Twenty some-odd years ago, I lived in southern California when the San Diego temple was dedicated. I remember helping with the open house, putting shoe coverings on people's feet. And I remember the dedication itself, sitting in the cafeteria of the actual temple, and President Hinkley passing through on his way to the Celestial Room, and being within a few feet of him. That was an awesome event, and ever since then, the San Diego temple has held a special place in my heart. That was where I received my endowment before I left on my mission. I was able to serve there as an ordinance worker following my mission. That was also where I was married. The San Diego temple will always be "my" temple.
I hope that the Fort Collins temple will hold a similar place in my children's hearts. I was able to take them on a tour of the temple during the open house. The oldest three were able to return to help but on shoe coverings for the open house. The last couple months have been filled with rehearsals for the cultural celebration which took place Saturday evening.
Hannah, John and Joshua spent the entire day in Fort Collins rehearsing. Steven, Peter and I drove up in the evening just in time for the performance. President Uchtdorf attended, and it was fun to see the excitement of the youth to see him. Different groups of youth performed dances depicting a different part of Colorado's history and heritage. Behind them was a structure that began as a fort, but became a temple. The theme for the night was "A Fortress of Faith". Between the dances, there were video clips shown on a big screen where youth shared their testimonies and faith building experiences.
Our children celebrated the days of the Native Americans. I'm afraid I spent too much time trying to figure out where my children were in the crowd (I think I saw Hannah, but not either of the boys at the time), and didn't enjoy the overall dance as much as I should have, but their dance was still my favorite.
|John is one of the Indians in this picture... can you find him?|
|Hannah, as a deer, is in this picture.|
|Josh is not pictured, but he was helping hold one of the blue "river" cloths.|
After the celebration, it took us a little while to find the kids and get everyone rounded up to go home. Hannah had lost her bag, containing her phone as well as her shoes. (She performed barefoot!) Eventually she did find them in the Lost and Found, and we were able to go home.
Yesterday was the actual dedication of the Fort Collins temple. We were not able to be in the temple itself, but our meetinghouse became an extension of the temple and we had to present a recommend to enter and watch the proceedings projected on a screen in the chapel. We attended the second of the three dedicatory sessions. I enjoyed the talks; they helped me see temple work in a little different way than I had pictured it in the past. I had tears running down my cheeks as we joined the choir in singing "The Spirit of God".
I'm grateful that our family had the experience of seeing a new temple built and dedicated. I hope my children always remember the events of the last few months in regards to the temple, and that they feel that the Fort Collins temple is theirs.
For more on the Fort Collins Temple in general, see:
and, for information on the dedication and Cultural Celebration, see:
Also, the entire cultural celebration (all 75 minutes of it!) is available on YouTube!