Today was an amazing day! I was blessed to be able to go to the Orlando, Florida Temple with my mom to see one of my amazing friends from BYU go through the temple for the first time.
Now, for those of you who are not LDS, or members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, you may not know what "going through the temple" really means. Let me explain real quick:
In the LDS church, temples are considered to be sacred houses of the Lord. Just like how the Lord directed the building of temples anciently(Solomon), he continues to ask us to build these sacred places of worship to this day, where we can learn eternal truths and make covenants to follow Him. "Going through the temple," simply put, means you've gone to the temple and made promises to follow God's commandments.
Now let's get back on track:
So, it was my honor to be there today as my awesome friend Sara went through the temple! It brought me back to that time a few months ago when I went for the first time. It was an overwhelming and amazing experience. It was overwhelming because I felt the weight of responsibility I had just placed on my shoulders. I felt the true importance of the gospel of Jesus Christ, and my responsibility to share it with the world. I also realized the important step I was taking to help, in a way, shape my destiny. Because of the promises I have made with the Lord to honor Him and live His commandments, I will be able to be a force for good in my family. Not only my current family, but the family I will have in the future. Those are also the same reasons that made it such an amazing experience as well. I gleaned quite a few insights that day.
The day after I went to the temple, I emailed a few of my best missionary friends to tell them just a few of those insights that I learned. I would actually like to share them here:
I can see the effects that living a righteous life has on families. My family is so in need of the gospel, but I see it changing their lives slowly, one person at time. They had it at one point, but they lost sight, and now slowly members of my family are returning. I'm the first of all my sisters/cousins to go through the temple, and hopefully the good news of the gospel will fill all of their hearts and I won't be the last. My aunt and uncle(mom's brother) were able to attend with me yesterday, an event that will go down in Todd family history! We never thought the day would come when my uncle and his wife would join/rejoin the church and then go to the temple. It was such a blessing to have a small part of my family with me yesterday. I have another Aunt up in New York that reposted my temple picture on facebook and said, "I want to go their someday..." There's always hope with the gospel and through the atonement! One family member at a time... I was so overwhelmed at the temple yesterday... at one point I couldn't even continue speaking because of the overwhelming sobbing that took hold of me. I felt the weight of my responsibility. I felt the weight of importance of the covenant that I had just made, and that through righteousness, I can bless my posterity. A woman can change generations... I know it's up to me right now, to help my family and be an example of truth and righteousness. I don't know why I'm writing all this, but I hope you understand how much I love and appreciate you and your righteous example as a daughter of God. You will bless the lives of so many, but most especially the lives of those in your family now and your family to come. What a wonderful yet humbling realization.
Our decisions shape our destinies, and I have to say, I'm so glad that I made the decision to go to the temple.
"For the temple is a holy place where we are sealed together. As a child of God I've learned this truth: a family is forever."