Once upon a time in a town in the middle of a desert a temple was built.
The families in the area anxiously awaited that temple, and in their great excitement, took pictures where it would once stand.
Links to other parts of this story of the temple being built are back HERE, but today, this story leads us to this little boy in the braces amidst that sea of spunky sisters below:
As the temple was built, he added his testimony on a stone that was put in the bedrock of the temple:
He watched as each step of the building process took place:
He participated in the Cultural Celebration to honor it's dedication:
(Much more about that back HERE.)
He lucked out to be able to attend the actual dedication with the Prophet with some of his family:
He anticipated the time he would be going again to make sacred covenants with God.
He put in his papers to serve a mission and got his mission call...
(More about that HERE.)
And decided that Thanksgiving break when he was home from college with his family would be the perfect time to go through for his first time.
(Let's just pause outside of story-mode real quick to note right here and right now that I believe that kid's smile would have been bright and big at any LDS temple he would visit first. But it made that first visit extra meaningful to be at a temple he had been so up-close-and-personal with the building process.)
He had a pretty sweet support group with him in that beautiful place.
Both sets of grandparents:
An aunt who went through a lot of trouble with a broken-down car to get there:
...along with six of his Dad's eight siblings and their spouses.
Of course, his parents were there too.
That boy took his little sisters back with him the next night to serve there since he could help them with some of the work.
...and when he got back up to college he quickly seized the opportunity to attend this temple close to his dorm:
(although not with those feisty sisters of his...excuse the old picture...)
He anxiously anticipated that he may be able to attend this one in Taiwan at some point during his two-year mission there:
How I hope that cute-little-boy-in-braces-grown-to-huge-man-child will always remember the velvety depths of that evening surrounded by so much love in a place filled with God's love. I hope he will always remember that he can take refuge there when times get tough, when he needs guidance from above, and to feel peace in a sometimes-jumbled world...just as his parents and aunts and uncles have, and their parents and aunts and uncles before them.