided walking around the temple was a great way to stretch our legs.

 Then Monday morning, on our 14th Anniversary, we began our day by walking around the Oakland Temple.  It was closed for some remodeling (opening the following day after 6 weeks of being closed).  But we met a wonderful sister missionary from Utah in the parking lot. We were able to walk around the grounds and go inside the visitors center.  We were able to feel of the spirit there. It is a very beautiful and unique temple.

My girls have been to a number of other temples.  Here are photos of just a few we have visited:
Calgary Alberta temple
Mesa AZ temple at Christmastime

 Mesa AZ
Denver Colorado temple

Portland, Oregon
A few others we have been to include:  Las Vegas, Los Angeles, San Diego (when Ella was a baby and before Gabby was born...none of them remember this), Idaho Falls and many temples in Utah.  Michelle and I have also been to Chicago and Nauvoo.  Now that Michelle is 12, I hope that we will be able to do baptisms in some of the temples we visit rather than just walking around the grounds.  But I know that even just walking around the grounds blesses our lives.  Gary Stevenson said in a conference talk in 2009, "Even our young children have been encouraged to visit the temple grounds and touch the temple. 5 President Thomas S. Monson once counseled, “As we touch the temple, the temple will touch us.” 

President Monson said,  "As we touch the temple and love the temple, our lives will reflect our faith. As we go to the holy house, as we remember the covenants we make therein, we will be able to bear every trial and overcome each temptation. The temple provides purpose for our lives. It brings peace to our souls."

I am glad this has become one of our family traditions.