Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Coming full circle

The Payson Utah Temple dedication was on Sunday. I've debated whether I should blog about the experience, and almost didn't because social media has been exploding with posts about the Payson Temple for weeks now—I'm kind of ready to stop talking about it.

But I blogged about the groundbreaking ceremony and the open house—I can't just leave out the most important milestone.

So even though a lot of you have already heard hundreds of special Payson Temple stories, here is the next segment of mine.

It started with the Cultural Celebration. I feel bad saying this, but the boys in our stake (aka, the stripling warriors) looked like sleep-deprived zombies who had stayed up too late playing video games. But the rest was pretty exciting. It set the mood for the next day perfectly.

*Pictures pulled from KSL.com.

For the temple dedication, I was once again the lucky recipient of having a former bishop as my dad. We got to sit in one of the huge endowment rooms in the temple during the first dedicatory session. Right before the meeting started, we got a little surprise. We were sitting there quietly when a tall man in white walked by, who looked remarkably like Henry B. Eyring. And the guy behind him looked a lot like Quentin L. Cook . . .

We all sat there a little stunned as these two men we've seen countless times on TV walked to the front of the room and showered us with smiles, waved, and then moved on to the Celestial Room where the meeting would take place. Kind of a heart-stopping experience, but not one I'll soon forget.

The cornerstone ceremony was one I hadn't seen before, probably because I usually elect to go to one of the afternoon sessions so I can sleep in a bit longer. I was a little worried about all those people sealing the cornerstone with that "really nice mud" in their white clothes, but fortunately, none of them had the Carter tendency to spill things on themselves.

Can I just say that Pres. Eyring is adorable? He always seems to have a laughing smile on his face, as if he's so full of joy he can barely contain it.
But the best part was the prayer. Yes, it was long, and not as interesting as the talks. But that's not what I was tuning in for. I was waiting for that moment when the temple went from being a magnificent edifice to being a house of God. When Pres. Eyring started dedicating each part of the temple, there was a palpable change to the feeling in the room. The temple has always had that spirit about it that makes it "our" temple, but in that moment it became so much more. It became our Heavenly Father's temple, too.

Singing "The Spirit of God" was a neat experience, as well. I felt that tie to the early Saints more strongly because the temple was filled with thousands of voices singing praises, just like at the Kirtland Temple (only on a much larger scale).

And now, the Payson Utah Temple is the 146th operating temple. The special experiences have only just begun.


  1. Believe it or not - isolated out of Utah, I hadn't heard a single story about the Payson temple dedication. This was beautiful :) I love it when you share bits of UT, because it's like readinga bout bits of home that I'm far away from. What a neat experience!

  2. For some reason this post made me cry right when you were talking about the dedicatory prayer. I wasn't able to be there but I felt the spirit wittness to me that the Payson temple is truly a house of God now. I can't wait until I am well enough to go.