This is to everyone who has made this day possible...
Growing up in this Church we all have one goal... Getting back to live with our Father in Heaven.
There are many steps we have to take before we get there. When we are just baby's we get a Blessing placed on us by our Father and loved ones. This is a blessing to give us a name, let us feel of His love, and I think, in a way, it starts to mold us. Yes, even at that young age. We then start on a path of the gospel, learning right and wrong from our Parents, we start school and make friends and of course we are influenced by them. We go to Primary and learn more of the Teachings of Christ, and then when we are 8 we are baptized into The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. We are washed clean of the transgressions we have made, and we are now accountable for our every action. We start to understand the gospel a little more, we are still little children and have a lot to learn, but we are still being molded.
All through this life in the Church we are blessed with righteous Priesthood holders, we can ask our Father for a blessing whenever we need. During a difficult time, when we are faced with change, when we are feeling down and just need some extra love from above. We've always got our scriptures to guide us, if we utilize them right.
When I turned 12 I was so excited, I got to start doing baptisms for the dead. The first temple I visited was the Idaho Falls Temple. I was also privileged to not only go and do temple names with my ward, but my Grandmother had been doing genealogy and she asked me to be baptized for a deceased family member. That was such a special day, and has never left my mind. I could feel her spirit there, and since my Grandparents worked in the temple at that time my Grandmother was in the Baptistry when this ordinance was done. There was so much love and warmth in the room. Since that day I have done Baptisms with my wards in the Ogden Temple, Bountiful Temple, Logan Temple, and the Manti Temple. I have not gone as often as I would have liked to, but I have gone more than some are able and for that I am grateful.
There is another step we have to take in returning to our Father. Young men at the age of 19 accomplish this next step when they decided to go on a mission. When they receive their call they have the chance to go through the Temple. For young women, we have to wait. We go through the temple before marriage, or before a mission at age 21. Neither of these have been an option for me. Even lately I have thought about turning in my papers, but like before I have the sickest feeling in my gut about it. A mission is not the road that my Father wants me to go down. I have prepared for this my whole life, and have thought hard about it for the past year. And now the time is right and in 2 weeks I have the opportunity to go through the Temple of my Lord and Savior for myself.
I want to Thank my parents for raising me the way they did, and my brothers and sisters for being such an example to me. But its not only them, its true when people say the community raises the child because they have. Everywhere I have lived there has been someone, or many someones who have touched my life and molded me into the person I am today. I love you all. Thank you for everything.