This is a picture of the Rexburg Idaho Temple at sunrise taken on Thanksgiving morning 2013. One unique thing about this temple is that there is a big wheat filled in front of it. There is also a bunch of wheat in the temple garden and wheat carvings in the architecture. Wheat is a symbolizes the righteous people being gathered together in the Parable of the Tares in the New Testament.
I haven’t felt like blogging the last couple of days because I lost about 300 gb of data while I was backing up my pictures. I accidentally unplug my 1TB hard drive during a massive data transfer. When I plugged it back in the computer went ahead and tried to fix the corrupted files but instead half of my pictures/videos disappeared. I was emotionally distraught for a few hours before I could stop moping about it but actually do something about it (I need to get over my picture addiction… haha!). Over the last week I’ve been able to recover around 15,000 files after consulting with my family and friends. I also read lots of online forums. A lot of the files I found were corrupted but I’m grateful for the ones I did find. This experience has been a blessing in disguise. First, because I did have a back-up of most of the pictures so I didn’t loose too many… just about 4 months worth of pictures. Second, I got to use the skills I learned studying computer science in school about data storage and data deletion. Third, I learned NEVER to use ctrl-x for video or picture transfer. Fourth, it made me more humble and also grateful that only half the files disappeared and not all the files. Fifth, I am never letting that happen again!! I’m so grateful I found so many files but it is going to take days to organize the files and check for duplicates. It would have been much easier if this never happened but of course, life doesn’t always work that way. God does want us to learn from our mistakes.
I was able to recover pictures I took back in November when our family took a trip up to BYU-I in Rexbug, Idaho for Thanksgiving. I prayed hard that I would find these temple pictures because I knew I only had one copy of them. I felt confident that I would find this folder but all the methods of data recover I tried didn’t work or the files I did find were corrupted. I guess my faith was tested.
Finally, last night I found these files while searching through ~121,000 possible deleted files using Recuva.
What blessings have you seen in your life lately?
I woke up with my email, news feeds, Facebook, and WordPress swarmed with the news about “A federal judge Friday struck down Utah’s voter-approved constitutional amendment — which defines marriage as the union of one man and one woman.” [Deseret News]
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has already put up an official statement on Court Ruling Regarding Same-Sex Marriage in Utah. It is short and simple.
The Church has been consistent in its support of traditional marriage while teaching that all people should be treated with respect. This ruling by a district court will work its way through the judicial process. We continue to believe that voters in Utah did the right thing by providing clear direction in the state constitution that marriage should be between a man and a woman and we are hopeful that this view will be validated by a higher court.
This fight will continue but we must not give up hope, our beliefs or faith. Satan wants us to get discourage and give up; but the prophets have already declared that “voters in Utah did the right thing”. We can’t give up now. We may not win in the higher courts but I know that Jesus Christ is the ultimate judge. We will all have to stand before Jesus Christ one day and testify to Him that we’ve done the best we can to to defend His laws.
There is hope. If you’re struggling with same-gender attraction or any other temptations. God can help you. God loves you. God can bring you happiness and peace in your life. Pray to God, I know He will listen to you and He give you answers to your prayers.
Here is an official website of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints about this issue:
Dallin and I have been married for 3.5 years. It’s been a lot of hard work but marriage and raising a family has been the most fulfilling thing we’ve done as a couple. In a short 3.5 years, we have gone through tough times and good times. Marriage has brought us lots of joy and happiness and we want to protect the gift of marriage for future generations. We believe that marriage between 1 man and 1 women is ordained of God. [Family Proclamation to the World]
FHE stands for “Family Home Evening“. To tell you the truth, our family has not been very good at preparing for family home evening. When Monday night comes around we usually ask each other, at the last minute, “What’s the lesson for FHE?” We decided that our lack of planning wasn’t working for us. We decided to set aside a time on Saturday to plan out our family home evening. We did it for the first time last week and our FHE rocked! We had time to think and plan the lesson. Then we had time to go buy supplies for our activity and also had time to plan out a treat to eat at the end.
