So Brother Hayes, part of the bishopric, came to home teach me and asked if I was interested in getting my endowments. I told him that I hadn't thought about it and he encouraged me to do so for he felt that it was time. So one week passed and I was wondering what endowments actually were, when the bishop came up to me and asked the same thing. He also felt inspired to tell me that it was time. Well there ya have it, with two spiritual leaders being led by God encouraging me to take my next step into becoming more spritual how could I refuse? I took temple prep class, read the booklet about preparing to enter the temple, read a magazine based on temples, and resisted temptation more so than usual. My bishop told me that it was important that I prepare to go to the temple now, and that it has something to do with my eternal companion. I am uncertain as to what that could mean and thought that I might meet someone at the temple or quite possibly my future companion will see my spiritual glow and be attracted to that. Who knows?
Well I got to see the Bishop on Wednesday and passed the test questions of "Do you have faith? Do you believe that the prophets and church leaders are lead by the power of God? Do you believe in the restoration of the gospel?" I said yes to all of those having experienced testimonies with each category, for how can someone deny feeling the inner peace and warmth of one's soul and say no? Not to mention I have never been mislead by God's cousel and there have been far too many "coincidents" to have me believe otherwise.
When he asked me, "When did you gain a testimony of Joseph Smith?" -Well that one threw me off because it wasn't as emaculate as most people's testimonies such as reading the Book of Mormon than praying if it is true. The same goes for asking if Joseph Smith was a true prophet. I have yet to get through the Book of Mormon and ask but I do recall the day at work when a fellow co-worker had lost his faith due to some rumor about the MTC adding things to the orange juice to where it turned his intestines and he had to return home. Granted other missionaries had proven this theory wrong because according to them, such "ingredients" dont supress their hormones while out on the mission. At all. This poor soul had believed this strongly quite possibly because he is ashamed for not being able to accomplish his goal and be as glorious as most people who came back with honors. He couldn't understand why him and what he had done wrong, for his eyes told me everything. To make up for this, he believed the person telling him that information and joined an anti-mormon group. They sat around a campfire and mocked the prophets and church rules openly due to some past pain in their lives. Ah pride and how easily it fuels anger. Well normally I am open for discussion but the things he said about Joseph Smith felt simply blasphemous. I couldn't prove if they were right or wrong, other than that dark tar-like feeling I got in my heart. I knew at once this boy was fuming out lies to try and uplift his shame and I stood up and told him, "You have no clue what you're even talking about. Anyone can find blame on others but it takes a real man to find the truth. What you're saying feels outright wrong to me and I absolutely refuse to sit here and hear another slanderous word you speak. I used to be where you are, full of hate and anger and I downright REFUSE to return to the state you're in." Well he hated me for half a year later but eventually I won him over again.
We never did discuss relegion and he decided it was easier to sin than to live up to God's commandments. Sad really, but I am glad that I was able to put our arguing aside and be coworkers once more.
Bishop Harding was impressed by my story, even though my testimony seems small and weaker when compared to most. However it is there. He then asked me if I affiliated myself with any anti-mormon people. Sadly, a good friend of mine did come to mind and I had to stop reading their Facebook status and distance myself from them. Their comments would only drag me down and I could no longer allow my spirit to fall into that depressing trap again. I still care for that individual but I also know what is best for my eternal salvation and will not buy into "You can't see or touch God so therefore he doesn't exist." -I may not be able to see Him but He sends his angels down for me to see and I have felt him touch my heart on many occassion. He is there, my friend simply will not reach out to see for themself and it is also due to pride and others telling them that they are stupid for believing. If a blind man cannot see the moon, does that mean it does not exist? Of course it does, even if everyone cannot see it. Even when rocks have come back from the moon, others do not believe that those rocks are actually from the moon. So even when there is proof of God, people still refuse to believe. That is partially why God will not show himself just for proof. So no, I do not associate myself with anti-mormons because I have met them before. What good comes from them chewing me out for something they do not fully understand or have not experienced? There is no point in arguing. In fact, aethiests that I know were more willing to listen and find out the truth than the anti-mormon groups. Now that is admirable.
In the end Bishop Harding said that he believed that I was ready to go get my endowments but I wasn't too sure if I was worthy. I was not filled with the Spirit as most are when making the right choices but I also suspected the devil was tempting me to wait a while longer until I did feel more spiritual. But that is his plan, isn't it? Creating doubt when others can see so much worth. I looked at myself and said, "Hey girl, you earned this. Keep it up and the reward will have been worth it." With that in mind I began to feel worthy and couldn't stop grinning.
