Probably one of the most awesome things about being married and being a Mormon, is that you get to go back to the place you were married over and over again with your sweetheart and be reminded of the promises you made at the altar on your wedding day.
This week Husband and I left Verity to play with her cousins and Aunt Tiffany while we made a nostalgic trip to back to Rexburg. (That was the farthest I've ever been away from her, and for the longest length of time and I shed some wimpy tears on the way out the door after kissing her goodbye.)
It's so funny to me how while we were in school there, everyone (including myself) talked about how much they just wanted to get out of Rexburg. To get out of the "bubble," as such a high concentration of Mormons is sometimes called. And while we were there we both reflected that there was actually something really nice about that bubble. Something warm and comforting.
Tears came to my eyes as we walked hand in hand through those bright double doors, into the sweetest, most peaceful feeling on earth. Two little old men with white suits and genuine smiles greeted us, scanned our recommends, and welcomed us to the temple. We walked past a beautiful Minerva Teichert painting of the Savior, and my eyes surveyed the familiar surroundings as if we had been there just yesterday.
It felt like home.
I think that temple will always feel like home to me. A place where the quiet is calming and never uncomfortable. Where people talk cheerfully in whispered voices and the bits of conversation you overhear are things like, "..he just got his mission call to Barcelona.." and "..they're serving at the temple in Buenos Aires till next April.." Others are silent and prayerful, some with tears in their eyes, being offered tissues and understanding glances by well-meaning people they've never met. Everyone is dressed in simple white clothing. They're all equals; all children of God.
And nearly two years later, we still saw people we knew.
Those things can be found at any temple, I guess. That's what makes them so wonderful to visit. It's the same peaceful feeling, the same immaculately kept interior and beautiful grounds. The same purpose that brings everyone together.
But the Rexburg temple.. is my temple. It's where I went so many times to find refuge from the storms of life. Where I went to give service-- sometimes in the early morning, sometimes between classes, and other times to help clean late at night after everyone else had gone home. I used to walk halfway across town in the middle of blizzards to be there. It was there that Husband and I went on our first date (after seeing a play, of course). And it was there that I met him on the morning of October 16th, 2010 to be married to him, for the rest of this life and all of the life to come.
And the other night it was so lovely to walk hand in hand with my sweetheart in that place. Walking up the familiar staircase and smiling at the little wheat symbols in the stained glass windows that are unique to this temple. We walked past the little room in which we were sealed, with it's sparkling chandeliers and white carpet that had I knew had been carefully combed the night before to remove the back and forth lines left behind by the vacuum cleaner.
The temple has always been a haven for me. So much so, that I used to dread leaving it. I would sit in the celestial room for hours, wanting to stay there forever. I have always loved the choice of art they so often place in sight of those on their way out. It's Jesus, with his arms outstretched, depicted as he may appear when he comes again. It's as if to say, "It's all going to be fine. I'm coming quickly." Just the perfect kind of comfort, when leaving the safety of those hallowed halls.
I wish everyone could experience the peace and quiet joy the temple brings. And one of the best parts about living in the west again, is that we get to go so much more often than we could before (twice in a year and a half just doesn't cut it for me). Thank you, Idaho. We love these temples of yours.
Especially this one on a little hilltop in Rexburg.