For the last couple of years, the Gilbert Temple has been under construction. I have tried to take my children to the visitor's trailer as often as possible. Whenever Emmett or Tyson has asked to drive by the Gilbert Temple, I have tried to reroute and make time for it. I have also purposely tried to schedule moments to eat lunch there, or watch the construction. We have seen cranes, dump trucks, cement trucks, back hoes, trailers, and heavy machinery of all kinds in action. We have heard the pounding of hammers & nails, the clanging of metal, and seen the glint of the Angel Moroni in the sun as it was hoisted to the top. We have acquired more temple rocks than we truly need, and felt the love, peace, and excitement that can only come with this once in a life time experience. We have been to the trailer & up the ramp so many times that my kids felt like they owned it. So in the middle of the Summer you can imagine the slough of emotions I felt when we arrived one day to find caution tape on the ramp, and this sign:
I just cried. I cried because watching the Gilbert Temple being constructed has been AMAZING. I wasn't really crying because it was over, even though I truly was sad it was over, and my little Emmett's head just hung down when he realized what the sign meant. I wasn't crying because we missed it, because we definitely haven't. We have been there, through ALL the stages of construction.
I think I just cried because it's been so beautiful, and we've enjoyed it so much, that I almost wish the construction didn't have to end, as odd as that might sound. I know the reason you build a temple is so that it can be opened for work, and to bring people to the Lord as they worship. But, honestly, truly, the construction phase has been an anchor to my family, a perfect event to interest my little boys, and has brought insights and conversations that we never would have had otherwise. My heart is full that we've had the last 2 years to anticipate what is to come at the beginning of next year!
The landscaping is still being put in right now. Fortunately, after the saddest day of the summer when we realized the temple visitor's trailer would be closing, they took down the caution tape, and we got to visit some more. That eased us into what would come, because now it really is, truly, closed down, and we have to view the progress of the landscaping now from different angles. But, I am so grateful for that little trailer & for what it's meant to me, Mitch, and our boys in the last 2 years.
Priceless - the kids feel so happy visiting the temple site.
This is what I meant - my kids felt like they owned the outside viewing ramp. :)
I was always telling them to quit hanging on the railing. Boys!
The Sword of TRUTH!
Look closely - you will see Miles' footprints on the ramp - it was a rainy day & he stepped in mud.
I am so grateful to have a temple in Gilbert, AZ. I know that saving ordinances are performed there that are necessary to bring us back into the presence of God the Father and the Son. I know that they live and love us, and that there is a plan for each one of us on this earth, and that the Lord has paved the pathway for ALL of us to come unto Him. I know that families are central to the Creator's plan for the ETERNAL DESTINY of his children, and that ordinances available in holy temples make it possible for family relationships to be perpetuated beyond the grave. With all my heart, I pray that my children will FEEL the power of being covenant keepers, and that they will choose to live their lives in accordance with the Lord's plan. I pray that they will know where to turn for a remission of their sins, and that they will choose to serve the Lord with all their might, mind, and strength, and I pray that Mitchell and I will do what it takes to be covenant keepers all our lives so that we can be worthy of these special children that have come into our home. With all my heart I pray that we can give them an example worthy of emulating, and that we will endure to the end and have a forever family. That's the dream. I know that with the Lord's help - in his infinite grace and mercy - that no matter what trials come in this life, He will help us get back to him no matter what weaknesses or struggles come our way, and that the temple is one of His ways of drawing us closer to Him.