I’m sitting by the reflecting pool just east of the Salt Lake Temple. It’s twilight, and there are a few whispy shadows of clouds around the lighted spires. I can look into the reflecting pool and see the inverted building against the growing black of the night sky. I think about the phrase “Holiness to the Lord” and realize that no matter how hard I try, I can’t be holy enough. That thought gives me shivers as I realize that’s what the atonement is for.
My thoughts to go to a time almost 18 years ago when Jodi and I came to this sacred place and were sealed together. I can still remember many images of that day, many of them in the courtyard around the building as our two dissimilar families joined together for laughing and photographs on the steps of the building.
I remember my grandfather, my mom’s dad, being there. His wife had died a few years before. He, himself, would only last a few years more. I remember Bev, Don’s wife, herself childless, she had fit herself in so completely as the family grandma, and later took such good care of my own children. It fills my eyes to think of her, also now gone.
I remember playing on the temple lawn with my new nieces and nephews, all young children. One by one, they’re all getting married, one in less than two weeks in this same temple.
I can remember that day surprisingly well, but it’s a sharp kind of sweet memory because Jodi and I are temporarily apart. We speak daily, sometimes two or three times. I’m grateful that she’s so patient with me and my quirks and weaknesses. She says I’m patient with hers, too, but I really think I’ve got it easier on that one.
I came downtown tonight to hear a performance by my good friend Sam Payne. A line from one of his songs sticks out in my mind as I think of Jodi and our marriage: “This has changed me forever, I’m a far, far better man…”