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What I know now that I didn't know a month ago

SOUTH JORDAN, Utah — My grandmother was born in South Jordan in a farmhouse not far from the location of the current Jordan River Utah Temple. In her final years, she lived with my family — confined to bed by a congenital heart disorder.

I would rush in from school, sit at her bedside and talk about everything.

When the Church announced plans to build the Jordan River Utah Temple, my grandmother encouraged me to give my pennies to the temple fund.

In November 1981, when I was 9 years old, my family attended the temple’s dedication. We took my grandmother in her wheelchair.

As we sat in a basement room during the dedication, the spirit of the temple sank deep into my heart.

I would return to the Jordan River Utah Temple in August of 1995 to marry my husband and again and again over the years.

But this May, as I returned again for the rededication of the sacred building, I found myself thinking of the first time I visited the temple as a Primary girl.

Over the years I have watched Latter-day Saints celebrate new and rededicated temples with their own form of enthusiasm.

At the dedication of the Edmonton Alberta Temple on Dec. 11, 1999, members braved freezing temperatures to attend the dedication. When the temperature warmed and approached zero degrees Celsius, they knew the Lord had sent “temple weather.”

At the rededication of the Papeete Tahiti Temple on Nov. 12, 2006, those attending the service each sang in their own language. Threads of French and Tahitian mixed with my English to weave a beautiful tapestry of music.

And Tropical Cyclone Winston halted the cultural celebration of the Suva Fiji Temple rededication services. Government curfews allowed few members to participate in the services the next day, so members waited to participate in the dedication until power could be restored weeks later.

As I have attended temple dedications around the world I have celebrated each new temple with the local members. Temple ordinances become the crowning blessings the Church has to offer, I remember President Gordon B. Hinckley saying over and over again.

So as my family and I entered the Jordan River temple last Sunday, I prepared myself to again celebrate another temple, remodeled and beautiful.

But this temple dedication was different. As I sat in the lobby of the temple and watched families enter — children clutching their tickets and white handkerchiefs — I thought of entering the temple almost four decades ago with my own family. I thought about my grandmother, my wedding in that very temple, and of my husband and children. The Jordan River temple had become the backdrop, I realized, for my own covenant path.

That’s what I know now that I didn’t think much about before the rededication. We all walk a unique covenant path. Its starts before we are born with our grandparents and their grandparents and it leads to the temple.

The dedication of a temple is really about one thing, President Henry B. Eyring, second counselor in the First Presidency, said in an interview a few days before the rededication:

“This temple is about family,” he said.

— Sarah Jane Weaver is the editor of the Church News.

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