Back in May, my Bishopric set a challenge to my singles ward to Return to Virtue. They were inspired by the new Young Women's value of Virtue. It was broken down into 3 parts:
* "Come to the Temple with me..."
We were challenged to read the Book of Mormon in three months. They had divided the chapters into a daily schedule for us to follow. We were to begin on June 1st and finish on August 28th. I am proud to say that I finished on the completion date...it wasn't easy.
U32.gov was our theme: University 32nd ward.guardians of virtue. We were encouraged to remain chaste and virtuous. We each received the Young Women pamphlet on virtue. We are to fill out the goals, complete it, and have it signed by a member of the bishopric.
Our bishop wrote to Sister Elaine Dalton informing her what our ward had been challenged to do. He explained to her the inspiration and the blessings that we would reap. He also told her of his invitation for us to come with him to the Temple on August 29th. Sister Dalton wrote back words of encouragement, admiration, and asked if she may join us in the Temple.
A few weeks ago, our ward had the opportunity to have our summer activity in Jackson Hole. Signs reading U32.gov were posted all over the campsite. Our last night was spent together at a fireside presented by our bishopric. We were told that we were uniting together as a ward in righteousness. Musical numbers told us to hold onto the promise. And we were reminded that virtue is what unlocks the doors to the Temple.
Last Saturday was our Temple day. It went from 6 in the morning until 6 in the evening. I cannot express the amazing feeling of the Spirit that was present. I was able to participate in an endowment session, iniatories, and sealings. I had a few sweet and sacred experiences throughout the day. I loved walking the halls of the Temple and seeing faces that I knew. I loved that I was able to be in the sealing room with some dear friends and my bishop. I loved the feeling of great unity between ward members. I loved that hugs were given freely...
In our white clothing, we all met in a chapel and were taught words of wisdom. We were fortunate to hear from Sister Dalton. She expressed her love for us and applauded us for our desire to be worthy to attend the Temple that day. She reminded us to return to virtue. She also took a moment to memorize our faces so that when we all reside in heaven, she will remember us.
The Temple Presidency spoke to us as well. The Temple matron was darling and so sweet. She explained how C.T.R. doesn't only stand for choose the right but for current temple recommend. I loved listening to her and her sweet stories. The Temple president reminded us of the covenants we have made and reminded us just how mindful the Lord is of us. He was so impressed with us and our decision to make Temple day such a success.
What an amazing experience! It is one that I shall never forget. Later at the bishop's home for dinner, I made the comment to some friends...
"Today was the best day of this year!"