Monday, June 12, 2017

Tour de Idaho, Montana, and Washington and back again!

What a grand week we have had this past week. I finished up at Utah Valley University (UVU) on Friday, and we left on Saturday morning for our Idaho and Montana tour to visit family and friends along the way before we leave for our mission in the California Riverside Mission on June 24.

Lou Jean, Kevin, Brian, Gayelynn, Marla Jo, Joanne, Karen, Jeff, Julie, and John
First stop was Joanne’s cousins’ reunion at Brian and Karen Andersen’s home in Idaho Falls. It was wonderful to see these incredible people. Ironically, I went to school with two of them Gayelynn and Marla Jo at Rigby High School. Who knew then we would become family later on when I married their first cousin Joanne. 

Idaho Falls Temple (thanks to Dennis Hammon Photography for this beautiful shot!)

Then, we went to the Idaho Falls Temple dedication at my brother Brad’s stake center. The Idaho Falls Temple has special meaning to Joanne and me. We were both sealed to our families there. We were married there. Anna Rose and Christiaan were married there. While we would have loved to have been inside during the dedication, sitting in a beautiful stake center and watching it on satellite was almost as good. We enjoyed being with Brad and Kathryn.

On Sunday, members of my family came to Brad and Kathryn’s house for a BBQ. What a great event! Dennis, Telecia, Brad, Delaina, and I were the siblings who could make it. They brought some of their family members. The ones who couldn’t make it were Shawna and Jaralyn. My cousins Lloyd and Doyle came as well. It’s been ages since I have since them. We ate great food and just visited. We love these people.

Clark, Joseph, Hailey, and Avonlea (Dennis Hammon Photography)
On Monday morning, we headed to Cheney, Washington, to spend a few days with Hailey and her wonderful little family. We drove up I-15 to Butte and then on to I-84 and Cheney. Everything is green, green, green! It never ceases to amaze me at the beauty of Idaho and Montana, particularly as you drive along I-84 west. You can see why people want to visit and live there. Who wouldn’t? Lots of trees, mountains, fresh air, rivers, and streams galore.

We arrived in Cheney and experienced a great greeting with Hailey and family, especially the little ones. They, too, have grown. 

Grandma and Avonlea
We enjoyed being with them and spending time with Clark and Avonlea. 

Grandpa and Avonlea
They are so cute and so smart. 

Grandpa and Clark
We spent a lot of time eating, cooking hotcakes with chocolate chips (Is there any other way?), watching movies, playing T-ball and soccer in the yard, eating Dutch oven cooking (Joanne was teaching Hailey how it is to be done), 

Clark and Grandma touching the Spokane Temple
going to the Spokane Temple (Joanne and Hailey while I was able to stay home and play with the little ones), preparing and planting flower beds for Hailey, and just hanging out.

Darrel and Joanne--Boise River
After four days there, we headed south to Boise, passing through some incredible country. We landed in Boise on Friday night. How it has changed! We stayed at a hotel on Park Center. We drove around after checking in. Change! Major changes! Wow! 

Lone goose checking out the Greenbelt
We arose early and went for a walk along the greenbelt. 

No running or walking here. Perhaps, swimming at your own risk!

The Boise River has taken over everything along the way!
Apparently, the Boise River didn’t know we were coming and basically flooded most of the greenbelt. We did find a patch to do some walking. Incredible! What a great asset Boise has in the Boise River and the greenbelt.

Shoshone Falls in Twin Falls, Idaho
From Boise, we headed home, stopping at Shoshone Falls in Twin Falls. If you haven’t done this stop, you ought to. Lots of water and an incredible falls on the famous Snake River. We loved it. We arrived home on Saturday evening. It was fun seeing Anna Rose, Christiaan, Emiline, and William. We missed them.

Outside of Cheney, Washington--the beginning of the Palouse
Overall, we had a quick tour of Idaho, Montana, and Washington—all beautiful states. The best part was visiting with our family before we leave on our mission. We do hope many of them will visit us while we are serving.

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Learning from mothers: Using the raspberry patch to teach and learn

Happy Mother’s Day to all mothers and potential mothers. Many of us have experienced a loss of our mothers, and on Mother’s Day we reminisce about them and remember things and stories that have kept them alive in our memories and thoughts. On this glorious day, I urge all of you to take a moment and pen a story (or two, three, or even more) about your mother and what you have learned from them. Here is one of those stories and some of the values I learned from my mother.

