Last night, for FHE, we decided to meet up with two of my cousins to tour the Phoenix Temple grounds. (If you are not familiar with Mormon temples, check out this site. Additionally, you can find out some specific information about the Phoenix Temple here.
We called to make an appointment for a little tour.
The kids were excited to go – even though the temple is still in it’s early stages of being built. I love the excitement that children have for temples. Sasquatch can still remember going to the Easter Pageant in Mesa, and she kept talking about seeing Jesus at the temple. Cute.
When we got there, we stood on a platform under misters (it was still pretty warm outside – at least 105). We were able to look out to the temple. The view was something like this:
We learned that the exterior will eventually look like this:
The concrete (?) On the exterior will have these really neat relief patterns that are blooming agaves. I love that! One of my favorite plants out here is Agave.
After waiting for a few minutes, we were greeted by a very friendly Missionary who is serving here with his wife from San Diego. We went into this Modular Unit where he taught us about why we build temples and some fascinating facts about the Phoenix temple, in particular.
I took a picture with my cousins, but I only had my cell phone, and the picture turned out too dark to see anything!!!
One of the things I found most interesting is how the design came about.
This was not the original design. When the Phoenix temple was first designed, it was supposed to be a 27,000 sq/ft temple – two stories high with a basement. Because of the height and the design, many people in the neighborhood protested the building of the temple. So, there were a lot of hold-ups. The people who opposed the temple went to the city and were trying to do everything to stop the re-zoning of the area so that the temple couldn’t be built as it had been planned.
Because of this, the church asked the architect to revisit his designs for the temple. He redesigned it completely. It is now a 59,000 sq/ft, one-story building with a full basement. Amazing! It looks beautiful – based on the plans and some of the samples that they had on display at the tour. Of course it will be…every temple is. The Elder who was guiding our tour reminded us how the temple that is now being built is the temple that was intended to be built. We shouldn’t be upset with those who opposed the building of the temple. We should be grateful for the opposition and especially for the solution that came because of opposition.
I was filled with a sense of excitement as we left the temple grounds. We live very close to this temple. We will be able to check in on its progress often. I hope that we will be able to participate in the open house and dedication – as the temple lies within the boundaries of our stake. I’ve never lived in a place that was in the process of building a temple. This is such a blessing!
After we toured the temple, we headed home, and I had a chance to catch up with my cousins. We never really had much contact with each other through our childhoods, but it was really great to see them. It was interesting to see what we had in common, and it was a little therapeutic to talk to them. I’m grateful for family. Even if we don’t have the blessing to live in the most functional families, our families can be blessings for us.
There was a connection, in my mind, between what we did for FHE at the temple and the discussion that followed with my cousins. I was reminded of the importance of taking my temple covenants seriously. I know that the temple and the gospel can bless our lives. I know that it can bring us happiness and joy. It can help guide us and refine us. I hope to be the kind of mother who infuses her home with love, and makes it like the temple.
Anyway…what did you do for FHE? Check out another FHE Experience over at Jocelyn’s blog.