“Just Five More Minutes,” Liahona, June 2006, 44–46
Our family enjoys nature. We spend almost every Saturday outside—hiking, camping, bike riding, or sightseeing in the summer; and sledding, skiing, or taking walks in the snow in the winter. These are wonderful family times that give my husband and me opportunities to converse with our three children.
One summer day we hiked around a lake in a nearby forest. It was perfect weather: sunny and warm with a refreshing, cool breeze from the lake. As we made our way down the trail, we pointed out the wildflowers and trees. We discussed how much Heavenly Father must love us to create such beauty for our enjoyment. We tried to decide which was the most beautiful place we had seen. One child suggested nearby Yellowstone National Park. Someone else suggested a favorite camping spot. We thought about our trip to the ocean and the beauty of a cross-country ski trail with trees covered in glistening snow.
Our youngest child, Jacob, age 7, who had been quietly listening to our discussion, said, “I think the most beautiful place in the world is where all the things about Jesus are.” Things about Jesus? My mind searched for a connection, and then I realized that Jacob meant Temple Square in Salt Lake City. With the magnificent temple, trees, fountains, and flower gardens, Temple Square is indeed a beautiful place. But to Jacob, Temple Square means more than the outward beauty of nature alone.
Born with a complex congenital heart defect, Jacob is the veteran of three heart surgeries and numerous medical tests, with many more surgeries anticipated. His doctor frequently comes to Idaho, but for Jacob’s surgeries and some tests, we must travel to Primary Children’s Medical Center in Salt Lake City. These trips are often filled with anxiety and worry about Jacob’s health, and we have found that a trip to Temple Square helps calm our nerves and reminds us of Heavenly Father’s plan and of our need to trust in Him.
The night before Jacob’s most recent and most complicated surgery, we took him to the Temple Square visitors’ center, where we sat together looking at that glorious statue of the Savior—the Christus. Peaceful, warm, and safe in a parent’s lap and not wanting to leave, Jacob sat uncharacteristically still and kept asking to stay for “just five more minutes,” until our time there stretched past an hour. When at long last we needed to leave, we all felt at peace and ready to cope with whatever the surgery would bring.
I believe that Temple Square is beautiful to Jacob not because of what he sees there but because of what he feels there. Heavenly Father’s gifts of peace, hope, and comfort are more beautiful than anything Jacob can remember seeing with his physical eyes.
Understanding Heavenly Father’s plan and accepting and trusting in His will can bring indescribable peace and joy. When we become discouraged, upset, or afraid, there is somewhere to turn—not to a specific beautiful place but to our Savior Jesus Christ. And I think Jacob is right: nothing is more beautiful than that.