Barbara Hammon, my mother who died way too early!

Learning from mothers: Using the raspberry patch to teach and learn

Mothers can be subtle in their teaching. Thankfully. Most mothers do not sit down with their children and say, “OK, I’m going to teach you X. Now get out your pencils and notebooks (iPads, Twitter and Facebook accounts, and all those other social media things) and take notes.” Rather, mothers teach through showing and loving their children. Many of those teaching moments happen during a work project or just being together.

Taking time in the raspberry patch was just one of my mother’s ways of teaching me. Although I may not have realized it at the time. She didn’t intentionally try to teach me anything. Her way of teaching was showing me how to do lots of things, in particular as we worked together picking raspberries during the summer months.

Here are five things she taught me while we picked raspberries:

Complete a task from start to finish
Completing the raspberry picking didn’t stop in the middle of the row, nor almost at the end. Picking to the end of the row was the completion of the task. Granted, we stopped periodically to rest and carefully pour the berries into little green pint baskets, but we never quit until the entire patch was picked for the day.

Always to do a good job
Most mothers are fanatics about making sure you do a good job, and do it well. She wants to make sure you do the job correctly and proficiently. When you pick raspberries, you should pick all the ripe ones, which is no small chore because many of the berries are hidden beneath leaves, inside of the bushes, and way down low on the hanging branches. Over the years, my mother showed me how to lift the vines gently with a leather glove on the left hand and pick with the right. I can still hear my mother’s voice, piercing the still morning air, saying: “Darrel, bend a bit lower and pick the big hidden ones, hanging on the lower limbs.”

Review the work you have done to make sure you did it correctly
Often, it seems, you have to look back on what you are doing to see if you are following the right steps, or look at the job from a different angle. Looking at it just one way doesn’t always give you the perspective you need to complete the task. Picking raspberries was no different. Once finished, we walked slowly back up the rows we had just picked so we could review what we had done — reaching out and picking one of the berries we had missed. Rather, I had missed. My mother’s words, “Good job,” never failed to give me a wonderful feeling for the day.

Work together because it is more fun
The age-old adage “Many hands make light work,” is just plain truth. Working together not only makes work a little easier, it also brings families closer together. What I enjoyed most was working side by side with mother. Sometimes we would talk about whatever, often nothing really important. We would have contests like who could pick the biggest raspberry. Winning wasn’t totally the point. It was working together as a team, finishing as a team, and having fun simultaneously.

Help others finish their tasks
Perhaps, helping others with their work was an important concept in my learning. When you work in teams, working together toward a common goal is paramount in bringing a project to successful fruition. Picking raspberries meant working as a team. While we each had a side of the row, we truly worked in tantamount. My mother would normally beat me to the end of the raspberry row. She would turn down my side and work toward me. But I suspect she held up once in a while to see if I would reciprocate. If I ever finished before she did, which was seldom, I started on her side and picked toward her. It didn’t bother me to help, and I continue doing it.

Often we learned things from our mothers that weren’t overt at the beginning. Only when we look back on the situation does it finally occur to us, “Hey, I actually learned something from that incident.” Now, as I continue to complete those events, I realize I have personally reaped great benefits from the early mornings picking raspberries with my mother. A very Happy Mother's Day to my beautiful wife and my two daughters are incredible mothers because of the values and teachings they have learned and implemented from their mother:

Joanne, an incredible mother!

Hailey, Anna Rose, and Anna Rose

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Happy Temple Anniversary to My Family!

Sunday, March 26, 2017—Happy Temple Anniversary to My Family!

Idaho Falls Temple (Idaho)

                Today is the Dean and Barbara Hammon Family Anniversary. When I was almost seven-years-old, our family went to the Idaho Falls Temple and were sealed for time and eternity. I remember parts of it as vividly as if it happened today.
                I remember arriving very early in the morning. We children—Dennis, Telecia, Darrel, Brad, Shawn, and Delaina—went to the Children’s Center where we waited for our parents. While there, we played a variety of games, including red light, green light. I must have been wearing red socks that day because one of the older boys who was playing with us called me “Red Socks.” I think we were way more noisy than we should have been.

The Hammon Family sans Delaina, Heber, and Jaralyn

            I believe the part that stuck out the most is dressing all in white and then being led to a room upstairs where my parents were kneeling across the altar from one another. The children gathered at the altar and placed our hands on top of our parents. I remember Uncle Milt and Aunt Stella, Uncle Wilford and Aunt Beth, Brother and Sister Heward, and others in the room. I remember my mother and father crying. I don’t really know exactly what happened that day although I knew we were being sealed together as a family.

