I grew up a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, but I grew up outside of Utah, which was a much different experience than most members have.
Living outside of Seattle Washington, you don’t see LDS churches on every street corner during your daily drive, and there are not nearly as many LDS temples.
The state of Washington has three temples, where Utah has 17. Thankfully, I was lucky enough to live 20 minutes from the Seattle temple, making it a quick trip for me.
When I made the decision to move to Utah last year and continue my education at Weber State University, I didn’t know there would be temple in Ogden, or that it was being remodeled.
During this past year, it has been amazing to drive past the Ogden temple and see it nearing completion. I was filled with excitement to know it would only take me five minutes to drive to the temple, instead of the 20 minutes it used to.
In early August, I returned from my summer stay in Washington and had the privilege of attending the open house with those who are near and dear to my heart. I had an overwhelming feeling of peace as I walked through. Since my access to LDS temples has been limited, it was amazing to see all the different rooms in Ogden’s temple.
On Sept. 20, I was able to attend the Ogden Temple Cultural Celebration, “Shine The Light” at the Dee Events Center. More than 16,000 youth, ranging from 12 to 18 years of age, participated from 29 different stakes. The celebration had 14 different performances with singing, dancing and fiddlers. It explained the history of the LDS church through music.
Prior to attending, I did not imagine that I would feel the overwhelming power of the youth’s testimony of the church.
On Sept. 21, three temple dedication ceremonies occurred, and I had the pleasure of experiencing my very first temple dedication. The ceremony consisted of multiple speakers who spoke of the importance of temples in our lives.
Sitting in the chapel listening to every word spoken, I made a promise to myself to attend the temple regularly.
I love to see the temples and always have.
I have created a special place in my heart for the Ogden temple, and it has become my favorite. I look forward to the day when I can make more covenants in the church, so I may be married and sealed to my future husband in the Ogden temple.