Sunday, September 18, 2016

Philadelphia Temple Open house

Our summer was filled with temple open house and dedication preparation.  I spent many weekends in Philadelphia and in surrounding areas (Cherry Hill - NJ, Valley Forge - PA, Villanova's campus) with the youth of our stake rehearsing the cultural celebration program. 

It was an exciting and exhausting adventure.  So here's a little background...

'Our' temple was Washington D.C., but with the announcement and subsequent building of the Philadelphia Pennsylvania temple, we became part of its temple district.  It actually is about 20-30 minutes farther away from us, but we're at the southern most end of our stake.  The northern unit is only 45 minutes or so from Philly, and so it's a dramatic reduction in travel time for them.  We can pretty much make it to Philly in 2 hrs 40 minutes, with good traffic. 

Matt and I were able to serve two times each in the open house sessions of the temple.  Matt once as an information guy on the temple plaza, pointing people in the right direction for the tours, and the other time he was in the parking garage.  I served both times inside the temple, once as a presenter in the bride's room and the other as the presenter in the baptismal area.  What a fantastic and unforgettable experience!  We saw hundreds (maybe even thousands) of people from all walks of life tour the temple during our times there. 

Finally in mid-August we took the tour ourselves with our children.  The temple is gorgeous and mirrors the historical elements of Philadelphia with architecture, decorating and symbolism throughout. 

We learned through the summer that service and sacrifice make your heart tender for those you serve, and in this case, the temple.  We love the Philadelphia Temple!  And are so grateful for our involvement in its open house, cultural celebration, and dedication.

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