The Hammon Family sans my mother
                Since that day, I have been back to the temple numerous times and performed sealings for those who have passed on and witnessed other sealings. My most vivid sealing was that of Joanne and my sealing and marriage to each other for all time and eternity. Surely, there couldn’t have been a happier day in the scheme of earthly things. While we were physically here on earth, we were in an eternal House of the Lord where eternal ordinances are performed.

Our engagement photo (by Dennis Hammon)
                I know my brothers and sisters—excluding Heber and Jaralyn as they hadn’t been born 
yet—remember that day. Perhaps, it is a bit fuzzy for Shawna and Delaina as they were five and two respectively, but I remember it. I knew I liked being in the temple and have since learned the why. I enjoy going now. Joanne and I were just in the Payson Temple (Utah) on Saturday morning (yesterday), enjoying the glorious moment being in the Celestial Room, discussing our own family and the things we need to do to maintain our sealing to them.
It is in the House of the Lord where we make eternal binding covenants with our Father in Heaven. We who have been to the temple; we who have knelt at the holy altars and made sacred “covenants and obligations relative to exaltation” (Packer, p. 162); we who have received our holy endowments; we who have basked in the glory of God within the walls of this holy shrine--surely the Lord is happy with us and our title: “Keepers of covenants.”

New Provo City Center Temple

Happy Anniversary to the Dean and Barbara Hammon Family. It is now up to us!

Monday, January 23, 2017

Snow Day

It has been snowing a ton in Utah! Consequently, I thought I would pen a poem about snow with photos: Here goes:

Snow Day

It’s the whiteness that overwhelms you at first,
the softness of the snow, floating lazily down

like bags of feathers dropped from on high,
somewhere beyond the grayish imbued clouds.

It settles peacefully on branches of Blue Spruce
and leafless peach and apple trees, covering them

Photo courtesy of Karen Larson Watson
with a blanket of pure quietness and serenity.
Some limbs are more burdened than others.

Perhaps, they are stronger, feel more connectedness to snow,
like mothers to babies and people to their dogs.

From the window, we watch closely, surreptitiously
as the snow piles deeper and deeper, clogging roads,

our driveways, our senses of wellness.
As the breeze caresses the heavy-laden branches and boughs,

and sticks of dead daisies and lilies, it flicks bits of snow off
and into its melodic breeze, carrying the white fluff

beyond and then slowly, lovingly to the ground, where it will sleep
for days, perhaps even weeks,  and then melt into the ground,

savoring the moments when its hoard moisture seeps
into new roots of the sleeping grass and flowers and life.

And we sit there, observing from our perch behind sheer curtains,
in front of a glowing fire, warm, comfortable, and complacent

while contemplating our lives and who or what will nourish them.

The whole poem here:

Snow Day

It’s the whiteness that overwhelms you at first,
the softness of the snow, floating lazily down

like bags of feathers dropped from on high,
somewhere beyond the grayish imbued clouds.

It settles peacefully on branches of Blue Spruce
and leafless peach and apple trees, covering them

with a blanket of pure quietness and serenity.
Some limbs are more burdened than others.

Perhaps, they are stronger, feel more connectedness to snow,
like mothers to babies and people to their dogs.

From the window, we watch closely, surreptitiously
as the snow piles deeper and deeper, clogging roads,

our driveways, our senses of wellness.
As the breeze caresses the heavy-laden branches and boughs,

and sticks of dead daisies and lilies, it flicks bits of snow off
and into its melodic breeze, carrying the white fluff

beyond and then slowly, lovingly to the ground, where it will sleep
for days, perhaps even weeks,  and then melt into the ground,

savoring the moments when its hoard moisture seeps
into new roots of the sleeping grass and flowers and life.

And we sit there, observing from our perch behind sheer curtains,
in front of a glowing fire, warm, comfortable, and complacent

while contemplating our lives and who or what will nourish them.

Saturday, December 24, 2016

Christmas: A Wondrous Time

What a glorious season! With Wondering Awe, we love to listen to young children–yes, truly Angels We Have Heard on High and sing hymns and carols that shout Joy to the World....” In the precious hymn Oh, Come, All Ye Faithful that we sing at least once or twice at Christmas come three wondrous strains: “Come, all ye faithful,” “Come, and behold Him,” and “Oh, come, let us adore Him.”

