Visit to temple provided girl memory to last a lifetime

All of my life, my parents had talked of being able to travel to the temple so that we could be sealed as a family. In June 1973, when I was 9, we made that long-awaited trip. Our district president told me this event would give me memories to last a lifetime.

My father informed his employer he needed a week off. He had never taken a vacation or sick days. Much to Daddy's surprise, he was told if he went to Utah there would be no job when he returned. This worried Daddy, who was a hard worker and had recently purchased a new home and still had not been able to completely furnish it. I'm sure the temptation to postpone the trip until things were more stable was great, but I never heard my parents mention anything other than continuing with our plans.We drove to Utah in 21/2 days and back in 21/2 days. We didn't have extra money or time; we took coolers packed with water, juice, fruit, and sandwich ingredients.

Our day in the temple was a special one. I waited in the nursery for my turn to be sealed to my parents. The sister who escorted me to my parents quietly pointed out interesting things as we made our way to the sealing room. She stopped with me across from the Celestial Room to allow me to see how beautiful it was. I knew right then that I, too, wanted to attend the temple for myself one day.

The image of walking into the sealing room is as vivid today as that day nearly 20 years ago. My parents were dressed in white, an impressive sight. Daddy had a huge smile and my mother was smiling, but she also had tears in her eyes. I was almost afraid she had changed her mind and didn't want to be sealed to us, but she was crying because she was happy.

The memory that is most important to me is of kneeling at the altar with my parents and holding their hands as we were sealed as a family for time and all eternity.

When we returned to Georgia, my father had indeed lost his job. He continued to pay his tithing and attend to his Church duties, and shortly he received a wonderful job offer. He was able to continue with the employer until he died in 1982. My mother has had extensive burdens since my father died - both financial and physical, but she has been an example that any amount of sacrifice is worth the blessings that attending the temple and serving others will bring.

My goal of attending the temple for my own endowments was realized on Aug. 4, 1988, in the Atlanta Georgia Temple.

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