Going to see “The Book of Mormon” on Broadway is a big priority for some people who visit New York City.
While I am staying at a Midtown hotel that has that scripture in the nightstand (#TeamMarriott), I had a different but kinda related item on my must-do list for my short weekend trip to the Big Apple with the Utah Jazz.
My New York state of mind? Go to the LDS Manhattan New York Temple.
(Hitting up Shake Shack normally would have been high on that priority list, too, but I’m trying to be good on the health front, so I focused on things of a spiritual nature instead of a sinfully delicious one on this visit.)
Though I knew I could visit the outside of the temple at any point of my stay in NYC, I was really hoping to visit the interior and go through a session. Time was of the essence, though, because my flight was scheduled to land at JFK airport at 3:01 p.m. and the final session began at 5 p.m.
My plane landed 10 minutes early, so that helped. I had enough will power to pass up not one but TWO SHAKE SHACKS!!! in the Delta terminal, so that helped. My cab driver was absolutely insane and drove fast enough (still took an hour) to the temple, so that helped. I didn’t puke while writing a breaking news story about Gordon Hayward in the taxi despite feeling woozy, so that also helped.
I arrived at 125 Columbus Avenue (between 65th and 66th streets and about a block west of Central Park) at 4:20 p.m. That gave me enough time to chat with a couple of pretty cool Mormon missionaries out front, to cross the street to snap a requisite selfie and temple shot, to change my clothes in the LDS church that’s also in the same building and to wonder if I really should’ve jaywalked before trying to have a spiritual experience.
Thankfully, I did all of that and was able to do an endowment session (a sacred ritual in which we learn, become spiritually edified and make covenants with God).
It was all well worth the wild cab ride.
Hearing one of the elderly workers friendly tell me “You’re a lifesaver!” because of my temple service made me smile.
I don’t know if I have a profound message to share from my visit, but it felt pretty neat to be in a quiet, sacred and serene edifice doing things of a spiritual nature while the hustle and bustle of New York City kept going on outside of the temple doors.
Thinking about this made me realize one emotion I feel when I’m in the temple: peace. That’s something that was missing from my life while I struggled with my relationship with God and wrestled with spiritual fears and doubts in recent years.
I’m still far — really far — from being perfect or even completely happy with myself as a person, but I’m feeling at peace with who I’m becoming and for making physical and spiritual progress.
Peace feels really good, by the way. It’s a wonderful gift from God.
“Now the Lord of peace himself give you peace always by all means. The Lord be with you all.” — 2 Thessalonians 3:16
“Finally, brethren, farewell. Be perfect, be of good comfort, be of one mind, live in peace; and the God of love and peace shall be with you.” — 2 Corinthians 13:11
“Or let him take hold of my strength, that he may make peace with me; and he shall make peace with me.” — Isaiah 27:5
“Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” — John 14:27
Bon Jody Temple Tour 2016-17
Temples visited: Portland, Newport Beach, Manhattan
Next up (Nov. 7-12, hopefully): Philadelphia; Raleigh, North Carolina; Orlando and Fort Lauderdale, Florida