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Friday, April 8, 2016

Precious LIFE'S Lessons from the LDS Temples



TEMPLES - the literal house of the Lord on Earth. It is a symbol of what it would be like in Heaven. So tonight, I decided to blog about the temples I have been and the memories I had there. I am also sharing the lessons each taught me.


         1. MANILA PHILIPPINES TEMPLE


I gained my testimony of the Holy Spirit at this temple. It was a beautiful day when I was playing with the other primary kids who were also waiting outside while our parents were attending a temple session. I was about 8 or 9 years old at this time. We ran to the backyard of the temple and started to roll down on the grass. It was so much fun since the grounds there are hilly! While I was rolling down so fast, I've heard a still small voice telling me to STOP IMMEDIATELY, and I followed that voice. 
When I looked to where I was about to land, I saw a light post right in front of me. My head was almost hit. That very moment, I learned that the Holy Ghost (Spirit) is true. He watches over us. He is there to protect and to warn us of any danger that lies ahead. When we are worthy to enter the temple, we will also be worthy of the companionship of the Holy Ghost. What an honor it is to be with one of the members of the Godhead! I thank the Lord for teaching me this wonderful lesson as young as I was.
MEMORABLE MOMENTS
Our Family Sealing. THE PERSON FAMILY, the best that can be!
Sealing of the Narag Family, Mommy's family.
 All of us received our temple endowment in this temple
Mine was on January 13, 2010 with my parents and sister Ivy.
My Sister Ivy was sealed for time and all eternity to her husband, 
Dennis Bosque Santiago on May 5, 2005. 
It was the most memorable wedding 
because the members of our family were complete.
First Temple Session with hubby as BF and GF (May 2014)
Our Temple Marriage on January 8, 2015.
Hubby prayed for our first child here last October 2015, 
and it was granted after a month.



         2. THE LAIE HAWAII TEMPLE 
August 2008, USA




SERVICE - this is the one word to summarize this holy house. This temple strengthened my desire to serve a full-time mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I visited the Temple Visitor Center almost everyday for two months before I left for Cebu Mission. I developed a greater love for the prophet Joseph Smith as I regularly watched the movie about his life. I was amazed of all his sacrifices and what he went through for the cause of the restoration of the gospel of Christ. I often asked myself the same question, How far can I go for the building of Lord's kingdom on earth? My testimony of the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon was also empowered. I love this book! I know for sure that this is another testament of Jesus Christ.

In 2012 when I returned back to BYU-Hawaii to finish my major, I applied as a volunteer temple worker. I was set apart by President Kanekoa who was a counselor to the temple president at that time. He promised that I shall never run out of spiritual and temporal resources as I fulfill valiantly my duties and responsibilities in the temple. This decision has blessed my life enormously. Up until today, I never did run out of any resources. When we put God first, every thing will work out for our good. I also learned from President Workman that "we go to the temple not to be with God, but to be like God." In the mission, we learn principles as we share and teach lessons but in the temple, it is the spirit teaching our spirits. No words needed to be uttered, only our hearts that talk to each other. My last semester at BYUH ended so beautifully when I was called to be one of the assistant coordinators for our Thursday Night Shift. I was so blessed to be given the opportunity to work with Sister Lane and Sister Enesa. They are women like unto Queen Esther. I also met lots of amazing men and women in the temple. They shared with me a portion of their light. A light defined by our Savior Jesus Christ in 3 Nephi 24:18,

"Therefore, hold up your light that it may shine unto the world. Behold I am the light which ye shall hold up—that which ye have seen me do..."



3. PORTLAND OREGON TEMPLE
December 2009, USA
January 2014


I first visited this temple with  my Sister Irene and her little family, and then returned back last January 2014 with the Rees Family again but this time with our beloved parents, Papa Rollie and Mother Trudee. The lesson that remained close to my heart while attending a temple session with them is that "Families can be together forever someday!". This promise gives me peace and hope that though we will be far apart and I will miss them once I am back to the Philippines, I know in my heart that one day, we will all be together again in one place, one kingdom and eternally. Our family is truly a gift from our Heavenly Father. I love my family so much! 




4. IDAHO FALLS TEMPLE
December 2009, USA


This was the longest and most memorable road trip I ever had so far. And yes, t'was with the REES FAMILY. We drove from Oregon to Idaho to UTAH!! Veyron at this time was about 3 years old and Emma was a baby, 1 year old or less? We passed by this magnificent temple along the road. The lake or river right next to it symbolizes the peace we can feel when we are inside the Lord's house.  As I was admiring its exterior beauty, I remembered a lesson from President Dieter F. Uchtdorf, he said, "It is not a race. It's a journey. Enjoy the moment!" There are days when I tend to focus too much on my destination and forget to appreciate what life has for me today, right now or in the present. The quality of our journey determines where we are really going. Do not hurry, slow down and love every simple detail we will encounter along the path.






