Temple moments: Hand in hand

Jack Ferguson was the head cook at the Oak Knoll Naval Hospital in 1945 when he saw a young WAVE, Shirley Suter, in the chow line. Later, he told a buddy, "That's the girl I am going to marry."

He met her again when he coached the WAVE softball team and they began to date. Within six weeks, they were married.Religion hadn't been discussed because neither was religious at the time. However, a few years later, after two sons were born to them, Shirley Ferguson turned from being a less-active Latter-day Saint to a very active one.

As the boys grew to manhood, she supported them, and Jack, who was a non-member, attended some of the activities, and even paid tithing. However, he declined her frequent invitations to be baptized.

One day, she said: "I told myself I had to change. I had to quit nagging my husband and love him more, although I've always loved him." At this time, they were members of the Nampa (Idaho) 7th Ward, and a group of caring members fellowshipped him as well.

When her bishop announced in 1986 that worthy women married to less-active or non-member husbands could become endowed, she approached her bishop and received a temple recommend. As she began a frequent and faithful pattern of temple attendance, her husband often drove her. He patiently waited outside for her to complete her family history work.

One day while sitting outside the temple, he had a change of heart and felt a great desire to be baptized. When he called Bishop Leonard Hennis, "he like to have fallen over," said Brother Ferguson. He was baptized in 1992.

A year later, in October 1993, Brother and Sister Ferguson were sealed in the Boise Idaho Temple. A large group of friends from the Nampa 7th Ward accompanied them.

"It was a wonderful feeling," said Brother Ferguson. "It feels great to know that I will have her in the next world, and that we'll be together."

Sister Ferguson agreed. "It was so spiritual and very emotional. He had not experienced anything like that and neither had I."

Now, about once a week and sometimes more often, the Ferguson car pulls up at the Boise Idaho Temple and now, Brother and Sister Ferguson go into the temple, hand in hand.

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