Temple

31 Discoveries – Switzerland

After Hungary entered the European Union on May 1, 2004, the first time I exited teh EU was in January this year, when I made a trip to Switzerland with some friends to visit the Bern Switzerland Temple. Temples are sacred places for us, Latter Day Saints, and it had been over 15 years since I last had the opportunity to go to a Temple! Because we love to complicate things, we didn’t go to our assigned Temple in Freiberg, Germany, but to the Swiss Temple–via Bergamo, Italy.

And this is where the problems began. The day we flew into Bergamo, and were supposed to catch the evening train to Bern via Milan, a deadly train wreck happened near Milan. We didn’t know about it, and by the time we found out that we can’t get to Milan by train that evening it was too late to make any alternative arrangements. So we exchanged our tickets for the next morning…only to realize that the train we were told to be running for sure was cancelled, and after a lot of prayers and running we almost missed the train to Bern again. Fortunately we didn’t, and after several hours of travel we finally arrived in Zollikofen, Switzerland.

We got off the train and after crossing the street this is what we saw: img_5975

As we walked closer to the Temple we realized that it smelled like Heaven should–like chocolate! After a quick lunch and changing we could go to the Temple and spend the whole afternoon and the next morning participating in various ordinances. I also had it confirmed that the world is small, but it’s even smaller in the Church when I realized that there were several people serving there with whom I had some connections either from Temple Square or from home.

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The Bern Switzerland Temple, formerly known as the Swiss Temple was the first truly multi-language Temple and the Temple experience as most of us know it now in the Church is the direct result of having to find a solution to present the endowment sessions for a multinational audience. I think Bern’s beautiful celestial room is my favorite one.

Rather than taking the train home, one of the sisters from Bergamo drove us back. We saw some beautiful sites on  the way. Even gas stations looked impressive!

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The Temple – part 2: The Building of the Salt Lake Temple

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One of the first LDS movies I’ve seen was Mountain of the Lord. It was the first LDS video I’ve seen that was not totally… churchy. It was enjoyable, interesting, and educational. I had known how long building the Salt Lake Temple took, but it was in this film that first introduced me to why it was that long. Later on serving on Temple Square it was something we often talked about. I love the story of the Temple, and the stories of the people who worked on building it. I think the only story I like more is how the Freiberg Germany Temple came to be built behind the iron curtain in East Germany.

 

When Crochet Meets Sunday School

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Sometime in August I saw a photo of a very pretty filet crochet picture of the Salt Lake Temple. I spent about a week looking for the pattern, but I couldn’t even find the origin of the photo. It was pinned from numerous sources, but none seemed to be the original upload. I looked on crochet forums and Etsy to no avail. I found a pattern on Etsy, though, but didn’t like it, so what I did was to take a good look at the photos, open Excel, and create a pattern.

Excel is a very versatile tool, you see.

As I started to crochet, I suddenly remembered a lot of stories of the Salt Lake Temple. As I mentioned yesterday I served my mission on Temple Square, and part of our work included telling people about the history of the Temple. I can’t even count how many times my companions and I retold the story of Brigham Young selecting the site of the Temple just four days after the saints arrived in the Salt Lake Valley, and how it took 40 years of hard work and sacrifice to build the Temple that has since become a landmark and a symbol of the church. As Temple Square missionaries we got to attend the temple weekly, had the opportunity cleaning it, and got to see areas that are usually not shown to the public. The Salt Lake Temple became a personal special place for many of us.

One Saturday I realized that I had made a mistake some 6 or 7 rows earlier, right at the base of the Temple. I decided not to rip it all out then, but wait till after church on Sunday. It was a small mistake, but it made the pattern unbalanced to my eyes, and I was sure it would ruin it completely as I got further along.

This year in Sunday School we learn about the Doctrine and Covenants and Church history. The lesson that day was about the building of the Salt Lake Temple. Part of the lesson included our teacher reading out a story from the manual, about how, when the leaders anticipated hostility towards the saints from the US military, the foundations of the temple were covered up to look like just another plot of land. After the danger passed and the foundation was uncovered there were cracks in the sandstone. The saints started all over with laying the foundations, this time using granite. Had they not been forced to hide their work they would not have found out that the foundation would not be able to support the temple.

That afternoon I went back and fixed the small mistake in my work. The following week I finished that piece.

Learning from our mistakes is important, and something beautiful can be born out of it. Like the Salt Lake Temple. Like lives lived loving, and following our Savior.