Saturday, October 4, 2008

Kansas City Gets a Temple!!

So I know most the excitement about the new temples announced today is centering around Rome, Italy, but I just have to say how excited I am that there will finally be a temple in Kansas City.

I was 12 when my family and I lived in Warrensburg, Missouri (which is about an hour and a half from Kansas City), and I had the opportunity to go to the temple for the first time. The summer before this, our ward had organized a temple trip for the adults to the Dallas, Texas, temple and we traveled with my parents so they could go and do several sessions. I remember one of my friends and her family also went to the temple to be sealed together, so it was quite the experience for everyone. But when I was 12, and had just started in Young Womens, the youth had the chance to go to the temple to do baptisms for the dead in the Chicago temple.

This temple trip, as I understand it, was the first youth temple trip for our ward in about five years, meaning there were priests and laurels who had either never been, or had only been to the temple once before. As youth we had to earn and save as much money as we could to pay for our way to the temple--which for me was quite the experience and a story for another day. Our ward leaders asked all the ward members to give the youth any little odd jobs--yardwork, babysitting, etc.--so that we could earn our way, and after months of preparing, we were finally ready to go.

We left in the late afternoon and drove all night until we hit St. Louis. We got up early the next morning and drove all day until we hit Chicago. (The Chicago and Dallas temples are both about the same distance from Warrensburg, just in opposite directions, by the way.) Once in Chicago, we checked into our hotel, changed into Sunday clothes, and then drove over to the temple where we spent most of the rest of the night doing baptisms and then having a small testimony meeting in the temple. It was truly one of the most amazing experiences of my life.

But the problem was, the temple was so far away, these kinds of experiences for the youth (and indeed for all the members) were few and far between. Then, shortly after we left Missouri, I heard that a temple was going to be built in St.Louis. I was so excited for that temple because I knew how many lives it would bless--how much easier it would be for the members in the area to go often to the temple--and many times I've said that the St. Louis temple is my favorite.

Until today that is. Now this new Kansas City temple just might be my new favorite. I broke into tears when I heard President Monson announce that there would be a temple in the greater Kansas City area because I know how much the people in that area have wanted and needed a temple. I know that the Church has been growing and growing in this area, but now ... now I can't imagine the changes and blessings that will come to the members in this area! And it all just makes me so very excited!

Plus, this means the Saints will have a temple in Jackson Co., Missouri again. Think on that people. Think on that.

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