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    All Roads Lead to the Mountain Tops

    by Taylor Berhow

    My favorite childhood memories are beautiful and vivid: exploring colorful canyons of the vast Utah wilderness, climbing tangled cottonwood trees, and roasting marshmallows over crackling, smoky fires. I remember playing Capture the Flag under a deep summer sky filled with shimmering stars, and the way the grass caused my body to itch and sting under the steamy water of a post-night-games, mother-mandated shower. I’ll never forget playing G.I. Joes and Lord of the Rings and Star Wars with my neighborhood friends, and on that note, my "first kiss" in 5th grade as I role-played Leia with a neighbor boy who role-played Han.

    If I think casually about my childhood, it flashes before my eyes in hues of rustic golds, deep forest greens, and enchanting ambers---rich colors that remind me of how blessed I was to grow up under the roof, with the family, in the place that I did. But if I spend time digging deep into the caverns of my mind and heart, I see things in darker shades. I see Christmas Eve's where my alcoholic father would stumble up the stairs at three in the morning. I’m heartbroken by the memory of lying in my bed with the thought that most children hoped to be awoken to the sound of reindeer hooves on the roof, not their inebriated father passing out on the kitchen floor. I can conjure up the very moment I learned my parents were divorcing: I remember the restaurant, the table, the day, the temperature, and how the air, once filled with the sweet and savory smells of our dinner-to-be, instantly became repulsive and thick and nauseating. I remember how sad and scared and angry I felt, and how I had no idea how much sadness and fear and anger I would carry around for years to come.

    If I spend time digging deep into the caverns of my mind and heart, I’m nearly paralyzed with the sad and confounding understanding of how truly unfair life tends to be. How unfair it is that my angel mother lived with an abusive alcoholic for more than 25 years. Or how unfair it is that most of the teenagers I work with will live their entire lives sincerely unsure of whether there is a single soul who truly loves them without condition. Or how unfair it is that 49 families will never again get to hold their daughters and sons and brothers and cousins who were shot in cold blood on Saturday night in Orlando. Yes, this world---treacherous and dark and manically cruel---is inexplicably unfair.

    I spent a year and a half of my life working as a field instructor for a therapeutic wilderness program. Essentially, I lived in the woods with a bunch of teenagers society deemed “troubled” and helped them to search for themselves. One night I couldn’t sleep, so I woke up and shuffled out of my sleeping bag onto a blanket of newly fallen snow. I walked into camp, sat down by a nearly diminished fire, and pulled out a New York Times article a friend had printed for me to read that week. In it, the author described the religious philosophy of Pure Land Buddhism and summed up her own experience with enlightenment in just a few words: “Life is suffering---and yet.”

    I’ve thought a lot about those words since then---about the "and yet's" in my life, the lives of the teenagers I work with, the lives of complete strangers. And yet.

    I cannot see or speak with my father after 6pm because he’s usually too drunk to carry on a productive conversation. And yet, I know that he loves me, which is more than millions of people on this earth can say with confidence about their own fathers.

    My mother married a man whose incapacity to love severely damaged her own ability to find and experience it, and yet, I’m confident she wouldn't trade those years for anything, because they brought her my brother and I.

    The teenage girls I work with are angry because they’re currently locked up in rehab against their will, and yet, they eat three meals each day that they didn’t have to pay for with drug or prostitution money.

    The world is a horrible place where people decide to blow up buildings, and mutilate women simply because they are women, and open-fire on elementary schools. And yet, the Red Cross holds blood drives, and Facebook releases “Stand with Orlando” picture filters, and the sun still rises every, single morning.

    If I spend time digging deep into the caverns of my mind and heart, I’m nearly paralyzed with the sad and confounding understanding of how truly unfair life tends to be. And yet.

    Cheryl Strayed once wrote that,

    “The best, sanest people on the planet know that life is long, that people both change and remain the same, that every last one of us will need to [mess] up and be forgiven . . . and that all roads eventually lead to the mountain top.”

