Memories of Amos flooded into my mind and heart last night as we went on a tour of the newly renovated 75,000 square foot temple where we were married in August of 1997. This social media influencers event was not the place I expected to find such a personal experience but it was special enough for me to return to Amos’s blog yet again.
We got an email last week with an invitation for Evie and Porter to come to a press conference where general authorities and apostles from the church would gather with a few dozen social media influencers to for an event beginning at the new Mesa Visitor’s Center and ending with personal tours through the entire temple with Elder Rasband, Elder Gong and a handful of other general church leaders and authorities. Of course Evie and Porter are in college out of state so… the organizers were gracious enough to extend their invitation to us non-influencers.
The goal of the evening was to gather influencers to give them information to be able to disseminate information to their social media followers about the opportunity for the public to be able to tour the inside of the newly restored temple before it is rededicated on December 12th. My dad recently passed away and that is his birthday so I won’t forget the date. It was wonderful to see many familiar faces of local social media influencers that we have gotten to know over the years. Everyone was so kind and inviting without a hint of pomp or exclusion over the obvious high levels of individual achievements in the group.
We began with a spread of refreshments while socializing followed by a press conference with Elder Gong, Elder Rasband, Elder Duncan, Sister Aburto and a dozen other notable leaders. I was surprised when the first person to speak was our local news anchor Emma Jade. She gave an heartfelt introduction that melded the the importance of the temple to the importance of the light that the influencers were sharing. Elder Rasband and Gong gave a presentation on the same subject. Elder Gong wasn’t going for the microphone so he came out from behind it and right over to speak to us face to face.
We were then gathered into groups. We were with group 3 lead by Sister Reyna I. Aburto of the Relief Society General Presidency which is the largest women’s organization in the world with six million female members and Elder Kevin R. Duncan of the Seventy who is also the executive director in the temple department for the entire church. We got to know the influencers in our group then they shuttled us in golf carts to the temple which my girls thought was super fun.
We paused for pictures then headed to the foot covering station. Sister Aburto said over a half million people would be walking through the temple between October 16th when public tours start and November 20th, so the effort of foot coverings save a lot of damage to the temple floors. If you would like to tour the temple, free reservations can be made at mesatemple.org/open-house.
There will also be a youth devotional for the Mesa Temple on Amos’s birthday – December 11th. The sessions will only be broadcast to those in the Mesa Temple district. Since we are in the Gilbert Temple district, I’m so thankful to have had this special opportunity with my family. I love this picture of Elder Duncan smiling at Lucy. It was amazing to get to know these gracious leaders.
When we entered the temple we were told that he renovating project gave specific attention to restoring the style from the original building completed in 1927. They took great care to peel back the layers of paint from over the years to find the original paint colors and restore the original beauty as it was first intended. The 50 color scheme includes shades of green, lavender and gold. The temple has neoclassical detailing and is decorated on its corners with frieze panels that depict Latter-day Saint beliefs about the gathering of Israel from the four corners of the earth as prophesied by Isaiah in the Old Testament of the Bible.
Walking through the rooms of the temple was a surreal experience. Not only was I married to Amos there but we went back many times together to do temple work for our ancestors. We also took many opportunities to help clean the temple so we knew that place like it was our own home. I would walk into each room like it was brand new to me because it looked so perfectly young and restored then I would sit for a moment and remember which room it was. The memories started flowing back of being there with him and made me think that I may not recognize Amos when I first see him again. He may seem completely perfect and new with all the layers of this world peeled away but now I may have an idea how it would feel to realize I remember him. He will be restored and I will be restored and we will be together again perhaps in that very place we were sealed for all eternity.