5. BOUNTIFUL UTAH TEMPLE
December 2009, USA




When the sky and the mountains collide! I couldn't help but sing "How Great Thou Art!!!!" This temple is so special because this is where Ate Irene and Kuya Kev were sealed for time and all eternity. Just like how the sky and the mountains combined, two cultures were united when my Sister and Kuya Kev created their own family. I love Cultures!!! I was fortunate that I was given a chance to study at BYU-Hawaii where students are from over 70 different countries. I had roommates from the Philippines, Korea, China, USA and Polynesia. Indeed, there is always something good from other cultures that we can incorporate into our own lives! I am thankful for my roommates. They opened my eyes to other worlds-- A Whole New World! I became less judgmental and embraced our differences instead. Mother Theresa said it best, "IF YOU JUDGE PEOPLE, YOU HAVE NO TIME TO LOVE THEM."






6. OGDEN UTAH TEMPLE
December 2009, USA


I guess temple hopping is the best activity you could do when in Utah! The temples are just 5-10 minutes away from each other. This was where I did my first and last snow angel taught by Mr. Jake Keck! He is such a nice guy and a very good friend. We met at work in Hawaii. This temple is my symbol of what true friendship is.  People come and go into our lives, but there will always be good memories to remember. Truly, wealthy is someone who has many real friends.





7. SALT LAKE CITY UTAH TEMPLE
December 2009
October 2013


Yes!! The first time was with the Rees Couple!!!! I love these Joseph and Hyrum Smith statues. I told my Sister Irene that she is the Joseph of my life for she inspires me to keep my spirituality high! This temple taught me about Faith. It was built for 40 years, and when I got there I couldn't believe how glorious it is! God has blessed me with this privilege. I am very grateful to see this Holy House before I headed to my mission. My faith brought me to many beautiful places and circumstances.




I considered my return last October 2013 as a birthday and a graduation gift from my Heavenly Father. This was my first time to attend an endowment session at this temple with my mission trainee, Sister Milan and also my first time to attend the LDS General Conference live! The Mormon Tabernacle Choir was indeed heavenly. They were like angels!
I stayed with the Taylor family, and I only had morning session tickets. But me and my friend Andrea decided to try to get tickets for the afternoon sessions. We were standing outside the Conference Center waiting for a miracle when I saw a former sister missionary from my mission, Sister Mclaughlin. She invited us to sing with them as a choir to invite the spirit (despite of the rallyists around us). Meanwhile, a couple handed out tickets to us because they needed to leave. I was so happy! Truly the Lord is mindful of each of His children and by our faith-- miracles happen!

"THE FUTURE IS AS BRIGHT AS OUR FAITH!" - President Thomas S. Monson




8. CEBU PHILIPPINES TEMPLE
February 2010
My Mission Temple

I love my mission because it's a temple mission. I was one of the missionaries who was assigned to usher the 3-week Temple Open house and the grand day, the Temple Dedication by our dearly beloved Prophet even Thomas S. Monson. When I was still in young woman, I often wondered why the temple is the symbol imprinted on the YW Personal Progress Medallion. I gained a deeper understanding of the sanctity of the Temple as a missionary. If I were to describe this beautiful house, I will summarize it into 3 Words:

SIMPLICITY - Inside the temple, I learned how I should conduct myself in front of the Lord and also as a daughter of God:
      i.   words - 2 Corinthians 1:12, we talk softly and plainly
     ii.  modesty - is always in style. It's the way for Others to see, the kind of PERSON that lives      
                          inside of me... We can learn how to dress virtuously and respectfully.
     iii. attitude/countenance -  meek and lowly of hearts.
           "A merry hearth maketh a cheerful countenance". - Proverbs 15:13
             Always wear a smile and never look proud!
BEAUTY
" It's what you do that makes you beautiful"
How can we manifest our real beauty. Our righteous actions hold unfading allure.
     1. Service - Mosiah 15:14-18: "And O how beautiful upon the mountains were their feet!"
     2. Missionary Work through Temple Works:
          a. Baptism for the dead
          b. Ordinances
          c. Volunteer Temple Workers
PURITY
Inside the temple, we leave the world behind. We focus our thoughts on our Savior Jesus Christ.
We go to the temple not just to be with God, but to learn about Him so we can become like HIM.
If we think of Him long enough, the purity of our thoughts becomes us.
     i. Chastity - Proverbs 31:10
    ii. Virtuous Thoughts, "Let Virtue Garnish Thy Thoughts Unceasingly"


If we can enter the temple, we are also qualified to enter God's Kingdom. It's our practice!