 “Come, all ye faithful

During this Christmas season, the faithful followers of Christ congregate to sing joyous hymns to Him. Note that the Lord did not say, “Come, all ye faithful for just this season. Rather, the words merely state “Come, all ye faithful.” The Lord wants us to be faithful every minute of the day, every day of the week, and every week of the year.

Thankfully, at Christmas time, we tend to listen to our hearts more than our heads, the spiritual more than cerebral, and the perennial more than the ephemeral. We seem to want to fix our lives so that they are in accordance with the Lord's. Yes, we tend to “come unto Christ and adore Him.” Wouldn't it be nice if every year, we had twelve Decembers?  Then we wouldn't have to be trying to repent every 12th month. Instead of an annual event of repenting and striving to be like the Father and His Holy Son, it would become a daily activity. Every day would become an act of kindness. We would actually smile because we would have forgotten how to be sad. Every day we would finally reach out to those most in need. Every day we would understand each other’s feelings. Every day would become a glorious one where the sun would shine and brighten lives. Every day would bring us closer to our Savior. Every day we would know whose we really are: For we are the Father’s and He loves us deeply.

As one poet penned in an “Ode to Christmas”:

An Ode to Christmas
Decembers come and go, like winds from the west...
But for those brief 31 days, our hearts stretch just a bit.
We sometimes sense in ourselves a gratification
that cannot be quenched without our first giving
of ourselves to others most in need.
It is at that moment, this sense of oneness with our hearts,
when we finally understand our true place in the universe.
We come to know that we, indeed, have hearts to give
and feelings of love to share with others.
This feeling, if carried for more than thirty-one days,
would endow us with the true gifts from our Father.
Surely, then, we would reach out more than before.
Alas, the essence of the trueness of Christ’s message
would fold our worrisome cares into large gray bundles,
drop them humbly in the swiftest part of the stream,
and watch them thankfully bob in the current
until they disappear around the bend downstream,
away from us at last and, perhaps, forever.
Then for 365 days, we would come and be His again.

“Come, and behold Him”

The shepherds “came with haste, and found Mary, and Joseph, and the babe lying in the manger” (Luke 2:16). After the shepherds had seen the Christ child, they returned to their flocks and herds, “glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen....” (Luke 2:20). There also came “wise men from the east to Jerusalem” (Matthew 2:1) and began asking about: “Where is he that is born King of the Jews? For we have seen his star in the east, and are come to worship him” (Matthew 2:2). And we know not how many others came to “behold him.”

We do know that Lamoni’s father, the great king over all of the Lamanites, after he had heard the preachings of Aaron, said, “O, god, Aaron hath told me there is a God; and if there is a God, and if thou art God, wilt thou make thyself known unto me, and I will give all my sins to know thee, and that I may be raised from the dead, and be saved at the last day” (Alma 22:18). Thus, we see that the King also desired to “Come, and Behold Him.” And he did. When he rose from his spiritual trance, he stood forth “and did minister unto them, insomuch that his whole household were converted unto the Lord” (Alma 22:23).

Often, we believe that to “behold God” we must be completely spiritual pure. In one sense that is correct, but in another, we can behold God–through daily communion with Him. Plus, our heart can be filled with Him always. Consider the words of Christina Rossetti (“My Gift”)

What can I give Him, poor as I am?
If I were a shepherd
I would bring a lamb,
If I were a Wise Man
I would do my part,—
Yet what I can I give Him, give my heart.

Thus, the question hinges on this:”What are we willing to do in our lives in order to ‘behold Him’”? Are we willing to give away all of our sins? Are we willing to yield our hearts to God?

“Oh, come, let us adore Him.”

What does it really mean to “Come and to adore Him? As I have sung this hymn over the past several years and in two different languages, I have come to adore Him. Who is Him? Or in more appropriate English Who is He? According to that great Old Testament prophet Isaiah, He is called “Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace....(Isaiah 9:6)...the Lord Omnipotent who reigneth, who was, and is from all eternity to all eternity....Jesus Christ, the Son of God, the Father of heaven and earth, the Creator of all things from the beginning” (Gordon B. Hinckley, “At the Summit of the Ages,” Ensign, Nov. 1999, 72).