Our church believes in modern-day prophets whole receive inspiration from God and give counsel to the church. The prophet Joseph F. Smith announced in a letter on April 27, 1915 that the church members should hold a weekly family home evening (FHE) in their homes. FHE is family time that is set aside for “prayer … hymns … family topics … and specific instruction on the principles of the gospel.” In 1970, the prophet announce that FHE night is preferred to be on Monday nights throughout the church and asked that church/leadership meetings should not be held on Monday nights.
I believe that the LDS church sets aside time for families on Monday because we all get so busy with work, school, sports, and other activities that it’s hard to fit in family time at home. In the end, our families is the most important entity we have here on earth and I enjoy spending time with my family on Monday nights.
Song: “My Heavenly Father Loves Me” (Children’s Songbook, 228–29)
Activity: Make paper mache worlds. I found this blog about making paper mache planets.
Sorry I realize that I never finished my Ireland miracles. I’ll just schedule these stories in once in a while. Better late than never right?
For the first month in Ireland, we solely relied on public transportation which was mainly double decker busses and the Dart which is a fast train. Dallin studied at the University College Dublin and we lived in Dun Laoghaire. It was about 45 minutes by bus but only a 15 minute drive. The bus system was fantastic and there really wasn’t much to complain about except for the fact that Dallin took 1.5 to 2 hours or more commuting everyday depending on traffic.
We felt like the Spirit was telling us we should buy a car. We researched it out and miraculously found an old Nissan Almera (aka Nissan Centra in the USA) for 1000 euros. We registered it and bought insurance from Liberty Mutual Insurance which was the cheapest insurance we found. Buying a car was easier than we thought it would be and it eventually ended up saving us money even though the gas tax in Ireland is like 50%.
Driving in Dublin, Ireland is super fun… well kinda. So you drive on the left hand side of the road and the roads are very narrow. Parking is pretty much just parallel parking. You have to get really good at parallel parking. You can use your native driver license for one year before you need to get an Irish license.
We took this old cheap car to every shore of Ireland and Northern Ireland. We drove this car from Dublin to Giants Cosway in Northern Ireland. Then to Cork, Cliffs of Moher, Dingle and the Ring of Kerry. Fortunately the only problem we had with the car was the windshield wipers and a mechanic in Cork fixed it for 10 euro.
On one of our last adventures in Ireland, we were driving to the Blarney Castle in Cork. A local guy rear ended our car and made a dent in the back bumper. The insurance company said that the car was totaled. They let us keep the dented car and gave us 1000 Euro. So in essence we got this car for free. This is what the bumper looked like and if you look around on the streets of Ireland…everyone has the same dent in their car because the roads are so narrow!
We thought purchasing this car was a tender mercy of the Lord. We drove this car everywhere. We drove it to church and drove the Dublin area missionaries to their visits. Dallin used this car to go home teaching and we used this car to drive to the hospital when we had the baby. We ended up giving the car away to a friend and then he was able to use the car for a few weeks while his car was broken. After that he ended up selling it for 200 euro. We thought we got our money’s worth out of that car. What a blessing!
Writing about Ireland again brings tears to my eyes because I miss Ireland so much!
Alright, I’m going to continue our virtual temple tour with the St. George Utah LDS Temple. There wasn’t very good lighting that day because there wasn’t a cloud in the sky! So here’s a photography tip, to get good LDS Temple pictures you need diffused lighting which is either: a cloudy day, sunrise, sunset, or twilight. Well, because I didn’t have any of those, I decided to just play around with the “star effect” also known as the “starburst effect“.
To get the star effect you need to point your camera right into a light source. So an obvious light source is the sun. Other light sources could be head lights on a car or a lamp post.
Next, you need to crank up your F number on your camera to create a small aperture. Aperture is measure by F/# so the bigger the F number the smaller the aperture. You can do this by being in the Av mode which is the aperture priority mode on your digital SLR camera. You don’t need a nice lens or anything you can just use the lens that comes with the camera.
These two pictures below were taken at F/22.
If you can get a small light source you can use a smaller F number. This picture was taking at F/8.
