Saturday, January 16, 2010

An Afternoon in Snowflake

Today my sons and I traveled to the LDS temple in Snowflake with 24 other young people from our ward to perform baptisms for the dead. Our youth participate in this temple ordinance every other month, but today was special because it was Dylan's first time to do so. Thus it was my first time to be able to attend the temple with both of my boys. With Jacob set to go away and serve a mission this coming summer, who knows when or if we'll be together like this again?

It was also special because the people for whom our youth were baptized today were the ancestors of my cousin Raelene's husband, Holiday. The temple workers tell us Holiday and Raelene have submitted more than 50,000 names for temple work over the years through their diligent geneology efforts. It was fun to see Holiday and Raelene at the temple today, too!

The temple is sacred and central to the LDS religion. Because we follow Christ and because He said that baptism is necessary for entrance into heaven, we believe it is important that the opportunity to be baptized be extended to all people, including our ancestors who never heard the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

These proxy baptisms are perfomed in the temple, as they were in ancient Jerusalem. See 1 Corinthians 15:29.

Many other saving ordinances are also performed in the temple, but proxy baptisms are the one way that our youth can participate in these rites for our kindred dead.

I love being in the temple. The interior is beautiful, and everyone is dressed in white, glowing like angels.

The white represents both cleanliness and commonality, with no person being set above another.

While inside, we speak in hushed tones. The feeling is calm and peaceful. The warm, comforting presence of the Spirit is strong.

Our family was so excited when they began building the Snowflake Temple in 2000, on what is now known as Temple Hill (for obvious reasons).

Previously the nearest temple was in Mesa, 3 hours away. Snowflake is just a 30-minute drive from our house.

In August of 2000, Temple Hill was just that: a hill. Located in the middle of barren high desert, the top was sheared off and flattened prior to construction.

Mark and I took the kids there on August 16th to see where the new temple was to be built in the small rural town of Snowflake.

Here are the kids and me on top of Temple Hill more than 9 years ago. Just an empty space. Dylan was 3, Jacob was 9, and Sarah was 10. I was almost 46. That used to seem so old...

Here is the view today from the temple doors. The area has boomed with new homes.

(Note: Snowflake doesn't get that much snow. The town was actually named after two families who settled the area: the Snows and the Flakes.)

The boys are Jacob, Dylan, and two of Wyndie's sons, Evan and Derek, who rode with us.
A little bridge crosses over the fountain just outside the entrance. Many wedding pictures have been taken here, including some in my own photo albums! I think the fence is a new additon, though.

There is still ice in sections of the fountain. The fountain in the picture below is located at the bottom of the stairs leading down to the parking lot on a lower level.
See how the sky is becoming gray and threatening? Another storm system is rolling in.
The National Weather Service says our town (higher elevation than Snowflake) will have snow from Monday morning until next weekend. Predictions are for anywhere from one to eight feet of snow. We just never know.

Today, though, we had a beautiful afternoon in Snowflake.


Jill said...

I didn't realize Jacob's mission is coming so soon! When is his birthday, I can't remember.

I just asked Den from the other room if he knew Snowflake is named after the Snows and the Flakes. He said he did....I think that is so cute! He had an uncle who use to own a gas station there.

How did you get that first picture so big? If you are willing to share your secret I will look back here for the answer. :) I'd love to have pictures that size....and did you recently go to just 2 columns? Oh the mysteries of blogging!

Mary said...

Jacob will be 19 on June 26. He plans to turn in his papers in April and request an August departure so we can have our last family trip in July (Colorado). Although he plans to spend most of it with his friend Adam, who lives in CO.

Actually, I just made a discovery the other day as I was setting up another blog I'm starting (more on that tomorrow): If you go to the "Settings: Basic" tab and scroll down to "Global Settings," you can click on "Updated editor." It will give you a whole new screen and new tools for writing your new posts.

I haven't figured it all out yet so there are some frustrating moments. It also doesn't have the spell checker to catch my mistakes for me. But overall, I think I'll like it better when I understand it all. One of the benefits is you can change your photos to any size WHILE it's in the box, and you can change it back if you don't like it.

One of the sizes they added is "Extra Large." I thought of you when I saw that! By the way, Jill, I also accidentally discovered how to save your blog to the hard drive of your computer and how to make your blog into a book, either hard or soft-bound. If you're still looking for that info, let me know and I'll email it to you.

Mary said...

Oops--forgot one more answer. This blog has always been just 2 columns. Three columns look too busy for my tastes. I think maybe it seemed like 3 columns because of the way I tend to do the photo on one side with narrative on the other side next to it. That just requires some tricky planning!