Sunday, August 24, 2008
"On this day of joy and gladness..."
Those are the first words of the song we sang to open the cornerstone ceremony at the Twin Falls temple dedication today. It was, truly, a day of joy and gladness. A long-awaited day which fully lived up to our expectations.
I hardly dare try to describe yesterday and today for fear that I'll simply lapse into journal-speak and generic superlatives. In fact, the most important impact that this day has had on me and on my family cannot really be described at all; we have tasted salt--spiritually speaking.
Perhaps it will suffice to say that we have been amply compensated for the trials and worries of the summer. I'm sure many of my readers will be familiar with the witness that comes after the trial of one's faith. We had that witness today.
We were triply privileged:
Keri and I attended the YCC at the Filer fairgrounds last evening and saw Jacob and 3200 other youths from the Magic Valley perform "Living Water." It was a spectacle and an inspiration (generic superlatives, I know). Perhaps some pictures will better show what I mean. I hope that it has a lasting impact on Jacob and the other youth.
I was privileged to sing in the cornerstone choir this morning. Keri and the older boys (Jake, Josh, & Cam) were able to be there as well and saw the prophet conduct that ceremony. The boys were among those President Monson referred to when he said,
"I have never seen more boys so close together, evenly matched, on one rail," said President Monson, looking at a group of a half-dozen boys sitting on a nearby cement retaining wall. (Deseret News article)
The local paper, the Times-News made mention of the boys too:
"As an estimated 700 Mormons and others waited for Monson to emerge from the temple for the outside, public portion of the dedication, children gathered near the steps of the platform where the leader spoke.
"Most waited quietly, fidgeting a bit in the hot summer heat, and a few boys curbed their impatience with rounds of rock-paper-scissors."
Our boys were the ones playing rock-paper-scissors.
Finally, Keri and I and the oldest boys (Jake and Josh) were in the temple for the 11:30 dedicatory session. After the session, which was moving and inspirational in its own way, the boys had a close, personal encounter with President Monson. He stopped and spoke to them and patted their heads as he exited the temple. I hope they will not soon forget being close to the man that we consider a prophet of God.
Because today is my birthday I have joked with friends that I appreciated President Monson arranging a temple dedication to celebrate. In truth, I can hardly express my appreciation to God for allowing me to celebrate the things I believe in such high style and with such deeply felt conviction. I shall not soon forget this birthday. It is truly one to remember.