    If I counted the days I spent as a child feeling afraid, or alone, or confused as to why I was born into the conditions I was born into, I’m quite confident they would outnumber the days filtered in gold and green and amber. And yet, I can barely remember them. Mostly, I remember my parents teaching me how much freedom and peace I can feel high on the tops of mountains. I remember deafening desert thunderstorms and Return of the Jedi and that I was taught to believe in God fervently and with great faith.

    Yes, this world---treacherous and dark and manically cruel---is inexplicably unfair. And yet, we’re going to be OK. Not because our brains have the truly amazing ability to forget about terrible things, like shootings and poverty and alcoholism. And certainly not because those terrible things are going away anytime soon. But we’re going to be OK, because OK is just about always where we end up. And the sun will rise, and we have each other, and God is real. And all roads eventually lead to the mountain tops.

    Disclaimer: I wouldn't wish my childhood on anyone; I also wouldn't trade it for any other. It was and continues to be an incredibly transformative experience filled with the challenges, lessons, and heartache I needed to build an intimate, sustaining relationship with my Heavenly Father. Because of my experiences growing up, my faith and testimony are rooted in adversity and the ability to overcome it with the love and compassion of our Savior, Jesus Christ.  Additionally, it feels important to add that my dad is an amazing man whom I love, and after many years of introspection and a lot of hard work, I have a wonderful relationship with him that I cherish deeply.

     

    Find more from Taylor at RubyGirl.org

    Keep Fighting

    by Bre Lasley

    trigger warning: this story shares an account of an attack that may be difficult for some survivors to read.

    From the moment he came into my bedroom window to the moment he was holding his cold bladed hunting knife, which he used to stabbed me with minutes prior, I was in the depths of evil.

    I’ve grown up in the church. I’ll be the first one to admit I lived in the “Utah Mormon Bubble” probably until I boarded a plane to China soon after graduating high school. Upon arriving in China, I had many immediate exposures to real life or life outside of the “Utah Mormon Bubble.” I saw poverty I never knew existed. I saw rib cages protruding from the worn bodies of men, women, and even children. So much so, I could easily visualize their skeletons. This heartbreaking exposures were not consequences of evil, more so unfortunate consequences of uncontrollable circumstances. I’ll never forget the day I feel like I was exposed to evil. We were riding a crowded bus, which wasn’t an abnormality by any means, a woman we had been buying our produce from at the corner store for several months joined us. It was summertime which made any bus ride a hot, uncomfortable, sticky, stinky adventure. Hot, uncomfortable, sticky, and stinky are also all the adjectives in which are used to describe my personal hell. So, you can imagine the mood I was in.
    Trying my hardest to “fake it” and have a good attitude, I started a conversation with the woman we all loved who decided to travel with us. For her protection and privacy, I’ll call her “Sara.” I noticed Sara was wearing a blazer with a scarf. Just looking at her, I was ten times more uncomfortable. I asked her how she was still breathing underneath all of her layers and joking made a comment about wearing a scarf in the middle of summer. Sara bashfully responded, “for no reason.” I immediately felt a turning in my stomach. I knew something wasn’t right and so did my other friends who were sitting close to us. I’ll never forgetting waiting for some time to pass by so others would start new conversations, get distracted with their iPods, or fall deep into whatever book they were reading.
    As soon as I felt like no one was listening or paying attention to Sara and I, I nervously asked her, “Are you okay? I am worried about you.” She slowing untied her scarf and showed me her neck with her head looking down as if she were embarrassed. It was right then I saw evil. I saw a black and blue handprint whose long fingers wrapped around her small neck. Sara didn’t speak English and I didn’t speak Chinese. Warm tears immediately filled my innocent “Utah Mormon Bubble” eyes. My heart felt like it was literally tearing. “Husband?” I said, while simultaneously pointing to my ring finger after pointing at her bruised neck. Miraculously, she understood and tenderly moved her head up and down. Anger, shock, and and unbelief took over my thoughts. Disgusted to lose the innocence of thinking these things only happened in movies, I said, “No okay.” There was nothing else I could do. From that moment on, my “Utah Mormon Bubble” started deflating. 

