The Completion of the Phoenix Temple

Apr 5, 2015

Back to playing catch up! Upon arriving home from Disneyland, the whirlwind called October began. October seems to always be a busy month for us, and I knew this year would be no exception as I was preparing to run my second half marathon towards the end of the month. What we hadn't anticipated was the Phoenix Temple finally being completed and October being the month of the open house.

Bruce and I couldn't bear to let the opportunity to volunteer at the open house pass us by. We were able to work our schedules so that each of us could volunteer at least two shifts a week, often with one of us working a morning shift while the other cared for the children, then switching places. It felt as though we hardly saw each other through the month of October, but oh what a joy it was to be a part of our temple's open house. Bruce served primarily in a security role and I was able to help in several different positions, most often working with the tour groups. I lost count of how many times I toured the temple during the weeks of the open house, but I will never forget the first time I walked through. I could hardly see through the tears in my eyes as my heart burst with thanks for having such a beautiful building so close to home.  The spirit was very strong as I walked through that first time and I was so grateful to be able to tour the temple dozens more times in the weeks that followed.

During the open house, we were able to take several friends through the temple with us. Each time it was a very special experience to share such a sacred place with those we love so dearly. I am especially glad that our wee ones were able to go through the temple on multiple occasions and share the temple with some of their friends as well. Man Cub was an especially big fan of going to the temple during the open house, and while he wasn't always the most reverent, it certain made a huge impression on him. Even now, months later, when Beebs goes around the dinner table and asks each of us to tell about our favourite part of the day, Man Cub's answer is always "going to the temple". He sees the picture of the temple hanging on our wall and asks to visit and just a few weeks ago, we hiked the mountain close to the temple and as we got in the car following our hike, he asked "go temple now?". So we did. How could we refuse that!?

As the temple open house came to an end, Bruce's opportunities to volunteer did not... he was asked to serve as part of the security team for the Prophet and Apostles that attended the Cultural Celebration the night before the temple was dedicated. The girls each drew a picture for President Monson but due to his poor health, Bruce was not able to deliver the pictures directly to the Prophet. He was, however, able to give them to one of the first presidency secretaries who was beyond willing to make sure they got to the right place. A few little tidbits Bruce shared with us via text as he provided armed security during the private meal and then the cultural celebration- Elder Oaks is gluten free, President Uchtdorf is right handed, President Uchtdorf was sporting the coolest tie- baby blue and orange striped, and following the meal, Bruce was able to spend a few minutes chatting with Elder Oaks. He then got to watch the spectacular Cultural Celebration from the field. Overall, it was an incredible experience for him, and for our whole family. Even now, the girls will still mention "Daddy guarding President Monson and his friends".

Despite not being able to provide service for the temple open house, Sunshine had a very neat role in the completion of the temple. A piece of her artwork was included in the temple time capsule. She loves to draw and around the time of our temple being dedicated, she was on a temple drawing kick. I think her rendition of the Phoenix Temple turned out absolutely beautiful and it is so neat to know that it is in the temple time capsule. 

It has been so wonderful to have a temple so close. There has been absolutely no excuse for me to not be attending and I've been blessed to go at least once a month since it opened. Most months, I have made it to the temple multiple times and I hope I am able to keep this up. I am worried that with a new baby coming, my temple attendance will slow, but luckily, having one so close, I should be able to stop by and find ways to serve even for just 30 minutes so I hopefully it will be rare for me to miss a month. I love being in the temple so much. I feel close to my Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ, and I love the chance to forget about the hustle and bustle of the outside world and slow down and focus. It is such a blessing to have so many temples dotting the earth, and especially to have one in our own "backyard".

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