It was summer break, and out of the blue my mom announced to my brother and sisters to get dressed and eat breakfast, because we were going on a temple tour. We looked at each other wondering what a “temple tour” meant exactly. We quickly got ready and jumped in the car.
First, we drove up to the Oquirrh Mountain, Utah temple. In my faith the temple is literally the “house of the Lord.” The primary purpose of the temple is to provide a dedicated place where sacred ordinances needed for eternal life can be performed. I remember how beautiful the flowers were as we walked around the grounds. My mom had us stop to touch the cornerstone as she told us about how it was the Lord’s house. I could picture Him walking inside his house and I decided that I wanted to be able to go inside as soon as I turned 12 years old—the age at which members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints can first enter the temple.
My mom told us about my great-grandparents who were not married in the temple. When they were later sealed in the temple, they recorded it in their journals as “best day of their life”. This same great-grandma wrote my mom a letter when she was a little girl telling her how important a temple marriage was and how she hoped my mom would get married in the temple one day. My mom brought that letter and a picture of my great-grandma.
Next, we drove to the Draper, Utah temple. After walking the grounds, my mom shared how her parents (my grandparents) got married in the temple and then showed us a picture of them on their wedding day. My grandparents looked so different when they were young!
We then drove to the Jordan River, Utah temple where my mom shared how my dad’s parents (my grandparents) got married in the temple and showed us a picture of them on their wedding day. They too looked so different now with grey hair and wrinkles.
Finally, we drove to the Salt Lake City, Utah temple and my mom told us how happy she and my dad were when they were married in this temple. I decided that I wanted to be married in the temple when I grow up just like my parents, my grandparents, and my great-grandparents. I wanted to be sealed to my family forever.
It’s been a few years since our temple tour and I now understand WHY we build temples. The prophet Malachi prophesied in Malachi 4:6: “And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers.” The ordinances and covenants we make inside temples provide an important way to connect to our families past and present. Important ordinances like sealing families together and baptisms for our ancestors bring generations closer together. I have been able to do some baptisms for some of my ancestors and even though I’ve never met them, I care about helping them and feel they are grateful for me.
God wants to bless all of His children, and the work done in the temples is His work and it blesses all. I wish I could describe exactly how it feels when I walk out of the temple, but words just don’t cut it. It’s the happiest, most content, most peaceful feeling I know. Even my family notices I am more happy, kind, generous, forgiving, and willing to help others. I know God is pleased with me—nothing beats that feeling!