July 18, 2015…Elder Osborne received his endowment at the Las Vegas Temple. Webster’s 1828 Dictionary defines the word endow: “To enrich or furnish with any gift, quality, or faculty; to indue. Man is endowed by his maker with reason.” An endowment is a gift. Other definitions include the idea of a dowery or an inheritance. So when we speak of the temple endowment, it is a gift of knowledge and power; an inheritance from our Creator. We make sacred covenants with our Heavenly Father, promising to live according to His law and commandments, and He, in return, offers us an inheritance in His Kingdom. He also offers us power and divine help in keeping His commandments and living up to our covenants.
Being with Elder Osborne in the temple was pure joy. As children of God, I think we are most joyful when we are living in a way that brings us closer to Him. And as parents, we are most joyful when our children are living in a way that brings them closer to us, and closer to God. So when all of those things align, and we have the opportunity to come closer to God with our children, and to feel His love together, I think that must be a little bit what heaven will be like.
The evening was made that much sweeter because we were joined by several close friends, some of whom we really feel like are our family. We didn’t get a chance to get a picture with everyone, but we did get a picture with a couple of Elder Osborne’s close friends, Corey and Aunali Davis, who have already returned from their missions. So we re-created a picture we took almost exactly two years ago when they took out their endowments…and when Mom was only days away from having a baby!
On August 1, we took Elder Osborne to the Salt Lake Temple. He had already visted the Jordan River Temple earlier in the day, so it was a temple-filled day for him! The Salt Lake Temple is one of the great symbols of our Church, because of the great sacrifice it took for the Saints to build it over a span of 40 years, even as they endured great poverty. There is a special spirit there. It was even more memorable as Elder Osborne was able to spend time after the session talking with his grandfather, who is an ordinance worker in the temple, and learning some of the ways the Lord uses symbols to teach us sacred truths.
As we stood outside the temple taking pictures, three men offered to take our picture together. We learned they were visiting for work, one was from Ohio and one from upstate New York. They asked if we were Mormons. Yes, we are! So we had a missionary opportunity to share a little bit about Joseph Smith, the First Vision, and the Pioneers’ journey to Salt Lake City. It was a good, friendly visit, and we enjoyed the chance talk about the Gospel together.
I love this quote from Elder John A. Widtsoe of the Quorum of the Twelve:
“Temple work … gives a wonderful opportunity for keeping alive our spiritual knowledge and strength. … The mighty perspective of eternity is unraveled before us in the holy temples; we see time from its infinite beginning to its endless end; and the drama of eternal life is unfolded before us. Then I see more clearly my place amidst the things of the universe, my place among the purposes of God; I am better able to place myself where I belong, and I am better able to value and to weigh, to separate and to organize the common, ordinary duties of my life, so that the little things shall not oppress me or take away my vision of the greater things that God has given us” (in Conference Report, Apr. 1922, pp. 97–98).