Introduction: Hi, I wanted to give a little introduction for those that don't know me, my name is Christina Stevulak, we've been in the ward for four years, my husbands name is Matt, and is rarely here because he's a pilot for American Eagle, we have three children, Quinn is 7, Ava is 6, and Ethan is 3. We spend most of the summer in
where it's much cooler, but apparently Brother Giberson wanted me to experience
some of the Seattle heat, so we are
making a pit stop in Texas today
so I can give this talk, and I really hope you get something out of it. Dallas
I was asked to speak on how the temple blesses my life and my family. A lot of my talk came from "Eternity Lies Before Us" by James E. Faust. In it he says:
A temple was announced on
July 26, 1847, the second day after
the arrival of President Brigham Young in the . President Young made
this great proclamation before the Saints even had a roof over their heads and
while they were still living in wagons or sleeping on the ground. He drove his
cane into the ground and said, “Here we will build the Great Salt Lake Valley of our God." Temple
What a declaration of the importance of temples.
2, 2002, three weeks before I was to marry Matt, I was able to take
out my endowments. I was the first
person in my family to go through the temple.
On my wedding day, my family lovingly waited outside the temple for
me. I know this was especially hard for
my dad, he not being a member of the church, but he still did it without any
complaint. For years afterward anytime
this was talked about in my mother in laws presence she would begin to cry, as
she remembered my dad's willingness to support me and my choice to be married
in the temple, where he could not attend.
President Faust says:
Part of the process of reaching into the eternities comes when we must deal with the experience called death. This life is hollow without a belief in and an understanding of immortality. Said Paul, “If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable.” The Atonement and the Resurrection of the Savior are the grand keys that open the locks of immortality. The greatest fulfillment of these blessings, if we are worthy, comes to us in the holy temples of God. Within their sacred walls, those who hold the power and authority bind in heaven that which is bound in earth. This authority has been delegated by the President of the Church, who holds and exercises all of the keys of the
on earth. kingdom of God
Six years later my dad was killed in a car accident. This was devastating to all of us, and my heart broke especially for my step mom who grew up with no religious background. The day my dad died I knew what I would be doing one year from that day, and on September 16, 2009, exactly one year later, Matt and I, along with my mother and father in law walked into the Seattle temple to do my dad's work. The same temple my dad had waited outside of 7 years earlier while Matt and I were married. We did the baptism all the way through the endowment that day. It was one of the best days of my life. I felt my dad near, and I knew he was happy with what we were doing for him. Finally, I was in the temple with my dad.
Two years later my mom and I met in
to visit my younger sister and her kids.
My mom had been a member of the church since she was fifteen, but she
had never been through the temple. While
there she suggested that we go do baptisms for the dead at the Seattle
temple. The night before we were to go
to the temple she announced that we would not be going to do baptisms, but that
she would be taking out her endowments.
I couldn't believe it! Both my
parents endowed members. It was a dream
come true. Seattle
President Faust said:
As the pioneers had the larger vision in their daily challenge for survival, so also we need to have a greater vision and understanding of our eternal destiny. Our challenges are more subtle but equally hard. Maintaining our spiritual strength is also a daily challenge. The greatest source of that spiritual strength comes, as it did in their time, from our temples.
We are very blessed to have a temple so close. I will be the first to admit that it's not always easy to get to the temple. Life gets hectic with work and kids, and life in general, but I also know that as we make temple attendance a habit our life will have greater spiritual strength to deal with the daily challenges of life. When ever I start to lag in my temple attendance I think of my sister in law who lives in
two hours from the Rosamond, CA
temple. She has four little ones, yet
she makes it to the temple every week.
She isn't any different then any of us, she has just made a commitment
to herself and her family, and she is sticking to it. Our stake has asked us to set a personal goal
of temple attendance, and I know that if we stick to it, our spiritual strength
will increase abundantly. L.A.
President Faust said:
I urge all who have not yet received these greatest of all blessings within the walls of the temple to do whatever may be necessary to qualify to receive them. To those who have received these blessings, I invite you to prepare yourselves to savor again the experience of being within the sacred premises of the holy temples of God and have the visions of life eternal open again to your hearts, minds, and souls.
Call me, I will watch your kids, whenever you need me too.
President Faust goes on to say:
A basic eternal truth of this Church is that families may, if they are worthy, have an eternal relationship; for us it would not be heaven without our parents, our grandparents, our eternal companions, our children, and our posterity. This union of families comes through the sealing power exercised within the hallowed walls of the temples under authorized priesthood authority.
It truly would not be heaven without our families. I'm so grateful for the sealing power that is exercised inside the temple. Because of it I know I will see my dad again, and that he will always be my dad, and I will always be his daughter. What peace I have knowing that I am sealed to Matt and our children. These are truly our greatest blessings, and that these blessing come because of our Savior Jesus Christ. In whose name I testify. Amen.