Bishop Harding began to fill out my recommend and said, "What's the name of your spouse or fiance? Oh you don't have one yet? Well let me look through the ward members and I'll see if I can find you a husband. Let's see here... nope that's a woman. That's another girl.... a girl..." At this time I said, "How about Richard Armitage? Or Hugh Jackman?"
Bishop Harding continued to search and finally came up with a Christian Bartholomew. I wrinkled my nose and asked, "Who's he?"
Joking as usual, Bishop Harding waved away the idea and began to sign my recommend, stopped and admitted that he nearly signed where I was supposed to. I laughed and said, "How'm I supposed to work with your line as my name?" I wrote my name in cursive and that worked out just fine.
Today I was able to go to my friend Rigby's ward and talk to the Stake President Norby or quite possibly President Allred. I'm not sure who I spoke with but he asked me all the same questions but left out where I got my testimonies from. He did ask me if I had any questions for him and I asked, "What questions should I ask you?"
We spoke about where to buy garments and the sacred things I will expect as I go through the temple. Everything is nothing new that everyone else has told me but I held my tongue and nodded most of the time, reminding myself how patience is one of my virtues that martial arts has taught me.
I won't be talking about what we discussed since such things are too sacred to discuss openly, but in the end I got his signature too. I went back to my car and drove partway home when I burst out into a "Wooo! WHA HOO! YAY!" out of sheer excitement, followed by a quick appology to any guardian angels riding in the passenger seat. I am pretty certain my grandparents were close by to congratulate me and see me home safely. ^^
At ward prayer I saw Brother Hayes and he asked me if I got my recommend. Proudly I said yes and felt that it is well deserved and well earned at that point. I have an escort planned out and a date and time to enter the temple. Sister Harding and Bishop Harding want to be there for they were my neighbors even before I was born. They mentioned that I was like a second daughter to them so it is important for them to be there.
So far what I learned from all this is that people DO CARE when friends are making the right choices in life. They come out of no where to say congrats and encourage me forward with my decisions. I am very blessed to have so many people care about me and to back me up with the same beliefs and spiritual experiences. Those that haven't are struggling without God in their lives and cannot imagine what it is like to actually feel the presence of God and his angels. I am sad that not everyone is able to experience the joy and love that I feel and see in others when they too know what it is like to feel God's love for others and for us.
Anyway, I'll post more about garment shopping and a little about after getting endowed. Mind you that nothing sacred will be mentioned and I will side step what it was like other than my emotions and how the spirit felt at the time to keep record of what my most important steps in life were like.
My mom spent $200 for all my garments, bag, shoes, and temple dress which took two hours to buy. Well there was measuring and guessing of which size would best fit me. The temple dress looks like it's out of the 1950's with the ribbon around the waist and the upper half of the dress is pointed due to the seams and I'll have to get a picture of it.
Tomorrow is the big day and I've had so many supporters! Facebook supporters are Rigby Katheryn, Chynna and Bailey, while those who wished they could attend the temple with me would be Bruce, Boyd, Camille, Bishop and Sister Harding, Lacy, Sarah, and Sean Lelle. I never knew I had so many friends that cared!
Then again growing up helps.
Wrapped Koko up in bubble wrap and told her I'd send her to another country just for fun. She wasn't sure of the joke but when she went to my mom, my mom said, "Honey look, we have an armadillo now."
Got to the temple far earlier than what was scheduled, went through everything and who showed up but Sister Harding and her husband the bishop and Lacy!
I wasn't expecting to see anyone but I was glad they came.
I kept getting the feeling that I should have more patience with my mother and to not let the little things bother me. But other than that I knew my grandparents were proud of me and were also there to congratulate me for taking this next step. It was humbling and fascinating and finally peaceful in the end. We got to take pictures outside the temple for memories and proof of July 12 being the day I got my endowments and afterward we went to Subway for some long awaited food!
I was grinning and my dad asked, "What?" I told him, "I'm finally one of the flock now!" He said, "You've always been a part of the flock." I said, "Yes but now I have white shiny wool like everyone else!" He had a good laugh at that and I was awarded with Cheetos. Man how I love Cheetos.
We had to leave Koko alone for six hours while we were at the temple. She didn't like that and was paranoid all night when we got back. I took her on a midnight walk and she still wanted to go out into the backyard to explore. She must've been really bored. I finally had to send her to bed for wanting to return outside. I could take her to Bridal Veil Falls again and let her swim about.
The water is finally cool enough that it won't freeze the skin. Maybe Rigby will go with me again. Her beagle Alice was growling at a large rock with a spray painted face on it last time. Lol. Crazy dog.