Today in Primary (I am sort of a sub that helps out the classes that have too many kids, or jumps in to help when someone can't make it) we had a "Temple Feature" that made me think. Each week we talk about a different temple. The kids are given clues about a Temple and then they get to guess which one it is. One of today's clues was that it had a church building in it and it was built very tall to fit in a big city. The answer was the Hong Kong Temple, but it made me wonder about the new one that they are building in my mission (Philadelphia Pennsylvania.) There are only 2 temples currently that are in a high-rise fashion. I wondered if Philly would be that way too.
I was just on the East Coast last fall and got to go to the Temple in NY City. It was beautiful. I walked in and as the doors closed I found myself unable to hear the noise and traffic of Broadway. The feelings inside were so calm and peaceful. Something I hadn't seen at all anywhere in New York. It was also nice to be able to attend the Relief Society Broadcast/Women's Conference in the church part of the building. There are separate stairs and elevators for the Church and for the Temple.
While I was out that direction I had a fun opportunity to travel down to Philly. It was the 1st time I've been back since my mission 10 years ago. Phiadelphia has changed so much. It felt so much cleaner, and safer. I was amazed. They even cleaned up the streets by where I used to live, I almost couldn't recognize them. While we were there I wanted to go see the spot where the new Temple was going to be placed. I even took pictures. I was so excited that this city and the people I loved were going to get a Temple of their very own.
Standing there looking at an empty lot I remembered a goal I made as was getting ready to serve my mission. I was going to work so hard that some day they would have to build a Temple there. When I got to the mission several missionaries laughed and said that goal was impossible. That they would never build a Temple in Philly. But I grew up in Las Vegas and heard that same sentiment "never would they build a temple here." I was 12 when a Temple was in fact built in Las Vegas. I was so excited that I was old enough to go to the Las Vegas Nevada Temple's open house and see God's Holy Temple.
I worked hard on my mission. I learned to love the people, hoped and prayed that someday a Temple would be built so that they might be able to have the many blessings that it would bring. In October 2008 General Conference they announced that the Church was going to build a Temple in my mission! I cried for joy! My heart was humbled, and my excitement grew. My beautiful mission was getting a Temple of their very own!!! I was teary and couldn't stop smiling for the rest of the day. I prayed several times thanking my Heavenly Father for allowing this miracle to happen in my life time. Several friends from my mission called, texted, e-mailed and facebooked me about the good news. Several of us stated how much we wanted to be there to see the Open House and Temple Dedication.
Empty Lot that isn't getting a Temple
Tonight I looked on line to find any info I could about how the Temple was coming, and see if it would be like the Hong Kong and Manhattan Temples. I will have to figure out how to copy the link to this blog. (I am still new to blogging.) http://www.ldschurchtemples.com/philadelphia/ It will in fact be a high-rise Temple. But the Temple is not going to be where I thought it was...But it is close. So I guess I can delete my photo of a random parking lot ;)
I love the Temple so very much. I am grateful to live so close to one right now. I was thinking about all the places I have ever lived (I have moved a lot) and realized that I have never lived farther than 2 hours from a Temple. What a blessing that hs been for me. Now I live close enough to jog by one, and have 7 with in 2 hours of me, and another being built in Payson. I am grateful for the peace the Gospel of Jesus Christ brings. I am grateful for the Holy Temples where I can go and learn, meditate, pray and make sacred covenants. I am grateful for the many commandments and directions I have been given in a world of craziness and unbelief. I think that there are many out there who do not know where to turn for peace, answers to life's hard questions, for comfort, for understanding, and for happiness. I would say to those who do not know where to turn to visit the Temple. There are missionaries there who would love to answer any questions. There is a calm and beautiful feeling even on the Temple Grounds. If you stop and listen, if you pray for truth, if you are a true and earnest seeker of truth you will be able to find these things and so much more at, and in the Temple of God.
Las Vegas, NV
The Nauvoo IL Temple is my favorite, and second is the Las Vegas NV...but I bet that might change once I have an oppertunity to see the Temple they are building in Philadelphia, the City of Brotherly Love.