    In the years since my experience with Sara, there have been many other times my “Utah Mormon Bubble” has been poked at and caused to deflate even more so. However, nothing could have prepared me for the early morning hours of September 23, 2015 in MY new home that I shared with my little sister, Kayli. 

    Kayli had just gone down to her room to go to sleep. I was in my room sitting on my bed in my garments finishing up a work project on my computer. I remember I was listening to Paul Cardall on Spotify when I heard a male voice say, “Hey.” I got a little nervous and even thought to shut my window. Instead, I told myself not to freak myself out. Minutes later I heard the same voice, except this time it said, “Hey girl, I’m coming in.” There aren’t words to describe the feeling I had looking over to my right and just 6-7 feet away seeing the back of a huge shirtless man coming in my window. I felt evil. The same evil I felt seeing Sara’s neck times a million. (I’m not trying to take away from Sara’s experience with evil whatsoever, this feeling hit me harder because it was ME)


    “He’s going to rape me” was my first thought. “He’s going to get Kayli” was my second thought. I immediately jumped off my bed and ran towards the window thinking I’d be able to push him back out. However, by the time I got to him, he was already standing up. We met face to face. I put my shaking hands up repeating, “Please no! Please no!”

    He got more and more violent as the night went on. I remember pleading for heavenly help. Those prayers were immediately answered. I know angels were there that awful night helping me and Kayli fight this man and his evil intentions. Our fight continued for several minutes. He was a manipulator. He knew exactly what he was doing. He wanted nothing else but to kill and most likely rape us. As scared as I was that night, I never felt alone. 

    After violently kicking Kayli down the stairs, pushing me down the stairs, punching, kicking, elbowing, and even strangling my sister up against the same wall her head went through stopping her flying body from being kicked down the stairs, he knew we weren’t stopping. That’s when he pulled out his hunting knife. I’ll never forget grabbing the cold dirty blade and calmly telling Kayli, “He has a knife. We need more help. Go! Go get more help.” She didn’t want to leave me. I’ll never forget the sound of her voice when she said, “No! I’m not leaving you.” I have felt heartache before, but no other heartache will ever compare to the heartache I had of watching my little sister run up the stairs leaving me to find more help. As soon as she got to the top of the stair our evil attacker started stabbing me. Once again, I calmly and softly said, “Kayli he’s stabbing me. He’s stabbing me.” Then Kayli’s legs were gone. I could no longer see her. I knew she had gone looking for more help. 

    While she was running up and down our street screaming for help, I was in our dark basement on the cold cement laundry room floor being stabbed. I knew I was going to die within minutes. After he stabbed me, where he knew would quickly kill me, he stood up with the bloody blade pointing towards me while his bald head looked over his left shoulder. “Now I’m going to get your little sister.” He laughed as if what he had done and what he was about to do was so pleasing and gratifying. There was no way I was going to let him walk up the same stairs Kayli ran up for help. With angels, I was able to jump up and tackle the 6’2” monster. 

    Our fight continued. Now kneeling on my elbows with his left hand holding down my forehead, he raised his long right arm up above his bald head with the blade point to my chest. He quickly and forcefully dropped his right hand trying to stab me in the chest. It was then I felt something familiar. It wasn’t a spiritual experience in the moment by any means, but I knew I was being protected. I looked as the blade of his knife came down directly over my chest and seeing it be stopped by something. A “shield” is the only way I know how to describe it. He tried 5-6 times with the same result. With built up anger in his scariest voice he yelled, “Why isn’t this working?... Fine! I’ll stab you in the head.” Instead of feeling a “shield,” I felt his bony knuckles graze the side of my head. The bloody blade stabbed the suitcase my head was on two times. 

