The give-away that should have ended a couple of weeks ago extended a little while longer simply because I didn’t want the e-mails to stop coming. As I sifted through each and every temple memory sent from people all over the world, I felt the spirit so strongly re-testifying to me the power of the temple and the truthfulness of it all.
I cried through some of them, got chills through most of them, and smiled with all of them simply because the message was the same with every single experience: God lives. And He loves us uniquely and individually.
Because I don’t want to keep such inspirational stories to myself I will be posting several of them for the next couple of weeks, and I hope they’ll touch your heart just as much as they’ve touched mine.
But today I wanted to post the winner for this give-away. It was sent to me from Trent Rogers from California. His story teaches about the journey of finding love again and the healing power of love from our Father in Heaven. Congrats, Trent!
What a great idea! Your idea to give back to your readers and to let us share some of our own life experiences is wonderful.
Some time ago a friend of mine forwarded a copy of your blog to me to read. It contained some unusual and helpful insight into a problem I was facing at the time. I bet you never thought that your words would resonate with a middle aged man who was divorced and suddenly an empty nester all at the same time. Loneliness and pain felt from losing a relationship or loved one are certainly feelings felt at any age I have found. Your words and the spirit behind them belie a much older soul it seems to me. I am sure you have been a creative and also helpful spirit for a long long time, perhaps even before this life.
Anyway, I wanted to share….
Flashback a few years when I was a man married to a woman I loved but who “loved me but was NOT ‘in love’ with me.
I had wanted to be sealed in the Lord’s Temple for many years but there was always a hesitation or excuse from her. Eventually she left to find another love and I thought perhaps my time was passed for finding that Forever Love. Some time later I had come to California on business and was sitting alone in my hotel room with nothing to do one evening. I got online to look at some LDS dating website that I was not even a member of and I happened upon a profile. I expected it to be a woman from Utah, as this was my own laptop but interestingly it was pulling up people in Southern California. I sent a short message to the woman asking if she wanted to communicate back and get to know one another. Next thing you know I find out she lives in San Diego, two hours south. We both took a leap and jumped….
The first lunch we met and that simple date lasted for many hours as we exchanged stories…
I went home to Utah and we began a long distance love affair. I returned to California often after that.
On our third date we drove up to Orange County and went to the Newport Beach Temple. What a beautiful and serene ocean-themed place it is. Surely that would be our favorite temple. Several weeks later we attended the San Diego Temple along the I-5 freeway in La Jolla with it’s Disneyland-like spires and amazing glow washing off the evening fog that is so common near the coast. I felt such peace and contentment being in the temple with my new best friend. That temple would surely be our favorite date night temple going forward….
Well now we fast forward 2 years later. I long ago sold my home in Utah and packed up all my stuff, kissed my grown up kids and friends goodbye and me and my puppy dog took off for California. I am happily married now and me and my wonderful eternal companion have been sealed forever in the latest of our Favorite temples :“The Draper Utah Temple”.
God lives and loves us. It’s the whole reason for Temples.