Temple moments: 'I'm here!'

Jan Dickson of the Centinela 1st Ward, Inglewood California Stake, had a particularly difficult time attending the temple.

"I have fibromyalgia, which doesn't allow me to sit very long," she explained. "On July 9, 1986, when I attended the temple, the pain blocked out the good feelings. I was in pain for days afterwards."She loved to attend the temple, but the suffering prevented her return. "I prayed for a way to open up so that I could go to the temple without suffering," she said. "I prayed for days, weeks, months."

Finally, she said, the emotional anguish of continual asking and not being able to go was too keen. She poured her heart out to the Lord, and then left the matter to Him.

One day in 1992, the phone rang. A ward member, Rosa Rice, wife of the elders quorum president, called and said while she was in the temple she felt prompted to call Sister Dickson.

They talked about Sister Dickson attending the temple, and she explained the medical reasons why she couldn't attend. Even discussing the situation brought back anguish.

"Is there any way you can attend the temple?" asked Sister Rice.

"Lying down," replied Sister Dickson, expecting that would end the conversation and the query.

Later, Sister Rice called the Los Angeles Temple; the temple presidency gave permission for Sister Dickson to lie down during the session. They said they would welcome her to attend.

"I was dumbfounded," said Sister Dickson. "I almost didn't believe it."

Her husband took half a day off work to help Sister Dickson attend the temple.

"As I entered the temple on Nov. 12, 1992, for the first time in six years, I had trouble controlling the tears in my eyes."

The temple provided a gurney, which eased the pain.

"I was so grateful," she said. "Now we attend once a month. Each time I attend, I think, `I'm here!'

"Thank you, dear friends, for following the Spirit's prompting, for opening a door I didn't know could be opened."

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