The ancient Prophet Moroni, as he ended his work and closed the abridgment of the record of God’s dealings with His people, which is the Book of Mormon, called upon all who read his ending passage: “Yea, come unto Christ, and be perfected in him, and deny yourselves of all ungodliness; and if ye shall deny yourselves of all ungodliness, and love God with all your might, mind and strength, then is his grace sufficient for you, that by his grace ye may be perfect in Christ” (Moroni 10:32).

Elder Robert S. Wood of the Seventy said: “When we speak and act, we should ask whether our words and expressions are calculated to invite the powers of heaven into our lives and to invite all to come unto Christ. We must treat sacred things with reverence. We need to eliminate from our conversations the immodest and the lewd, the violent and the threatening, the demeaning and the false" ("The Tongue of Angels, Liahona, January 2000). As the Apostle Peter wrote, “But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation” (1 Pet. 1:15).

We all know the prophecies of Christ that he “shall go forth amongst men, working mighty miracles, such as healing the sick, raising the dead, causing the lame to walk, the blind to receive their sight, and the deaf to hear, and curing all manner of diseases...” (Gordon B. Hinckley, “At the Summit of the Ages,” Ensign, November. 1999, p. 72). He has already done those things, both when he lived among His people in Jerusalem and when he visited the Americas after he was resurrected.

Thus, the challenge: “Come, all ye faithful....come, let us behold him... [and] come let us adore Him.” The real goal is to “Yea, Come Unto Christ.”

May we accept the challenge and experience the glorious days the Nephites had with the Savior that we may at some time "thrust [our own] hands into his side, and ...feel the prints of the nails in his hands and in his feet...[that we may] see with [our own] eyes and...feel with [our own] hands, and...know of a surety and...bear record, that it was He, of whom it was written by the prophets, that should come... [that when we have] all gone forth and...witnessed for [ourselves], [we] can cry out with one accord, saying: Hosanna!  Blessed be the name of the Most High God!  And then [we will] fall down at the feet of Jesus [our Savior and Brother], and...worship him" (3 Nephi11:15-17) who is the Truth and the Light and the Prince of Peace is my prayer and Christmas challenge....

Thursday, December 22, 2016

The 2016 Darrel and Joanne Hammon Family Christmas Newsletter

Merry Christmas! We have had an incredible 2016!

From Hawaii
In April, we were able to go to Hawaii for the first time for Joanne’s birthday. We went to the island of Oahu and spent about five days.     We went to the Polynesia Cultural Center, attended the Laie Temple, soaked up the sun on the beach (several times), went snorkeling, toured the Dole Pineapple Plantation (a few times because of their delicious pineapple whips), climbed Diamond Head, shopped in Honolulu, strolled Waikiki Beach, and visited various other places along roadways we took to see the sights. We took—or should we say, Darrel took—lots of pictures.
Waiting on the wagon for the ride through the cornfield and pumpkin patch
Emiline and William were able to spend a couple of weekends with us. We had a ton of fun. Springville has a new little lake with a beach. They loved going there. Also, we went to the Springville pumpkin patch this year. Instead of a sand box, they had a huge corn box, filled with kernels of corn. They didn’t want to leave. Anna Rose and Christiaan were able to go on a river cruise in Europe and spent some extra time going to Norway.
On our way to the Grotto
Hailey and Joseph did a major move this summer, moving from Kansas to Washington. Joseph is now a math teacher at Eastern Washington University in Cheney, Washington. On their way to Washington, they were able to come for a week or so and spend some time with us. When they were here, we went on a hike up Payson Canyon to a little waterfall. Plus, we went to the little beach here in Springville. While the water was freezing cold, they still played and played and played. They came out popsicles; yet, they loved it.
At the pumpkin patch
Darrel was able to go to his 40th high school reunion, one year late, at the Rigby Lake in Rigby, Idaho. What a great experience to see many of his friends whom he hadn’t seen in years. They are all looking pretty good for being a little older, some a little grayer, and most way wiser.
Darrel took a watercolor class. 
Darrel was promoted to Associate Vice President, Academic Outreach and Economic Development at Utah Valley University, Utah’s largest public university. He is having a good time. In January, he was called to serve as a counselor in one of the Young Single Adult Wards (YSA) in Provo; then, in August, he was called to serve as a Bishop in a newly organized Provo YSA ward. We are enjoying our time with these YSAers. Our ward is a little older than most. Many of them are young professionals or going to graduate school although we do have a few of the 18-year-olds but not many. They have something going on almost every evening. They will keep us young.
The little dudes this summer
Joanne continues to work part time at the BYU Health Center. She also volunteers at the new Provo City Center Temple on Thursday mornings. Plus, she has taken several cooking courses through UVU’s Professional and Continuing Education program. Darrel is definitely the beneficiary of her class projects. She has been successful in learning how to cook new, delicious entrees, desserts, soups, and pasta sauces.
Our family at Thanksgiving
We had Thanksgiving at Hailey and Joseph’s new place in Cheney, Washington. Anna Rose, Christiaan, and their little family drove up. We had a glorious three days with all of them. We walked the Turkey Trot, ate lots of food, played games, put together a puzzle, and did our traditional thing of going to a movie (Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them). The cousins got along amazingly well. Emiline (7) became the surrogate mother to Avonlea (2); William (4.5) and Clark (4) played well together. We did take a family photo while we were all there. Thus, we are using it as our Christmas photo. It is amazing how much everyone has grown this year. It was nice to be with them.
Emiline and Avonlea
Christmas will be quiet here as Anna Rose and Christiaan are going to California, and Hailey and Joseph are going to Seattle side of Washington—all to be with their in-laws. I guess we have to share. We may go some place warm. We are still deciding.
Hailey, Joanne, Darrel, & Anna Rose

