Plagued with aching feet and a 24 hr bout of mysterious sickness, my husband and I decided it best not to go to Wales on vacation and hike Offa's Dyke this last week. Instead, my husband came up with the brilliant idea to take a temple vacation at the London Temple.
I hate to admit that at first it did not sound so brilliant. When my husband suggested a temple vacation, we had just spent a lovely day – an entire day – getting out to the Surrey countryside where the temple is located and spent the day inside the temple, around the grounds, eating at the cafeteria, and walking in the surrounding countryside. I felt I had filled my temple “quota” for the month.
Yet his idea prompted me to wonder at myself. I liked going to the temple, generally have learned much each time I go, and am obedient to the counsel to go as often as possible. I've even “worked,” or volunteered my time to serve in 4-hour shifts on a weekly basis, at temples – one in Provo, Utah and another in Washington, DC—for multiple year periods. I knew I was suppose to love the temple, but I did not. I liked it, and went regularly to be obedient.
This last week's vacation at the London Temple changed everything. We had the opportunity to explore the temple's outlying buildings and grounds thoroughly. We also got to know surrounding restaurants and attractions, including the nearby Wilderness Centre. We had a special Ordinance Survey map printed at Stanfords in Covent Garden which included the temple, the local train station, and the Ashdown Forrest and 500 Acre Wood (the inspiration for A. A. Milne's Winne the Pooh), and used it to explore the beautiful surrounding countryside.
Most importantly, we had ample time to frequent the temple and spend real time there over multiple days. I began to understand the lessons presented at a much deeper level. Slowly but surely, I felt myself wanting to stay and return soon. Finally, I can say I love the temple!
Thanks to my sweet husband for being inspired with the idea of a temple vacation. Here's to many more in years to come.