    After realizing that wasn’t going to work we fought some more. We ended up sitting on the cold cement floor up against my washer. He had the knife in his right hand with the cold blade up against my throat. His right arm was flexed as he prepared to slit my throat, once and for all ending my life. His left arm was wrapped around the top of my body. I could feel his soft, sweaty, ripped chest up against my back as he lifted both of his long heavy legs over mine crossing them to insure no movement on my part. “You can kill me just please don’t kill my sister.” I repeated as I was thinking of never seeing my family again. I could feel the warm tears, just like the tears I felt in China, feel my no longer innocent eyes. “Why would he do this to me?” “I don’t deserve this.” The thought of “I’m never going to see Kayli again” snowballed into, “I’m never going to see my mom, dad, sisters, brother, brother in law, nephew or anyone else again” and for no reason. My attacker was joyfully taking my life, my dreams, my potential, my goals, my future, my everything away from me and for NO reason. I was wrapped in the arms & legs of evil. I have never felt so disgusted, so scared, or so violated. 

    I felt his evil lips whisper against my ear as he cowardly hid his head behind mine whisper, “I’m going to kill you.” Then I heard the voice of my earthly angel, SLCP Officer Ben Hone say, “Salt Lake City Police Department drop the knife.” I’ll never forget seeing his eyes and immediately feeling safe. Then I realized something, I was in the arms of evil as a complete stranger was violently trying to take my life. While, looking at another complete stranger probably ten feet away from me risk his life to save mine. That’s exactly what he did. Officer Ben Hone took a single shot taking my attacker’s life and saving mine. I felt my attacker die. I heard the knife drop. My hair flew up as the bullet hit my attacker literally an inch away from my face. I felt the weight of his dead arms and legs press against my body. I felt evil leave. I felt pure goodness. I felt pure love. I felt the reality of the sacrifice Officer Hone made to save me. I felt safe. 

    In three days it will be seven months since the attack. I went to church therapy where I was told to “Let the Atonement take it.” While I am grateful the church offers therapy and I know it has helped hundreds of people as a good needed resource “Let the Atonement take it.” was not what I was looking for or needed weeks after the attack. I have a testimony of Our Savior, more than ever now than before. I knew the Atonement was what was going to eventually heal me, but I needed/need to do my part before handing it over. I wanted to find ways to help me deal with the fear, anxiety, depression, and low self worth before I handed “it” over to the Savior’s Atonement. If “Faith without works is dead.” how does simply handing it over work? It doesn’t (at least not for me). I believe and have learned through my experience, in order for the Atonement to take whatever our fight is, we have to 1. Believe it can. 2. Do whatever we can do to get to a healthy understanding mental place where we know how to handle triggers, hard days, and real feelings. 3. Work hard and use resources available to help us individually. 4. THEN have the Atonement help us endure. 

    I was told several times, “Go back to the temple and you’ll heal so much faster.” Please don’t take any of this in the wrong way, I full heartedly believe in Our Savior, His Restored Gospel, and in the power and blessings that come from living a temple worthy life. I know the temple is the House of the Lord. I know the covenants made are the most important covenants one can ever make with real heavenly binds and blessings. I love the temple and will always strive to live worthily to visit often. That being said, I have to be honest. The first time I went back to the temple after the attack, I felt something I had never felt before. I felt the reality of Satan and his power and was scared. I have never been “scared” in the temple before. I knew it was solely because weeks prior I had experience pure evil. While sitting there I was reminded of my attacker and was so scared, I wanted to stand up and leave. I couldn’t stand knowing the reality of evil and how Satan’s power was used to force so much change into my life because of hold he had on my attacker and the influence he had on my attacker’s choices. 

    For months I was too scared/nervous to attend the temple, because I didn’t want to be reminded of the evilness I witnessed on September 23rd. After the months passed, I realized I was putting my fear of Satan before my faith in Christ. As soon as I realized what I was unintentionally doing, I went back and had a completely different experience. I was reminded of the protecting power of the covenants we make. I was reminded of Heavenly Father’s constant effort to show His children His love in more ways than one. I was reminded of the all-encompassing love and power the atonement offers everyone, even my attacker. I realized since the time of Adam and Eve, all of us are living (in a way) close to evil as well as close to righteousness/goodness. 

