My little family had the opportunity to go to the Draper temple open house. (Its still open for one week, if you haven't gone GO. If you don't have tickets park in the yellow lot.) Long story short, it was a great experience. I would totally recommend anyone with child (or without) who is planning to be in the motherland this summer to try and arrange to visit the Oquirrh Moutain Temple open house, or anyone who lives in the state. I thought J might be too young, but he wasn't it. It was a great experience. And I would hate for anyone to miss the experience. Although I would recommend a weekday morning instead of a Friday night. I didn't really know what was happening, and didn't know how to get tickets, so we ended up going the second to last week. I was a little nervous about taking my kids, but it worked out great, as the couple behind us said this is apparently kids night. We had to park at a church and take a bus to the the temple, J loved the bus ride, it helped get the excitement up. It was a great experience, but since I had N babe in a sling, I didn't get to talk to J much. It was super crowded and very hot. The temple is beautiful. It has a lot more browns in it, and less pinks. Plus amazing murals, in the ordinance rooms. J could not contain his excitement when he saw the murals of the outdoors, but other than that he did a great job of being very reverent. Except when he decided he would venture of the beaten path and start pulling cushions off the couch. There is no tour guide but it has brochure, J was looking at the brochure today and said, they have oxen in my temple, and cattails (the plant) next to the oxen, and they have .... in my temple, etc. I didn't really pay attention to it all after the first sentence, I just kept hearing, they have in my temple, they have this in my temple. I was pleased that he was so happy to have seen the temple. He loves temples, he has an eagle eye for them. He gets more excited to see a temple, than an amusement park, and that is saying something. He often tells me, you and daddy go to the temple, you, daddy, me and N go to church.
It was a great experience, and the spirit was very strong even without it being dedicated, and probably having near a half a million people in it. It made me realize a few things.1. Alisa's mom is very right - it is so nice to have a church experience without small children, even though I love my dearly, and having them makes the temple that much more important. I was glad to show J the inside of a temple, but I'd rather attend alone.
2. I wish I was able to go more often while being the mother of small children. Temple attendance and pregnancy do not go so well for me. (I almost passed out during my first pregnancy, would, if someone didn't intervene. One lady asked me if I was about to go in labor during N's pregnancy, I said I hope not I still have three months left, but I felt like I was about it, I have contractions nonstop for the first hour.) Being the sole food source for a child also does not make temple attendance much of a reality. At the moment I'm working on the eternal salvation of two mortal children instead. (It would be pretty impossible for salvation without gaining a body.) (My son can tell you all about how he has a body like Heavenly Father and Jesus.)
3. I'm starting to appreciate where I live. When we graduated from college, and an out of the state move was not going to happen. I was rather annoyed, I was not raised here, and the culture is hard to adapt to, at least it was for me. But as we pulled up to the temple in the bus I thought this is amazing. That building is gigantic, and there are least 6 other buildings like that within an hour, what an amazing blessing. I thought about my puny Dallas Temple that I grew up going to for baptisms in comparison. (Hopefully using puny as an adjective is not rude, I love the Dallas Temple, but its rather small.) I turned to my husband and said I don't think most people living around here realize how large this building this is. Once that phrase left my mouth, I thought why am I fighting this state so much? Why can't I enjoy the moment, and appreciate the blessings that are around me? Some temples are small and are a huge blessing to those members around it. Others are huge, and probably most people rarely give it a second thought. Its hard to appreciate something you have always had. I probably wouldn't have realized my blessings, if it wasn't for the movie they showed before we got on the bus to go to the temple. It gave a brief history of Temples in Latter Days, and of Draper. It started with the Kirtland Temple, and mentioned the saints were force to leave it. I have have always known that but something about that hit me. I had never really thought about what the temple means to me, and what it would have been like to leave it after all the work they put into it.
Anyway, long story short. My family loves to see the temple.