On a side note, we believe in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (aka Mormon or LDS) that these temples are “Beacon[s] to the World.” A beacon as define in Merriam-Webster online dictionary is: “a strong light that can be seen from far away and that is used to help guide ships, airplanes, etc.” If you have every seen one of these LDS Temples at night, you would know that these temples glow. You can see these temples from far away. We believe that temples are beacons because temples draw people nearer to God and Jesus Christ.
Anyways… if you want to learn more about LDS Temples please visit my other posts about temples!
BTW you don’t have to be a member of our church to take pictures of our temples. So, please come take pictures of our temples! Have you ever taken pictures of LDS Temples? Please share!
My husband had to go to San Diego, California recently for a conference trip. He never likes leaving the family at home so we all went with him. While we were planning the trip, the question came up: “Should we go to Disneyland?” We went back and forth on the decision but we finally decided that we didn’t want to take our kids to Disneyland yet because they are too young (2 years, 3 months). We had planned on driving from Salt Lake City to San Diego; so as an alternative to Disneyland, we decided to stop at every temple of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church) along the way.
Micah, our two year old, loved our temple trip! He said “TEMPLE! TEMPLE!” every time we arrived at one. Traveling with kids can be very stressful, especially when they get restless and start crying. Stopping at the temples was the perfect rest stop because we could feel the Spirit instantly as we stepped foot on the temple grounds. When we got to the temples, we strolled around and took pictures of each temple.
I decided I’m going to blog about the San Diego La Jolla Temple first because it is by far the most unique temple I have ever been too and I’ve been to quite a few. As you drive south towards downtown San Diego on the freeway I-5, you suddenly see this magnificent castle on the left hand side of the road. This temple gets random visitors, who get off the freeway, just to see what kind of building it is. I love all temples but the San Diego temple is exceptionally beautiful! We heard multiple times on the trip that the San Diego temple is nicknamed “Mormon Disneyland.” Even customer reviews on Google say stuff like “I’m not Mormon, but it’s a spectacular view from the freeway, reminds me of Disneyland.”
While some people spend lots of money getting married in the Disneyland castle. There are far greater sacrifices to get married in a LDS Temple. First, we have to be a member of the LDS Church and have a testimony of the Godhead, atonement, and restoration of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Then, we have to be worthy to enter the temple by obeying all the commandments of God the best we can. Some of these commandments include tithing, law of chastity, the 10 commandments, and word of wisdom. Finally, we have to witness to our bishop that we believe we are worthy to attend the temple during a temple recommend interview. I know what you’re thinking “Nobody is perfect enough to go to the temple!” Well, because we are imperfect people, we can repent to become worthy to go to the temple. When we repent, we are cleansed through the power of the Atonement of Jesus Christ.
Now you’re probably thinking “Holy cow! That’s a lot of work!” Getting married in a LDS Temple is worth all the sacrifice because marriages in the temple are sealed up for time and all eternity and not just “till death due us part.” These temples are literally “the happiest place[s] on earth.” But not only that, Temples are where we can go to learn more about God’s plan for us. Members of the LDS Church, whether single or married, starting at the age of 12, can attend and re-attend the temples regularly to pray and learn more about the Plan of Happiness. If you’re already married, you and your current spouse can prepare yourselves to go to the temple to get sealed. We don’t have to be perfect people to attend the temple but constantly attending the temple will help us become perfect.
I can’t express in words how happy, wonderful and peaceful I feel to be inside a temple. It doesn’t matter how many problems I have that day, if I can make it to the temple, I will feel peace. My problems don’t go away but I receive strength and comfort from God when I attend the temple. I can also more easily gather my thoughts when I’m at the temple, especially when I am confused about something in my life.
I invite everyone to attend or prepare themselves to attend the temple so you can witness for yourself the peace and serenity of being inside the House of the Lord. I invite you to the temple to receive eternal blessings of salvation and eternal families. I invite you to visit one of our temples even if you can’t go in. They are spectacular and you may even be greeted with a free tour guide. Some of the LDS Temples have visitor centers where you can learn more about what we do inside a temple. To find you local temple please visit the LDS Temple website.
What is your favorite LDS Temple?