    At times we will feel inadequate or even guilty for not being the perfect cookie cutter Mormon. I know I felt that way when I was too nervous to attend the temple or when I was ticked leaving my therapist’s room after she told me the reason I was struggling was because, “[I] wasn’t letting the atonement take it over.” Since then, I know she meant well and I was unsure how to communicate my feelings with her. We all know Peter wasn’t the best of the best and was definitely not the “cookie cutter” apostle. But, he continuously tried. When he was in the midst of the terrible storm on the same boat as all the other apostles when they all saw Christ, it was Peter who physically showed his faith by getting out of the boat to walk towards Christ. The other apostles had faith. Infact their faith was so great they recognized the Savior from far away, but it was Peter who left the boat. Did he lose faith on the way? A little. Don’t we all? That’s not the part that mattered. What mattered is the fact he tried and kept trying. When he started to sink, he didn’t look anywhere else, but towards the Savior as he cried for help. That’s when the Savior IMMEDIATELY stretched forth his hand and saved him. He will do the same for you as you keep trying. YOU DON’T HAVE TO BE PERFECT. 

    I have learned throughout my healing, Our Savior needs to be my focus. As I work hard doing whatever I need to do to get better, if I’m focusing on Him and if I continue to get to know Him so He is always recognizable, I will be okay. 

    He is real. I know the familiar feeling I had that terrible night was no one else, but my Savior protecting me. I know the blessings from trying our best to live the covenants we make are life saving. 


    Brigham Young said, “If you have fears, tell them to go to hell. That’s where they’re from.” I know your fears are different than mine, but it doesn’t make them less scary. Have more faith in Our Savior than fear in your fight. Don’t let others opinions or actions determine who you are. Remember you are a daughter/son of the most loving powerful Heavenly King. 

    Keep Fighting, 

    Bre

    Mother's Week

    OUR WEEK

    I’m almost 27 and I’m very much not a mom. So why do I care about Mother’s Day? I care about Mother’s Day because of what the Spirit taught me while studying this talk:

    Are We Not All Mothers? by Sister Sheri L. Dew

    These impressions from the Spirit help me understand that I am very much a mother. My kids just aren’t here yet. This understanding influences so many aspects of my everyday. I have no idea what my little kid spirits are doing right now, but I like to think they may be occasionally semi-interested in what their mom is up to. The idea that my little kiddos may be watching motivates me to read my scriptures, attend the temple, and live a happy good life. Now I'm FAAARRRR from prefect, so I also have many opportunities to be an example of repentance and using the Atonement. I hope my example will help those little spirits be just the tiniest bit more prepared when it’s finally their turn on Earth. (Disclaimer: I'm well aware this isn't doctrine. However, I figure if it helps me be a good girl, Heavenly Father probably isn't too worried about it.)

    In Sister Neill F. Marriott’s recent talk “What Shall We Do?” she taught:

    Mothers literally make room in their bodies to nurture an unborn baby—and hopefully a place in their hearts as they raise them—but nurturing is not limited to bearing children. Eve was called a “mother” before she had children.4 I believe that “to mother” means “to give life.” Think of the many ways you give life. It could mean giving emotional life to the hopeless or spiritual life to the doubter. With the help of the Holy Ghost, we can create an emotionally healing place for the discriminated against, the rejected, and the stranger. In these tender yet powerful ways, we build the kingdom of God. Sisters, all of us came to earth with these life-giving, nurturing, maternal gifts because that is God’s plan.