We wish you all a huge MERRY CHRISTMAS and a Happy New Year. We know 2017 will be an incredible year for all of us. We love you all!

Sunday, September 11, 2016

The Joys of Eternal Friends

On Labor Day, we experienced great joy—personal, geographical, cultural, and spiritual. First of all, Joanne and I were able to trundle to St. George on Sunday afternoon to meet up with some of our compadres with whom we served in the Caribbean Area, specifically the Dominican Republic. It was pure joy in meeting them again after several months of not seeing most of them. We met some additional new friends and enjoyed the company of those who served with us. 

Joanne and Sandra Glazier
The joy that comes from reuniting with eternal friends is difficult to explain. For most of us, the extended time we served with each other was always less than 18 months, primarily because people come and go. While the time we spent together in the Dominican Republic was relatively short, the friendships we established have become eternal. 

Elder Snow and President Glazier
We love them, and they love us, no matter who we are. It is a complete delight!

A panoramic view of it all!
The geographical component emerged as we whizzed through the Parunuweap Wilderness Study Area in southern Utah. We all rose early, ate a hearty breakfast, and then motored to this area. Joanne and I had never take a four wheeler ride in our lives. Lots of motorcycles but no four wheelers. 

Some of the group looking at the incredible views from up on top....
The ride was delightful yet dusty. We probably rode 50 miles or so at a pretty fast clip. Unfortunately, we didn’t have all day because we needed to be back to St. George prior to going to Tuacahn. But the sights we saw were incredible. 

Displaying IMG_3802.JPG
Peter Pan at Tuacahn
The cultural component came on Monday night. We all crowded into a few vehicles and headed to the Tuacahn Center for the Arts (Tuacahn) where we ate a delicious meal prior to the production of Peter Pan. The meal was good. All of us took up almost four picnic tables. It was a buffet of BBQ chicken and pulled pork with all of the trimmings. Plus, we topped it off with….ice cream, a crowd and personal favorite. Peter Pan was great! Peter came flying from the mountain side and looked like he was running through the air, so elegant, so Peter Pan. The singing and acting were all extraordinary. The weather was absolutely beautiful  and delightful. Tuacahn puts out an incredible show.

The spiritual component was going to the St. George Temple with our friends early Tuesday morning before leaving to come home. Arriving around 8:30 a.m., we dressed and then headed up to the waiting room for sealings. We were so many that they had to divide us up into three groups. Most of us had names of spouses to be sealed to spouses or children needing to be sealed to parents. It was delightful to hear the names of people you knew. Joanne had brought three to the temple, one of them a cousin who Joanne knew who needed to be sealed to his parents. After we finished with the sealings, we entered the sacred Celestial Room. Beautiful! Glorious! The stillness enveloped us immediately. I thought of all of the people who have entered this sacred room since its dedication—from prophets to people like us, all dressed in white, all feeling a sense of peace and understanding of the truthfulness of it all.

A view from the top

We had just an enjoyable time, even though it was just for a few days. Unfortunately, we had to leave because we needed to be home early on Tuesday. Before going, however, we walked around the temple and basked in its beauty. What a great way to spend a few days.