Rearrangements for the Meridian Idaho Temple

So, here's what I decided to do about my callings dilemma. For those just joining, I was offered a third calling while up at girl's camp. I'm also taking on additional responsibilities at the temple because we're beginning to release all workers going to the Meridian Temple.

Image courtesy of: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Three callings and two temple shifts is not acceptable. It wasn't right for the bishopric to even ask me to do it. They only asked because they don't fully understand what they're asking from me. So I'm not going to do it.

Our transportation situation is such that it won't be easy for me to take an additional temple shift. But that is my priority right now. I realized I can go during Wednesday evenings with another temple worker in my ward. That would really be the ideal situation. Since that also means I wouldn't be available for Mutual anymore, that's the thing that needs to give way.

If they want me to take on a different set of responsibilities in the ward, they need to release me from the ones they've given me. And they can't afford to release me from my temple service. It wouldn't be wise for them to even try. The stake would reject it outright.

So that leaves my time in Young Women coming to an end. Which I admit, I've been feeling like that time has come. I want to help the bishop prepare people for temple service. He needs someone passionate and engaged to help him with this. The new calling he has in mind goes in that direction, but it doesn't go far enough. And I'm trying to think of the best way to explain it.

Just because someone is working on their family history doesn't mean they will automatically start going to the temple. Family history alone doesn't prepare people for temple worship or temple service. They're two separate sets of needs. I tried to point out this need for temple preparation classes in our ward months ago, when new workers should have been called. It takes at least 6 months to train new workers, and usually several weeks to recommend and call them. He didn't hear me then, and I'm afraid no one will listen to me now. 

It isn't fair to the people that will now have to learn under pressure. But this is the situation our temple district has created by not responding to the calls from the temple presidency. And who has to pay the price for that? All of us who serve in the temple, including me and my husband.

This is where I am needed. I can see that. And I have every confidence that the Lord will help the bishopric to see it too. 

Becoming the Change as a Temple Ordinance Worker

I'm an ordinance worker in the Boise Idaho temple. I wanted to share part of why I do this ever week. Because just like everything else about being LDS, being an ordinance worker is both difficult and deeply rewarding. It is both. Always. My desire to continue serving from my experience doing my father's temple work in the Mount Timpanogos temple in Utah.

My father and I were estranged. He was abusive and had a Molotov cocktail of addictions that were toxic to every person in his life. I removed him from my life when I was fifteen, before I ever knew about the Church. That did not change before his abrupt death in 2009. Our relationship had no stable ground on which to build a healthy reconciliation. It just wasn't possible.

When it came time to do his temple work, it wasn't an easy step for me to take, in my life or my faith. The heartbreak and anger I felt made forgiveness all but impossible. And the thought of taking his name to the temple was unbearable.

I've spent a lifetime reprogramming myself to understand that I'm not responsible for his actions, that his problems weren't mine to bear. Having to put myself through painful memories and complicated emotions to do temple ordinances just didn't seem fair to me. But I love my Savior, and I believe in his atonement. If anyone can fix my dad, it's Jesus Christ. I believed that with all of my heart and soul.

The cognitive dissonance was still confusing and frustrating. Why couldn't I just do what God wanted me to do? Why wasn't it easier? If God commands you to do something, he's supposed to make a way for you to accomplish it. And as far as I could tell, nothing had changed.

The year anniversary of his death was up in May 2010. I was a student at BYU. I spent several weeks mentally and spiritually preparing myself for what I was about to do. I asked my friends to come with me so I wouldn't be alone. The Provo temple was closed, we piled onto a bus with me and took the long, hot trip to the next closest temple in Mount Timpanogos.

I had hoped it would be a peaceful, meaningful experience for all of us. Instead, all hell broke loose. 

The issues began with my temple recommend. I'd gotten it in January, right as the year changed. The member of the bishopric had written the wrong date on it. Rather than creating a new one, he crossed out the last digit of the year, wrote the correct digit, and initialed it. It had never been an issue at the Provo Temple. But these workers at the Mount Timpanogos temple were not having it.

All of my friends had gone ahead of me and were already in the dressing room. I was stranded at the recommend desk while they called the temple recorder. He was on his way to a meeting, so they originally were going to turn me away and take my recommend away. I didn't know what to d and started to cry. I did the only thing I could do. I started to pray.

"Heavenly Father, I didn't come all this way for this. I can't do this right now!"

I don't know what suddenly changed, if they got my bishop on the phone. They let me in and didn't take my recommend away. I hoped that was going to be the worst of it. But it was only the beginning.

From the moment we walked into the baptistry, those ordinance workers did nothing but follow us around and criticize us. They were mean, unfriendly, and made one of the hardest days of my life that much more unpleasant. By the time we left the locker room, several of the girls that were with me were also in tears. It was the worst experience I've ever had in the temple.

They were so determined to get rid of us, they tried to rush me out of the font at the same time they did my father's baptism. I stood there, sopping wet and cold, and wouldn't budge. 

"That's my father's name," I told them again. They shrugged and proceeded.

In all of the chaos and emotion of that day, time finally stopped and stood still. The heaviest weight had been lifted. I was free.

I don't remember much of the confirmation or anything else. Just relief. He wasn't my problem anymore. It was all in God's hands now. The rest of that day felt like walking on clouds. I'd kept my promise to the Lord. I did what he asked me to do.


This was what God gave us temples for, to be freed from burden like mine. No one should have to go through anything like this when they go to the temple. I'm a temple worker because I want everyone who goes to the temple to have a good, uplifting experience. I want to give others what I didn't have in the moment when it mattered most to me.

I try to treat every assignment, no matter how small, like it could be the answer to someone's prayer. To show the love I wasn't given. That sad, miserable experience was wrong. But it has become the inspiration for so much good I have tried to do since then. Making good things happen out of inadequate materials has always been my special gift. That's still true in my temple service to this day.

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