Temple Moments: Inside the door

Standing outside the Salt Lake Temple in April 1995, Geri L. Petersen of the Twin Falls 9th Ward, Twin Falls Idaho Stake, felt intense but mixed emotions:

"I was scared to death but also filled with so much excitement and joy I could hardly stand still," she said.Sister Petersen planned to enter the temple the next day to receive her blessings and be sealed to her husband, Keith, and their children.

Her road to this point, she said, "had been rather long and rocky." She had been less-active since a teen. But as difficulties and trials arose, both Brother and Sister Petersen felt a need to return to the gospel, but were not "getting real serious about it."

When she was called to serve in the Young Women organization, she realized "the time had come for me to be either completely committed to my beliefs or stop completely; I could no longer go half way."

She and her husband set a goal to go to the temple, but many problems and temptations came. "I learned the power of prayer, fasting, faith in my Father in Heaven, and the love and support of friends and family," she said.

"When the special day arrived, everything was going smoothly. Walking to the temple from our hotel I felt such a peace within. I felt as if nothing could go wrong and we had won the battle.

"But just outside the temple, I discovered we had left our recommends at the hotel. Tension began to fill my body. Our friends and family were arriving and going through the temple doors I longed to enter. I just stood there fighting back tears - I was so close, yet still on the wrong side of the doors."

Soon, however, her husband returned with the all-important recommends and "we finally entered the place of my dreams. Great comfort and support came from wonderful friends who were with us the entire time. But most of my comfort and support came from the love of my Father in Heaven which I felt as soon as I entered the temple. I felt like I was home again.

"Nothing in the outside world will ever compare to the love and heavenly spirit which was present as I knelt at the altar with my eternal companion, and our children were sealed to us. The spirit that filled that room will be with me forever."

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