My boys ask me all the time if they could go down and visit the San Diego Temple. Mike and I attend often with the generous help of others who watch the boys. The boys were thrilled when Mom decided that we would all go down to the temple together.
Mike is in charge of the young men ages 12-18 for our local church congregation, what our church refers to as a Young Men's President. Several times a year the young men and young women who have met worthiness requirements, such as keeping their bodies morally clean, have the opportunity to enter the temple to perform what our church refers to as "baptisms for the dead". This term may sound illogical or strange but it is anything but that. This term comes from a scripture in the Bible, 1 Corinthians 15:29. Since we believe in the eternal nature of our spirits and that all men should be given an opportunity to accept or reject the gospel of Jesus Christ, this ordinance is performed in our temples as was in New Testament times. Baptism by immersion is performed by a living person, in this case one of the youth, acting on behalf of one who is dead. From my own experience, it is a wonderful feeling to be able to provide this gift of baptism to someone who can no longer receive it on their own. To me it is a real testament of God's love for all his children.
Mike was one of the leaders taking the youth down to the temple and so I decided that the boys and I would wait outside on the grounds until he was finished. We dressed in our church clothes, brought scripture stories to read and snacks to eat on a blanket.
I love this photo. The overexposure gives a feeling of heaven:-)
We walked around the temple grounds and talked about the importance of the temple for our family. The boys have already learned so much and at a young age associate having a good feeling with being close to the temple. A man offered to take a photo of us 4 and he didn't quite fit us all in the window:-)
Of course after an hour and half of trying their best to be reverent, Mom was pushing her luck. It was a wonderful experience and I hope we will do it more often. After Mike was finished we were able to have our family photo taken together.