For Christmas this year I decided to make my mom and dad a movie of a bunch of family pictures from when they got married until now. It turned out to be quite a project, but I think it turned out pretty good.
Here is it, but fair warning: it's a good 20 minutes long!
My testimony of the truthfulness of the gospel, and of the divinity of temples has grown so much over the past few weeks. As many of my close friends and family know, I have been on quite the roller coaster ride recently. I am writing this because I feel a need to share what I have learned, and express my thanks to my Father in Heaven for the support and love I have been blessed with. I hope I don't come off as preachy or anything, I just feel a great need to share this with whoever may read it.
I was dating a wonderful man. I honestly cannot say a bad thing about this guy. He is the kind of guy every girls would love to be with. We decided that we wanted to get married in December, and began the plans of all that go into that. We were both so excited, and loved each other a lot. I was aware that this boy had some concerns with the church and things it teaches, but nothing had ever been said or come up to make me really worry. One day, he confessed to me that he did not have a desire to marry in the temple, and wasn't sure if he could go on being a part of this church that I love dearly. We had already called the temple and set a date and time to be married in it. Getting married in the temple has been something that I have wanted my entire life, and I have never pictured myself getting married anywhere else. I believe it to be the house of God, and although I have never been through the entire temple yet, I have a strong testimony that it is a place that brings people to God. I was shocked and devastated to say the least upon hearing this news, but I didn't want to give up on this boy so quick. I spent hours talking to people I trust, reading scriptures, finding talks, pondering and praying about what I really believe. I asked him to do the same as I was doing, and I had hope that he would regain that testimony he once had. I thought hard about whether or not I really believed in the things I have been claiming to believe. I on more than one occasion contemplated giving up my dream and goal of getting married in the temple, but knew that if I did, it would never leave my mind and would only cause a rift in our marriage. I have never had so many witnesses and confirmations of my faith in this gospel and in temples as I have had these past few weeks. In my scripture study, in my prayers, in my Book of Mormon class, in my conversations with others, during General Conference, and so on. Everything testified to me that this gospel is true, that the Book of Mormon is the word of God, that Joseph Smith was a prophet, that temples are the house of God, and above all, that Jesus Christ is the head of this church. It all came crashing down this weekend as we both realized our beliefs are too different. That neither of us are going to budge, and our relationship had to be over. I was devastated. But in the midst of my devastation, a strange comfort and feeling of peace has been with me. I know God wishes for me to be happy, and I know he wishes for me to be married in the temple. That is something I know now that I will not compromise on, because I cannot deny the overwhelming confirmation I have been given of the truth of the gospel. I know God loves me, and that He has a plan for me. And I know He will take care of my every need, and keep the promises He has given me.
So the phone calls have been made, and the dress sent back. But the last think I want is for anyone to feel pity on me. I am sad, yes. But I am not alone. The Lord will not leave me comfortless, and I have a peace in my soul that has given me so much strength to carry on. I will always love this boy, but I love the gospel and Jesus Christ more. I know that someday I will go through the temple and be married there. And I know now that my faith is unshakable. We are told that we are here to prove to God that we will do whatsoever things the Lord has commanded of us. I have proved to myself, and hopefully to the Lord that I want Him to be first in my life, and that nothing will come in between me and Him. He is my Savior and Redeemer, and He has a plan for my life that I know is so much more than I could ever plan for myself.
A couple scripture that have stuck out to me in my study recently are these:
My son, peace be unto thy soul; thine adversity and thine afflictions shall be but a small moment. And then, if thou endure it well, God shall exalt thee on high; thou shalt triumph over all they foes. Thy friends do stand by thee, and they shall hail thee again with warm hearts and friendly hands.
2 Nephi 2:24
But behold, all things have been done in the wisdome of him who knoweth all things.