9. NEW PORT BEACH TEMPLE
September 2013, California, USA


This is the one of the most important lessons I learned from this temple, "When we can see the temple, we shall never be lost."
I attended this temple while I was doing my internship with Disneyland in Anaheim, CA.I will never forget my quest in finding its location. I took two buses. The travel was about 2.5 to 3 hours. When I got off from my last bus, I looked at the sky, I SAW ANGEL MORONI's STATUE.  I followed the path leading to him. Tears started to run down on my cheeks.  I was feeling so lonely at that time and now I found HOME.  As I entered the Temple's gate, I felt God's embrace. 
Another memorable visit here was when I went there during a weekend. I found out that the second bus doesn't operate so I needed to take a taxi. When we arrived at the temple, my money was barely enough to pay the bill and I didn't have any cash left for my trip back to the dorm. I was worried honestly but I told to myself, God will provide.
After my temple session, I sat outside the temple. I saw a van passing in front of me and called out the driver, a mother in her 40's. I asked her if she's heading to Aneheim. She said yes, and asked me if I needed a ride. We had a beautiful chat on our way back to Anaheim! She told me that she goes to the temple weekly and that she is going through her second divorce. She shared with tears how broken she is and that coming to the temple is the only way she could find the strength  and peace to move forward in this life. I bore my testimony of God's love and the love I'm feeling for her. I told her that she is Heavenly Father's way of reminding me that He cares for me. She then replied, isn't it amazing how He put us together to be there for each other?



10. PROVO UTAH TEMPLE
October 2013, USA

Eccl. 3: 1 To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:

After the LDS General Conference, we ( I was with Andrea Soleta) went straight to this F"ilipino Something Gathering".. and then I saw ate Jenebeth Guard!! She asked me if  I already have plans for the next day and I told her I'm flying back to California after lunch. She asked me if I would like to cruise with her in Provo tomorrow morning before my flight. And of course! How could I say NO?!!! So we met early the next day. We sang and sang on our way to BYU Provo, the MTC Provo, the temple and then to the airport. I also had a lunch appointment with our former AP from my mission, Brother McBride. He was an MTC teacher at that time!!!! See? when you are at the right place, in the right time-- right people come by and usually they bring treats!!! 


This was a glimpse of what a Zion would be like.The mountains in Utah are so gorgeous. 


The structure reminds me of Ogden Temple too!



11. LOS ANGELES CALIFORNIA TEMPLE
November 7, 2013, USA

I visited this temple twice this year of 2013.
The first visit was with Ate Shiela and her daughter Avery, and then Ate Ckaz, his son and Vijohn joined us on the second time around. This is a temple amidst the busy streets of Los Angeles, California. The lesson is very simple but straight to the point, "Find time to go to the temple even at the busiest time of your life!" 







12. SAN DIEGO CALIFORNIA TEMPLE
December 2013, USA

"If this isn't your castle, then you aren't my prince."

The Right One will come...
My One True Love, My Real Prince! Oh this temple is my FAVORITE!
 This temple is like a castle. Only a true prince can take you to the house of the Lord.
 I have learned that Love is a choice. Marriage will not come to you unless you choose it.
As you fulfill your dreams in life, have an open heart for Marriage. Always be ready and willing to embrace love when it knocks. There were days in in my life when I was caught up too much by my personal goals. I desired for marriage and was confident that I knew its importance. But desire + knowledge was not enough to prepare for this noble plan. Only when I finally took a pause, pondered and focused on this priority that I found my eternal companion. There was a work required from me. I didn't just wait for dates or date for the sake of dating BUT get to know men with a genuine heart and a pure desire. My spiritual eyes were opened that instead of looking for qualities, I saw potentials. Indeed, loving is a blessing for "The measure of your love is the measure of the greatness of your soul!" - Elder J. Whirtlin








13. LAS VEGAS NEVADA TEMPLE
December 2013, USA

When someone told you, 'I want my daughter to be like you!"
---that was the best compliment ever BUT then in my mind I was like..
"OH NO!" you don't know what you're saying or you're kidding yah?

This is the temple amidst the desert-- exactly what the temple represents in my life. The temple is like an oasis. It sustains me and lifts me high so I can continue my journey here on this earth with perfect brightness of Hope. Every time I go to the temple, it reminds me of the kind of life I want to have eternally in the next life. It gives courage when I am about to give up.
I often ask myself every time I am inside the temple,
"Do you want to live like this forever?" 
So do not settle for less neither grab instant joy and satisfaction.
The Road to Exaltation is never Mediocrity. 



Me and Caitlyn ( the daughter of my roomie)
at an LDS Chapel in Vegas. 
Wow! I didn't know I've been to 13 temples already..... 
Looking forward to visit more but this time with the hubs! :) 










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