Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Day 62 – { breaking ground for a temple of God }

The evening before the groundbreaking (8/24) DC and I went to the temple site as part of our date. It had been announced over the pulpit that once ground had been broken, the public would not be allowed on the site until the Open House.
I have fond memories of visiting “Pinhead Hill” in Snowflake just after the temple was announced for that site in 2000, and I still have a rock I picked up from there that is special to me. I really, really wanted to go and see if I could find a rock at the temple site here and to walk on the ground there one last time before I would only be able to watch from a distance.
Everything was set up and ready, and a few members were there making sure everything was still okay what with the rainish weather.
I couldn’t find a single rock. :) But I did take some dirt from the mound you can see in that picture. One of the people there said he heard that that spot is where the Celestial Room will be.
We were so excited the next morning! We had to be very early because DC was serving as an usher and they were having a meeting beforehand. I planned for us to watch the groundbreaking broadcast at the nearby church.
When DC’s usher-meeting was over he came to us with extremely welcome news: we were invited to watch the groundbreaking from the temple site, if we didn’t mind standing at the back. Of course we didn’t! We agreed to take turns holding Rosebud.
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Rosebud picked that flower for me. She also caught several grasshoppers as we sat there! :)
When we got to the back and were waiting for it to start, we were told to go sit in the chairs – there was room for us. I could hardly believe it! I never dreamed that as newbies in Fort Collins we would get a chance to be at the groundbreaking of the temple. I almost felt guilty because I knew there were probably hundreds of people more deserving of the privilege of attending in person.
But I had the feeling that this was a tender mercy from a loving Father to me.
Notice the architectural rendering of the temple in a frame to the left of the canopy.
Elder and Sister Rasband were there, as well as Elder William R. Walker and his wife. I loved their talks, especially Sis. Rasband, who shared some very tender feelings about their grandson who recently passed away, and the comfort she has felt through the blessings of the temple.
I was so relieved that Rosebud fell asleep on my lap during the talks – she had been a little restless and I didn’t know where I would take her if she started to be disruptive. Then, right during the prayer dedicating the ground, she started jiggling, then woke up and said she needed to go to the bathroom. Arg! I was thinking to myself, “Really? Right now? I am so glad that she will be two years older by the time the temple is dedicated!” And trying to convince her to hold it till the prayer was over. Then Elder Rasband started praying for the children in the temple district and I was struck with guilt. ;-) I stood up and took her to the nearby port-a-potty, missing the rest of the prayer. Talk about the sublime combining with the mundane. :)
Thankfully we got back in time to see the actual groundbreaking with the special fancy shovels. He invited all the community leaders to join in the symbolic turning over of the dirt, then the stake presidents, then the full-time missionaries, and Rosebud was fussing the whole time saying, “I want to dig with the shovels! Can I go dig with the shovels?” And just as I was explaining to her that it was not for the kids to do, Elder Rasband invited all the children to come up and have a turn!  Yippee!
Again, feeling a bit like we weren’t actually supposed to be there, like maybe we are not really Coloradoans yet, we took our turn. There was a sweet young man there that shared his turn since Rosebud was having a hard time and Hummer hadn’t made it up.
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Then there was a closing hymn and prayer, and to our delight, Elder Rasband invited whatever families would like to come up and have a go with the shovels and take pictures. yay!
It was a beautiful morning. Such a sense of joy and anticipation and gratitude was there among all the people who had gathered. I felt -- and I hope so much that our children felt -- what a unique opportunity this was. It was the first time in my life ever to attend the groundbreaking of a temple, and possibly it will never happen again.
I love so much that we got to be here as this temple began its existence, and that we will get to see every stage of its construction. Hopefully by the time it’s dedicated and we can worship inside we will feel like we have served well here and that it really is “our” temple.
As I write this post I am struck again with amazement and deep gratitude at the special blessing it was to have been at this event. I can hardly believe sometimes how much Heavenly Father loves me!
100 days of gratitude tag[7]
Praise be to Him!

For the official writeup on the Church’s news website about this, go here. (I’m in one of the pictures, for better or for worse! Wish it could have been Rosebud. :0)


Chocolate on my Cranium said...[Reply to comment]

Wow! What a beautiful experience to share with the whole family!

llamitanan said...[Reply to comment]

I loved reading every word about your experience at the groundbreaking. I remember feeling very sad that only select members were invited to the Snowflake groundbreaking. We were so grateful to have a temple built here where we live. I LOVE everything about the Temple and can feel your enthusiasm too. I know your children will love and attend the temple because you do. It was fun going with you to the temple site last week. Thank you for sharing!!

Cathy said...[Reply to comment]

My Mom and my Uncle were students in Fort Collins many years ago and they were almost the only LDS kids on campus. It's pretty amazing that there will be a temple there. So fun to see your kiddlets getting to be so close to the action!