The Glorious Moments
August 1974

“The Glorious Moments,” Ensign, Aug. 1974, 63–64

The Glorious Moments

My decision to enter the house of the Lord came as a surprise to me since I had no desire to enter this holy sanctuary until I married. However, something very important happened: my mother passed away before she could go through the temple to receive her own endowments and be sealed to my father.

While I studied alone in my room one evening, a small voice kept repeating: “The temple work for your mother must be done right away.” First, I tried to ignore the words, but they kept coming to me louder and louder.

Finally, I dropped my studies and began pondering seriously the message of this small voice. I felt worthy to enter the temple, but I feared I might not be able to remain true and faithful to the covenants afterwards. This fear sent me to ask the Lord for direction.

On my knees, I wept, not because of sorrow, but from the penetrating sweetness of the Spirit that came to me as I prayed. Fear vanished; faith and courage took its place. As soon as I got up from my knees, I was prompted to call my bishop.

Since Church policy recommended that single young ladies wait to enter the temple until their missions or marriage, I had to wait several weeks for permission. I spent this time preparing myself mentally and spiritually. I also filled out the necessary family group sheets for my mother’s work.

Then, after final instructions from my bishop and stake president, I entered the temple. What a glorious blessing to be inside that house! My eyes, ears, and heart opened wide to absorb its teachings. I felt the reality of each covenant I made within every fiber and bone of my body. I felt I was standing right in front of the Lord each time I made covenants with him. The influence of the Lord was so great that I had no desire to leave the temple after the session was over. It became real to me then that I was surely in the world but not of it.

Four weeks later, I went through on behalf of my mother. This was another glorious experience. I felt my mother’s presence as I went through the endowment session, and when the marriage sealing was performed for my parents, I literally felt their presence at the altar. The influence of the Holy Spirit in the room was so strong that I broke down in tears while being sealed to my parents. I truly experienced a reunion with them. Ever since that day I have felt their presence so close that it doesn’t seem real that they are gone.

Three years later, after attending the temple twice weekly, I became an ordinance worker in the Salt Lake Temple. This has expanded my understanding of the sacred ordinances and covenants of the temples. These three years of service were, I feel, a special education, for in the early part of 1973, I was asked to translate the temple ordinances and ceremony into Samoan for the temple film.

This was the most terrifying assignment of my life. I might be personally responsible for any misunderstanding or misinformation the Samoan members received. But the Lord answered all my questions about proper Samoan terms, including two Samoan terms that had been misused in the first translation.

The temple is indeed a house of prayer and a house of higher teachings on the things of the Spirit. Whenever I have a question in my mind, I go to the temple to seek for the right answers. When I go inside the temple, I feel I am there to visit with my Heavenly Father; therefore, I must concentrate on what I am saying to him in my mind and heart, and I must listen carefully to what he is saying to me personally. I love and appreciate the temples for the blessings they have brought to me. There is no other place I would rather be on earth.

  • Sister Sipuao J. Matuauto works as a translator in the Church Translation Department and sings in the Tabernacle Choir.