    If young men start fulfilling Priesthood responsibilities at the early age of 12, shouldn’t we start magnifying our own duties around the same time? Obviously if we define motherhood as strictly maternity, you would all think I’m crazy. However, Sister Dew teaches "Motherhood is more than bearing children. It is the essence of who we are as women." As a single woman trying to fully take part in the Gospel of Jesus Christ THIS IS REALLY GOOD NEWS! Increasing my initial understanding of motherhood means my progression or ability to fulfill my divine role isn’t on hold. There is so much I can and should be doing right now, bare ring finger and all, to help children of God, myself included, return back to Heavenly Father.

    Make plans to read Sister Dew’s talk soon. While you’re at it, revisit Sister Marriott’s, too. These talks are a great way to refine your focus as you consider your role in the Gospel as a daughter of God.  They also help you understand my reasoning behind celebrating Motherhood ALL WEEK LONG!

    While I'm excited about lots of things coming your way this week, I'm ESPECIALLY excited about the GIVEAWAY. This giveaway is going to be a little different. After pondering these two talks, on Wednesday, I'm going to invite you to enter the Q.NOOR giveaway not for yourself, but for someone who has helped you better understand what it means to be a mother. As taught in the talks, maternity and marital status are not prerequisites to qualify. More details will come on Wednesday, but start thinking now about a woman you would like to thank for the role she has played in your process of becoming like Christ. 

    Trading Television for a Testimony

    By Chelsie Hightower

    From the age of 18-24 I had the opportunity to dance on national television every week which brought many blessings and experiences into my life. Overtime the business of that lifestyle started to wear on me made it very hard for me to go to all three hours of church every week. Most Sunday’s I’d make it to sacrament meeting if I was lucky, but rarely ever Relief Society.

    During that time I experienced some of my hardest personal challenges. The very thing I needed the most, which was support in the church and actually being able to attend, I was unable to do most of the time. I remember feeling an emptiness and that my life was without purpose. That feeling had me pretty unhappy many days.

    I remember sitting in church one day listening to a man’s conversion story and it was powerful. I remember feeling the Spirit so strongly. Due to the complexity in my daily schedule and travel the Spirit was a feeling I hadn't felt in a long time. I remember burying my head into my hands with tears streaming down my cheeks. I prayed to my Heavenly Father that if need be, to take this career away from me because it was taking me away from what I wanted the most, a testimony and relationship with Him.

    My career slowed down immensely after that. I moved back to Utah and, for the first time in years, I was finally able to focus on regaining my spiritual strength. A blessing I received around that same time stated to attend all three hours of church. So I did just that.

    I have a testimony of the blessings that come with the effort to attend not just sacrament meeting but Relief Society. I saw the Lord bless me in my life with all of the necessary things in order to strengthen my testimony which would give me the strength to get back to where I wanted to be. Through visiting teaching, He gave me the friend that I needed to be a support to me in my efforts to come back to him and to be an example to me. Through attending Relief Society, I felt strengthened each week and was given a sense of belonging, a way to participate and give back to the ward. He gave me a voice to be a leader by calling me to my ward’s Relief Society presidency.

    I love my Father in heaven and this Church more than anything. I'm so grateful that the Lord knows my every need, exactly what to do to strengthen me, and how to help me. This gospel means everything to me and I'm incredibly blessed to have it in my life, with amazing examples around me to help inspire me to be better every day.  

    Infertility and the Temple

    By Sarah Mendoza

    “You will not be able to have your own biological children”

    Those were the most painful words I had ever heard. As someone who grew up dreaming of having 12 children, those words felt like daggers to my heart. Ever since I was a little girl when people would ask me “what do you want to be when you grow up?” I always responded “a mom.” There was nothing I wanted or dreamed of more. My mother got married at 18, so I thought I would follow in her footsteps. My grandmother had 12 children and I wanted to follow in her footsteps as well.  In preparation, I focused my collegiate studies on child and human development and received a degree from BYU in Home and Family Living.

    I was 26 when the doctor delivered his crushing verdict. That may seem young, but I felt like I had already waited so long to be a mother. After years of yearning, my dreams broke like a porcelain doll shattering on a marble floor.

