Tuesday, May 5, 2015

A temple for Payson

It was during a five-minute break from my evening ASL class that I got the news. Payson was getting a temple.

And it wasn't folklore this time; we had an official Church press release affirming that fact.

It's difficult to describe the emotions that course through your body when you get this kind of announcement. Over the next few days I went through stages of shock, excitement, incredulity, gratitude, and joy. Utah (at the time) was home to 13 temples, but this temple would be for little ol' Payson. My people.

Some of those feelings came back when I went to the open house yesterday. Strangeness at seeing such a magnificent structure where there used to be a simple field (and during some of my pizza delivering days, the road didn't even stretch out that far). Surprise when I recognized some of the ushers. The complete incredulity of feeling like a tourist in my own town, a town that doesn't have any tourist-y attractions (except for, perhaps, Peteetneet Academy, but the only people who would drop by to see that building are Payson natives).

And once we made it inside, it wasn't just the beauty of the apple blossom motifs, the hand-painted gold trim, and the abundance of stained-glass windows that pleased the eye and spirit. It was the extra Payson-ness—the paintings of familiar mountains and scenery, the work done by local artists. All the little reminders that this temple was built with the people of Payson in mind. The building captured the feeling of home in a way no other temple can.

I'm probably biased, but it's one of the most beautiful temples I've ever seen. I may not live in the temple district anymore, but I'll still be proudly claiming the Payson temple as my temple.

1 comment:

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