I posted this on Facebook on Tuesday afternoon from the Portland Temple in Lake Oswego, Oregon. I sincerely and humbly appreciate the incredible response I received from friends, family members and other kind-hearted people. I hesitated whether I should even share this post, but I received such a beautiful deluge of love that it made me really happy I did. It was heartwarming to read each and every comment or message sent my way from those who are members of my faith and also from those who have other belief systems. While I still plan to post photos of my temple tour (read below) on social media, I’m also going to write about my experiences on this blog. I’d call it Man vs. Temple, but that sounds more adversarial than I’d prefer for this topic. Here’s to some great trips to LDS temples around the nation!
Facebook: October 25, 2016
It’s been a long time since I’ve been to an LDS temple. I honestly can’t even remember the last time I went and participated in the spiritual work Mormons do inside of temples. This is an important part of my belief system and I’ve cast it aside for years. I’ve wandered in darkness for far too long. A few months ago, I decided that it’s time to renew my relationship with the Lord and to be true to my sacred beliefs. My wife and kids need this from me. Most important, I need this from me. It’s who I am. It’s who I want to be.
This has been a process that has required time, repentance, prayers, tears and a change of heart.
I travel a lot with my job as a sports writer, covering the Utah Jazz, so I decided that I’d try to make good use of my time on the road and attempt to remain focused on my spirituality by visiting the temple in as many of the cities around the country as I possibly can this NBA season.
The Jazz play their first game tonight in Portland, so I made a quick trip to the temple here in Lake Oswego, Oregon, for the first of many stops on Jody’s Temple Tour 2016-17. I’m a bit nervous to get off of this white bench and enter the glass doors that have the phrase “Holiness to the Lord – House of the Lord” above them. I have a tendency to think I’m not worthy or that I don’t belong because of my many bad choices and habits. More so, I feel comfort, peace and excitement to return to the temple and to continue trying to commune with and serve God. #jodytempletour
• • • • • • • • • • • • • • •
After being a bit emotional and slightly nervous to enter the temple, the feelings quickly changed to peace when I got inside. I was warmly welcomed by an elderly gentleman and was on my way after a glitch with my temple recommend. (We have interviews with a couple of local leaders of the LDS Church to receive a recommend. This process ensures that everybody in the temple is doing their best to live the Gospel. I just need to remind myself that perfection isn’t required. I’m trying to be more spiritual, and that’s what matters.)
Moments later, I was chatting with another man in the locker room before doing some ordinance work, which we Mormons believe to be sacred. I told him why I was in Portland and he joked, “That must be a tough job to cover the Utah Jazz.” Assuming that was a humorous dig on the NBA team and not an empathetic statement, I quickly responded to him, “Yeah, it is, but it would be even tougher if I had to cover the Portland Trail Blazers.” We both laughed and went our ways. We don’t publicly discuss some of the specifics of what goes on in the temple — “It’s sacred, not secret” is a common way people phrase it (sometimes jokingly) — but I had a very nice experience and really enjoyed hearing about some of the blessings we can receive. There is just so much serenity inside of the temple, so it was good to soak in that spirit once again.
This temple, which has a unique, white marble exterior, is really beautiful. It’s nestled in a wooded neighborhood right off of the freeway in the Portland suburbs. I love how it’s surrounded by massive trees, including pines that reach toward the heavens like the spires of the temple. It’s worth visiting even if you don’t go inside.
Next (hopefully!) stop: The Los Angeles California Temple, Oct. 29 (The Jazz play the Clippers on Sunday, and I arrive in L.A. on Saturday afternoon.)