Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Temple Week

This week concluded what I've been calling my temple week. I'm sure you've already heard all about it, but one thing I've noticed is that as people talk about the temple they all have special experiences as they participated in different ways in the various activities for the temple.

First, I have to tell you about Choir practice! We had a dress rehearsal this Wednesday in the Celestial Room. How cool is that?! When we walked into the temple, there were chairs set up everywhere. They had chairs in the waiting room on the main floor, in every endowment room, sealing rooms, and of course, in the celestial room and they all have little white cloth booties to prevent the chairs from marking of the floors. Some were cloth. Some were crotched. They were cute. :) In the Celestial room, they had us line up behind four beautiful armchairs that will seat President Monson, President Eyering, Elder Cook and a visiting general authority. It's so exciting but a little sureal. We worked through our music and figured out how we were going to stand and where we were going to sit and how we get from one place to the other. :) You know, just the technical stuff, but knowing all that before hand will help the performance go that much smoother. We had the music chair Brother Barrus come and listen as well as Elder and Sister Nielson (Area 70 Authority) were there and it was so awesome!!! It gives you chills to sing the Hosanna Anthem and our little audience was singing the Spirit of God at one point. Needless to say I cried a few tears, but I was able to keep my throat open so that's a good sign. It's so exciting.

Then my mom, my sisters, and I got to go to the stake center on Saturday night and watch the Youth Celebration. It turned out really cool and something very special I think for the kids and all the people involved. President Monson, President Eyring and Elder Cook were there and President Sagers said the opening prayer so he got to greet President Monson. How cool would that be?! Each of the stakes did a musical number about the area, the people, and the different times. In the opening and closing number all fourteen stakes participated. I wondered how many kids were on the field because it looked like thousands and it ended up being over 3,000!!! There was one part that made me tear up. Their theme is Living Water so they compare the life-giving water of the Snake River that allowed us to settle this area to the Living Water that Jesus offers in the New Testament. For the opening number they all have blue flags that they wave to look like water and they have some really talented dancers dressed in blue or white dresses (see pic I borrowed from the Times-News). It was the closing number that got me when they were singing "Carry On!" You have all these thousands youth carrying colored flags and singing,
And we hear the desert singing:
Carry on, carry on, carry on!
Hills and vales and mountains ringing:
Carry on, carry on, carry on!
Holding aloft our colors,
We march in the glorious dawn.
O youth of the noble birthright,
Carry on, carry on, carry on!

It felt like it was written especially for our kids. It was really cool! The hip hop number about the Idaho potato from the kids in Paul made me laugh out loud and in the stake center too! It was HILARIOUS! The different tricks and the moves the kids would do were fun and they had a potato mascot running around doing all kinds of funny things. :) Our stake did a musical number to something "Colores" and did a Mexican hat dance. They were able to borrow enough matching costumes from another Youth Celebration and we looked AWESOME. I mean THEY looked awesome. :)

Sunday was the temple dedication. It was pretty cool, extremely nerve racking, a spiritual high, a bit embarrassing, and a little sad that this part of the temple is over. The embarrassing part? A friend told me that when they showed the choir singing they showed me... A LOT. I've got people I don't know and never met telling me that the Choir did a nice job. They did and it was neat to be part of it, but it's a little disconcerting to be recognized. :) I read another friend's blog about her journey with the temple and it was pretty cool to think back on the announcement, the ground breaking, visiting the temple grounds and watching the temple emerge from a hole in the ground to something that actually glistens and sparkles in the sun. :)

I loved the temple open house and I got to go through with both my family and when my Brown cousins came to visit. Plus, I was an usher one day so I got to watch that introductory video A LOT. :) It was so interesting to learn the trivia about the temple. Cool things like the stake center's floor is recycled from the framing used during construction of the temple. The exterior of the temple was designed reflect the canyon. The history of the painting from the mural from the Rexburg temple and the painting from the old Rupert Stake Center and, of course, the awesome mural in the Telestial room. Chris and I started Choir practice back in January and its been regular every week practice since May. When I went to sleep at night, I had different verses of different songs running through my mind. But I got to practice singing the Hosanna Anthem in the Celestial room with my sister and then on Sunday I sang six feet away from THE President of the Church, the mouthpiece of the Lord on Earth. It's mind boggling. Now it's back to the daily grind and if feels a little sad that it's time to move on after so many cool things. I guess it's just like President Monson said. These experiences bring such happy memories that we can look back on again and again.


In honor of my favorite poem, and the urging of my very good friend, I've created a blog to reflect on my own experiences so that I can remember them as clearly as Wordsworth remember his Daffodils.

by William Wordsworth
I wandered lonely as a cloud
That floats on high o'er vales and hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd,
A host, of golden daffodils;
Beside the lake, beneath the trees,
Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.
Continuous as the stars that shine
And twinkle on the Milky Way,
They stretched in never-ending line
Along the margin of the bay:
Ten thousand saw I at a glance,
Tossing their heads in a sprightly dance.
The waves beside them danced, but they
Out-did the sparkling waves in glee:
A poet could not but be gay,
In such a jocund company:
I gazed --- and gazed --- with little thought
What wealth the show to me had brought:
For oft, when on my couch I lie
In vacant or in pensive mood,
They flash upon that inward eye
Which is the bliss of solitude;
And then my heart with pleasure fills,
And dances with the daffodils.