Saturday, October 1, 2011

Out of the Ashes - A Temple!

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The Provo Tabernacle was an important part of Provo's historic landscape. Back in December of 2010, all but the outer wall burned down in a terrible fire. It was a deep loss that all of Provo's citizens and church members around the world felt. That monumental building was only a few blocks from Squire's and my first home. To me, it's tall brick walls and wooden benches were symbolic of home, Christmas, and spiritual devotion.  I had so many beautiful memories there:

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  • As a German student, I both performed and attended the yearly annual Adventsingen for several years. Advent songs, performed in German in that open space prepared my heart for the sacred Christmas holiday each year.
  • As an unmarried church member, I attended Stake conference in that building.  The Stake president of our singles stake shook Squire's and my hand and gave special counsel to us in that building.
  • As a married church member I attended several Stake conferences (special church services) there too.
  • At one of these I had the opportunity to shake the hand of an apostle, Elder Quentin L. Cook.
  • I even had the chance to speak to the members of my own stake at one conference about how, "Love fosters service, and service fosters love."
  • And, I caught a glimpse of it each day on my way to work, or to school. It's presence was a comforting visual constant in my daily life.
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I remember the morning it caught fire. My older brother was visiting me for a couple days before he made his way to our parents home in Reno for the Christmas holiday. He texted me around 5:00am that morning as he was heading out to let me know that, "The tabernacle is on fire!" I cried as as I saw the black glowing smoke billowing up from the beautiful building I had been sitting in just a week before in celebration of the German Adventssingen. What a tragedy it was! There was one Christmas miracle that touched my heart through the whole ordeal. Everything inside the tabernacle was burned - except for one picture of Christ. That gave me solace in the contemplation of the great loss that occurred almost one year ago.


But, today I just heard some overwhelmingly exciting news from my church's semi-annual General Conference. Our prophet, Thomas S. Monson announced (55:35) that there will be a temple built in the place where the Provo Tabernacle used to be! I am so touched by this wonderful news. We no longer live in Provo, but I can't wait to revisit my alma mater's town and see and go inside the temple there when it is finished. My heart is full in celebration. Out of the ashes - a picture of Christ was saved - and soon a temple will be built to do His work! Hallelujah!

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