I was three days away from marrying the man of my dreams in a temple of God. But before I could do so, I needed to become endowed.
Now many of you who are not of the LDS (Mormon) faith may not know what this means. So here's the quick version of a very important part of my religion...
In the temple we are taught about God's plan for us, we make covenants, and we are promised blessings. We receive ordinances that enable us to live in God's presence. The word "endowment" means "gift" or "bestowal." As part of this ordinance, we are taught about the purpose of life, the mission and Atonement of Jesus Christ, and Heavenly Father’s plan for His children. We gain a glimpse of what it will be like to live in His presence as we feel the peaceful atmosphere of the temple. See pictures of the insides of Mormon temples here.
One's personal endowment session must take place before they can receive the blessings of a temple sealing (marriage.) Before members can serve missions for the church, they receive their own endowment as it can serve as a strength while they spend 2 years of their life serving the Lord and sharing the message of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Therefore, because Mr. Jolley was a returned missionary, he had received his a little over 2 years earlier, but now it was finally my turn.
I grew up singing...
"I love to see the temple, I'm going there someday.
To feel the Holy Spirit, to listen and to pray.
For the temple is a house of God, a place of love and beauty.
I'll prepare while I am young, this is my sacred duty.
I love to see the temple, I'll go inside someday.
I'll covenant with my Father, I'll promise to obey.
For the temple is a holy place, where we are sealed together.
As a child of God I've learned this truth, a family is forever."
Having my sweetheart with me there made it even more wonderful. Even though I had studied and prepared for this day, I did not have any idea just how beautiful and wonderful it would be. In my mind, the temple taught me more about Christ, eternal family relationships, and personal change than anything else in my life ever had. The temple is about changing your heart, mind and soul so that you can become more like God.
I had never felt more at peace in my life. The whole hour drive home from my endowment I was cuddled into Mr. Jolley's arms and saying over and over again. "I love you, I love you, I love you..." And praying that the next three days before our wedding would fly by.