Friday, like I planned, I went to the Logan and the Vernal Temples. Ogden was closed until today, so I just went to those two. I got to the Logan Temple around 9:30, read my scriptures until a little after 10, and went up to the baptistry. As I was ringing the doorbell, a lady came by and told me the baptistry didn't open until 11. I had an entire hour and nothing to do. I figured I'd have an early lunch, so I found a Subway and had a delish sandwich. After lunch, I still had half an hour before I could go back. So I drove around, and saw a store that said "Movies, Books, Music, Coffee" Well, I wasn't too interested in movies or coffee, but I love bookstores, and music is just a given. So I went inside, and quickly found that it was more "Movies" than anything else. I browsed around in what few books and CD's they had, but got bored pretty quick. They had another section at the back of the store that was kind of just a bunch of random stuff. Shirts, posters, shot glasses, etc. I thought I'd check it out, but after taking one glance at one of the posters, I just left. It was about time to go back to the temple anyway. I got to the temple a little after 11, and kind of just felt...icky. I hadn't done anything bad. I had removed myself from a compromising situation when I felt I needed to, but even though I hadn't sinned necessarily, I still felt...defiled. Impure. I prayed that I would be able to feel the spirit as I went into the Temple, and I did feel a little comforted, so I thought I'd be okay. I walked again up to the baptistry door and rang the doorbell. No one answered, and an older man who was probably a temple worker came up to ring the doorbell as well. They answered that time, and the lady inside asked me what I needed. I told her I was just there to do baptisms, and she said that all of the workers were just getting there, and the baptistry wouldn't open until 12. So I walked back to my car, determined that this time I would spend the next hour preparing for the temple, rather than just kill time and perhaps distance myself from the spirit. I drove around trying to find a place that overlooked the temple, where I could sit and ponder and prepare, but if you've ever been to Logan, you'll probably know that the temple is pretty much the highest thing in the city. There are some mountains to the east, but I couldn't find a way up any of them. I did find a beautiful canyon and a nice park at the entrance though, so I stopped there for a while, and did everything I could to prepare myself to enter into the house of the Lord and to have the spirit with me. When I got back at 12, I felt much more prepared and worthy to enter the temple.
Blessing: The baptistry didn't open until 2 hours after I wanted to go in. In those two hours I learned a lot about temple preparation. Just because I had a recommend, didn't mean that I was prepared to go to the temple.
The Logan baptistry is actually quite small. Despite its size, it's a very beautiful place. The work is being done, and the spirit is there. After doing baptisms and confirmations, I started on the looooooong journey to Vernal, Utah. Google maps says that from Logan to Vernal is about 4 hours and 45 minutes. That meant I wouldn't get to Vernal until around 6. 'Nother thing. Google maps also says that the quickest way from Logan to Vernal is through Wyoming. So I began the long drive, starting by going up Logan Canyon. I passed Bear Lake, I went through Wyoming, two or three national forests, I saw a bunch of deer, antelope, ravens, and 3 bald eagles. Took a few wrong turns, learned some lessons in patience, faith, and prayer, went through Flaming Gorge at sunset, aka the most AMAZING time to go through Flaming Gorge. The sunset would've been absolutely beautiful without being in Flaming Gorge, and Flaming Gorge would've been absolutely beautiful without the sunset. Together, they were just plain freaking awesome. I got to the Vernal Temple at about 5:56 pm. Not bad timing, considering all the...detours I took. The Vernal Temple is really a beautiful building. It's definitely the smallest temple I've ever been to, but it's still very beautiful. So I went up to the baptistry doors and rang the doorbell, not knowing if there was even anyone inside. A temple worker opened the door, and said something to the effect of, "Is this all of you?" or, "Are you the only one?" Well, come to find out, there was a ward scheduled to do baptisms at 6:00 that night. Otherwise, the baptistry wouldn't have been open. So I was able to join the ward and do baptisms and confirmations.
Blessing: The Logan Temple didn't open until 12, I got lost a number of times on my way to Vernal, and I stopped twice for gas and snacks. I got the the Vernal Temple at the only time that day that the baptistry was open.
On my way home, I took another wrong turn, but figured out my mistake (before I got all the way to Moab) and got back on the right track. I learned something about myself that I never knew before. I really don't like passing cars in the oncoming lane of traffic. It scares me to death every time, especially in the dark. The drive home was only 3 hours, but after such a long day, I was tired. Luckily, I had my Fritos, honey-roasted peanuts, and a good friend to keep me awake. Well, the drive was pretty uneventful. I didn't fall asleep, I didn't hit any semis head on, I didn't even have to swerve to avoid any deer. As I was coming down Provo canyon however, on the last leg of my journey, a big chunk of ice appeared in my lane. It didn't really appear, it was just dark and I didn't see it until it was too late to miss it. I decided that instead of swerving to avoid it, I'd just place my tires evenly on either side of it and pass right over. Well, I either misjudged how much clearance my car had or how solid the piece of ice was, because I didn't just "pass right over." In fact, I don't think there was much left of that chunk of ice after I hit it. But, my car didn't start making any funny sounds, so I wasn't too worried. I got home around 11, said hi to my parents, and crashed. I really think I would've slept past 12, but I had work at 8, so I was up again at 7:30. I got in the car to head off to work, and it started right up, but when I pushed on the gas, nothing happened (yes, I was in drive, not neutral. :P ). I didn't have time to figure out what was wrong then, 'cause I'd be late for work. So I drove the van and my dad looked at it that day. Come to find out, my transmission started leaking fluid about 15 feet before I pulled up to my house and parked, and every drop had leaked out during the night.
Blessing: A big chunk of ice ripped a hole in my transmission pan, but I got home safely, and didn't have any car problems. At least, not until after I was home.
Sometimes things happen in life and we're not sure why. Sometimes we wonder why things don't go the way we want. But our Heavenly Father is there for us. He knows what's right for us, even if it doesn't seem right in the beginning. It may not even seem right in the end, but as long as we trust in His will, He will never lead us astray. There is a quote by President Ezra Taft Benson that says this:
"Men and women who turn their lives over to God will discover that He can make a lot more out of their lives than they can. He will deepen their joys, expand their vision, quicken their minds, strengthen their muscles, lift their spirits, multiply their blessings, increase their opportunities, comfort their souls, raise up friends, and pour out peace."
I believe this with all of my heart. He is there for us. We just need to make sure that we are there for Him.
This wasn't all that happened this weekend, but it was a big chunk of it. There have been many other blessings and miracles to add to this list, but for now...have a nice day. :)
-Joseph Morris Cannon