Instead of taking turns going to the temple each weekend and leaving the children home, we decided to all go as a family one weekend. It was lovely - it feels very sacred to be teaching our children about religion and Heavenly Father and Jesus already...my hope is that they will grow up knowing how to rely on the Spirit and where to go for comfort and healing. It is special to see Natalie already understanding how important and beautiful and happy the temple is - I know she feels the spirit; I can see it in her eyes as we talk about Jesus and spiritual things.
The Winter Quarters Temple is particularly unique because of the history surrounding it - it was built in 2001, but the cemetery on the grounds has been there since Latter-Day Saints camped in the area in 1846 while traveling west in the early days of the church (hence, "winter quarters"). Many died there in the cold months, but many other saints traveled on and made it to the Salt Lake valley. It is neat to see their gravestones still in the ground, mostly rubbed smooth and a little crumbling; a good reminder of the sacrifices that were made for us to enjoy our religion as we do today. From the services marking the building of the temple:
Elder Truman F. Clawson, visitors center director, who conducted the services, referred to the bronze statue of a father and mother burying their child at Winter Quarters. "Now today," he said, "on this end of the hill, we will take shovels in our hands to dig not a grave but the foundation of a special building, a temple, to be built for the blessing of all who choose to enter that they may also bind together forever their families. And so, the magnificent view from here allows us to contemplate both the past with its dead and the future represented by the beautiful new temple which begins today."
I love the temple and am grateful for the opportunity to take our children there and feel its power and blessings!
in the cemetery
It was fun to see Natalie play around the area where we took our wedding pictures. I wonder if she will get married here too!