    What were we going to do now?

    I thought to myself, “What!? I waited 7 years (in my eyes) to get married! Now this!?” Why did this have to be hard as well? It was a simple righteous desire. It wasn’t like I wanted something crazy or wrong. We had already experienced a lot of hardships and trials up to this point. We hoped that this good and righteous desire could be fulfilled as smoothly as we had dreamed and planned. I knew a lot of people who suffered with infertility. A lot of them had it even harder than me. However, in that moment, I was overwhelmed with questions, sadness, and despair. This experience pushed my faith to the edge. I’ve had my fair share of very difficult trails, but nothing pushed me like this one.

    The Lord promised us individually that we were going to have children. It didn’t make sense how this fit into His plan? How could the doctor tell us one thing while the Lord said something different? Over the course of the next several months, our hopes and dream were repeatedly crushed by more tests and doctors.

    How were we going to find hope again?

    What were we going to do? How could we receive peace and hope while science and professionals told us there was none? We knew we needed to maintain faith and optimism, to hold on to the promises we had received, but we weren’t sure how.

    For many years I wanted to be a temple ordinance worker, but it never felt like the right time. When we got married we talked about the possibility of working in the temple together, but decided against it because we didn’t want to leave after only 9 months of service.  We planned to hold off till the timing made more sense. As our future grew more uncertain, it became clear that it was time to start serving.

    Regular temple attendance is different for everyone. When I was a senior in high school I made a goal to attend the temple every week. I’ve kept that goal and now enjoy attending with my husband.

    Weekly temple attendance has helped me through many different trials in my life. It has helped me stay on the path and gave me the strength to do hard things. Serving in the temple as a patron has been something I have held to, and has brought us much needed peace and comfort.  Serving as an ordinance worker has made the temple even more meaningful. We are still inspired as we attend weekly as patrons, but our time officiating in the sacred ordinances has expanded our vision and understanding even more.

    My first time officiating in the initiatory ordinance and saying those words really solidified the truth of those promises. As a patron I heard those words hundreds of times, but as a worker I was saying them. No longer do I just believe and trust them. I now know with complete certainty they are true. The Lord promised them to me personally! He suffered everything that I suffer and felt the very pain I feel. Saying those ordinances every week has helped me to put my full trust in the Lord, more than ever before, and hold to those incredible promised eternal blessings.

    The temple is a very sacred place and I have had innumerable spiritual experiences there. Most of them are too sacred to share, but what I can share is that I know the temple IS the House of the Lord. He walks the halls. As workers, we are only instruments in His hands. We are acting as His hands as we help those who come to receive the ordinances of salvation for themselves and those beyond the veil. As we regularly attend the temple we can receive the answers, peace, and hope that we need in our everyday lives that we can’t find anywhere else.

    I can’t fully express in words how much strength and comfort I continue to receive by attending and serving in the temple.

    Through the path of infertility, we have had a lot of disappointment and moments of utter despair, but we have also experienced rays of hope and many miracles.  Heavenly Father has given us stronger faith, trust, and surety in the His plan. That firm faith only comes through the ordinances and covenants we made in the temple and participate in each week.

    The initial crushing diagnosis has since been overturned. A specialist discovered the source of our infertility and performed a miraculous and successful surgery. The Lord promised us we would have our own children and science has finally decided to agree. How and when those children arrive is still unknown. I still have moments filled with tears and impatience, but I have the sure knowledge that the Lord keeps His promises. As I participate in the ordinances of the temple, Heavenly Father gives me strength to press forward another week and to continue in patience in the timing of the Lord.

    This trial could have broken me, but instead, thanks to the temple, it has made me stronger. The temple helps me become more patient, strengthens my faith, and helps me trust in the Lord and His ways. His timing and plan are perfect even though they are different than my own. The ordinances and covenants made in the temple give me confidence and strength to press forward, with steadfast faith in Christ, having a perfect brightness of hope for the future, that one day our children will come.