Friday, August 14, 2015

Power From On High

August 8th, 2015 is a day I will remember for a long time. This is the day I received my endowment in the temple for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. If you don't know what that is, more info can be found here.

Overall, I had an amazing experience! My aunts from the west coast came out to visit and be in my endowment session. We even planned the date of when I went through to be on the day of my late grandmother's 75th birthday.
The dessert we ate for Grandma Bronson's birthday.
But before I share a bit of my experience, I have a confession.

Internally, I was actually a bit scared to go through the temple for the first time.

Now, I wasn't scared of the commitments I would be making. I owe everything I have and everything I am to the Lord, so I was actually pretty excited to make special covenants with the Lord in the temple. What I was scared of was the way I would feel during my session. I was afraid I would be weirded out and overwhelmed by what was going on. Many people I had talked to expressed these feelings, and the last thing I wanted to do was to allow my personal feelings interfere with a ceremony so sacred and of eternal worth. I think some of these feelings had to do with not knowing what to expect (part of what you covenant to do in the temple is to not discuss what happens within the walls of this part of the temple outside of the temple), but it still didn't ease my feelings of fear.

So if I had an amazing experience in the temple, what helped ease my feelings of fear? Three things, actually.
1.  First, I prayed throughout the week for the Lord to help prepare my mind and my heart for what I would experience. This really helped a lot! It helped strengthen the relationship I have with my Heavenly Father, and it helped me feel His love for me. Not everyone feels what I felt before my endowment session, but the Lord is so mindful of the things that trouble us. No problem is too small for us to go to Him, asking Him in full confidence for help and for power from on high. Ask and ye shall receive; it really works!

2. I got a blessing. I was in an interview with my stake president and at the end, he asked me if I wanted a blessing. I think the Lord knew I needed that added power from on high to help me appreciate my endowment, but knew I wouldn't ask for a blessing on my own. I am thankful that the Lord uses other people to bless our lives, because I felt so much strength, peace, and reassurance from this blessing, which I needed for this special day.

3. A reminder of my worthiness and readiness to enter the temple and receive this endowment. Because receiving your endowment in the temple is so special and sacred, many people may feel inadequate or unworthy to receive it. However, as I took a temple prep class and I prayed to my Heavenly Father, it was manifested to me through the spirit that I was worthy and ready to go through the temple. Knowing for yourself that Heavenly Father has deemed you worthy and ready to receive this endowment can help ease your mind so you can understand just how beautiful the work being done in the temple is. Maybe you feel like you're not ready to go through yet, or maybe there are things to take care of before you go through, and that is okay! The Lord will work with you as you council with Him because He wants everyone to received their endowment!

I won't go into many details about my session, but I will say that receiving your endowment is different than anything you'll experience in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. But it is so important to do! An endowment is a gift from God, and the covenants you make in the temple will do nothing but help you in the long run and strengthen you as long as you are faithful. I know that my endowment itself and the covenants I have made have given me power from on high that will help me to live this life as the Lord would have me live and to progress even more than I could without my endowment.

The gospel of Jesus Christ is so real, y'all. It has the power to change you from the inside out. I am so excited to serve in the temple before I leave and I am so excited to serve a full-time mission in Hong Kong.

Love much,

[Future] Sister Leonard

P.S. Here are some pictures from the day I went through the temple!

Bronson girls altogether.

With my parents
We stopped off to the side along Alligator Alley and looked at gators since my aunts had never seen one before. Isn't he (or she?) cute? :)