“In the Lord’s Time,” Ensign, Aug. 1992, 57–58
The high councilor spoke, like so many before him, of the importance of temple attendance. Oh, how I wished I could have pulled out a pocket stereo with earphones to drown him out. It was difficult to sit through these meetings knowing there were those present who possessed temple recommends but let them go unused. Here I sat, willing and able to go, but not permitted. My husband was not a member of the Church, and even though I knew there was wisdom in the Church’s policy in effect at that time, it was hard to accept that I could not go to the temple unless he joined the Church. The policy has since changed, but I still remember the events of that period.
I had grown up in a family in which we were baptized but never attended Church meetings. My Church activity had been confined to a few short years in high school—when I attended mostly for social reasons. I never read the Book of Mormon or developed a strong testimony. Not having the gospel in my home, I didn’t recognize the importance of temple marriage.
I married, had two children, and then divorced. I married again and continued to be less active. However, not long after my second marriage, the Spirit spoke to me so strongly I could not deny it.
I was awakened several times in the middle of the night by a still, small voice telling me it was time to get my life in order. I had only a glimmer of a testimony, but I knew where to start. I was concerned about the effect my newfound spirituality would have on my marriage, but my husband admired my efforts and was very supportive. My testimony grew by leaps and bounds.
As my testimony increased, so did my desire to go to the temple. I prayed and promised the Lord that if I had a recommend I wouldn’t let it go unused.
Meanwhile, I tried to make the best of my situation. If I couldn’t receive my endowment, I could do baptisms for the dead. I was a little embarrassed tagging along with youth groups, but if that was the only way I could go to the temple, then that was how I would go. I enjoyed the spirit I felt when I was in the Lord’s house. I also knew the importance of any work done in the temple. But I yearned to walk through the main doors to take out my own endowment.
I’ll never forget the day I heard the news. I was serving as the Young Women president when I learned that a letter had come from the First Presidency stating a new policy. Those who were married to unendowed spouses could now go to the temple. I could hardly believe my ears. My stake president, however, assured me that indeed it was true.
With my husband’s support and approval, I prepared to attend the temple. I bought the fabric for my temple dress on Monday, arranged an appointment with my bishop on Thursday, had an interview with my stake president on Sunday morning, and arranged to attend the temple to receive my endowment on the following Saturday. On the Sunday evening before I received my endowment, my husband and I met with the stake president, who explained the significance of the temple endowment and the commitment I would be making. I was ready.
Saturday was a stormy, overcast morning—a contrast to the glow I felt inside. As I approached the Oakland Temple, its dimly lit spire came into view through the fog. Standing high in the hills, the temple had always stood as a beacon, beckoning me from the world. Finally it would bid me enter.
As I walked through the entrance, I felt as if I were beginning a new life. I clung to every word I heard in the temple, wanting to absorb it all at once. When it was over, I couldn’t wait to return.
The windows of heaven have certainly opened up and showered blessings upon me. Six years ago, I could only long for the blessings of the temple. Today, I have attended the Oakland, London, Los Angeles, Provo, St. George, and Salt Lake temples. I attend the temple joyfully. The veil has been very thin on several occasions and I have felt the spirits of those waiting. As I look at their names and birth dates, I realize these women have waited for temple blessings much longer than I. I’m learning to view life from an eternal perspective, and I have come to appreciate that things do happen in the Lord’s time.