We stepped on the bus. My daughter’s excitement at being onboard made me smile.
Taking my kids to the Open House for the Idaho Falls, Idaho Temple was a sweet experience for me.
If you don’t know what I’m talking about, I belong to a faith that builds temples all over the world. Temples are a sacred place of worship different from a church building. Once a temple is dedicated, only members who agree to live standards of worthiness are allowed inside. Prior to being dedicated, they offer tours to the general public. That’s the purpose of an Open House.
The tour began with a video explaining the purpose of temples. My young children sat on my lap as we watched. They huddled in close together as I put my arms around them. In the video they explain one of the purposes of temples is to seal families together forever, meaning family relationships can continue after we die. One of the leaders of our church commented on this doctrine with these words,
“It’s hard for me to think of heaven without my wife. It wouldn’t be heaven for me.”
Those words touched my heart as I sat there holding my children close.
Due to the sacred nature of temples, no talking was allowed during the tour. I kept urging my daughter to look at the murals in every room. Her eagerness to get out of arm’s reach and roam free matched the eagerness I felt to teach her.
The knowledge I had gained from attending the temple was never more precious to me than it was at that moment, and there was so much I wanted to say to my children, but couldn’t.
Near the end of the tour, I offered a silent prayer that God would touch their innocent, tender hearts and teach them what I could not.
The tour ended at the Visitor’s Center. In that building is a 10 foot statue of Christ. It depicts Christ after he rose from the grave, his arms outstretched with the nail marks visible in his hands and feet. I approached the statue with my son, and whispered in his ear,
Photo Credit: Lds.org
He leaned in, placing his head alongside my cheek. In that moment, I knew he was feeling God’s love and in his own sweet way, was expressing that love to me as well.
“Jesus loves you”, I said, “And so does dad.”
I lost it.
I’ve heard it said that God usually answers your prayers through another person. As I prayed for my children to feel something that day, God also taught me, and he used my son to do it.
“And…he did teach and minister unto the children…and they did speak unto their fathers great and marvelous things.” (Book of Mormon, 3 Nephi 26:14)
I am grateful for children who teach me about God’s love, and I’m even more grateful for a Heavenly Father who so freely shares that love with all of us.