Thursday, September 23, 2010
The Gospel is true...
Last night I went to a session at the temple because one of my friends went through for the first time. It was quite the amazing experience. Let me just explain.
My friend that went through last night, will be serving a mission October 27th. I lived with her and her family for 4 months before I got married. They were so great to me. I didn't have to pay rent, or pay for food, and I got my own key to the house. It was just like I was living with my own family.
Her parents are converts to the church. Her mom has stayed active, but her dad hadn't been consistently active since my friend was a little girl. Her dad has been going to church here and there, but it seems like in the past few years times have been really tough for him. He kept getting layed off at his job (but then taken back on) and just didn't seem happy. (BTW, these are my words and feelings, no one else's) So apparently, when she chose to go on a mission and got her call, she sat down with her dad and spoke with him about the gospel. They got in a deep conversation about it and he had all kinds of questions about the church. So she found scriptures and explained to him in the best way she could. She bore her testimony about the church and after that, her dad just said- Ok, because this is so important to you and I know how much you love the gospel, I will make you a promise. I will make you a promise because I love you. I will go to church every week and pay my tithing every week for 6 months. I will try to get myself to the temple. I will read the scriptures. I will do this all for 6 months. And then after that, if I don't feel anything or don't understand or if anything doesn't change, then that's it. I'm done. I will never go to church again. But until then, I will give it my all. Well, since then, he has been going to church and paying his tithing. He hasn't been layed off. In fact, he has gotten 10 hours of overtime at his work- being the first person to get overtime at his job in 3 years. Miracle? I think not. That's just the way the church works. He needed to put his faith in Heavenly Father in order to be blessed.
Last night, I was in the chapel at the temple waiting to go into the session, and in comes her dad. I cannot tell you the spirit I felt when he walked into that chapel. Me and my friend would lay up at night talking about how much happier her dad would be if he could just let the gospel back into his life. How the gospel is the only thing missing in his life. We had just waited for this day to come for a long time. I just sat there and couldn't stop smiling. I had tears rolling down my face. I felt like I had witnessed a miracle.
I then prayed that Heavenly Father would then help him feel the spirit and the importance of having the gospel in his life so that in 6 months he would feel that his life had significantly gotten better. I felt an overwhelming spirit at that time, which made me know that in 6 months, he will still be coming to church because there is no way he can't be given that reassuring feeling that it is true if he is doing all he can do to be active and find an answer.
We went through the session and after the session, all of us met in the celestial room. I hugged her dad and told him how happy I was to see him and his wife there. I had tears rolling down my cheek, and he just held me tight and said "Gillian, I am happy I'm here too." He didn't stop smiling. It was like he saw the light for the first time. After that, I hugged my friend. We hugged for a long time. Her and I have had a lot of ups and downs but this definitely helped us remember forgiveness and friendship is important. We cried a little too, as one of our other friends that was there gave us a group hug. All three of us friends stood together smiling. We were so lucky to have grown up together with the same values and beliefs. It felt like it was a long time coming, but it was amazing to have my two best friends to my side while being in the temple.
The person I did temple work for last night's name was Brita. Her birthday was September 23rd, 1813. That would mean that today is her birthday. It didn't give a last name or a place she was from, but I feel good about doing her work. What a great birthday present she gets today as she finds out someone did the work of the temple ordinances for her! I wish I could be there to help her celebrate.
I don't think I will ever forget that session.
I love temples.