My Last Day As A Temple Worker // Farewell To Oregon

August 19, 2015

Portland LDS Temple

I'm currently driving 14 hours to Utah, but if I was still in Oregon, I'd be here today. I had my last shift as an ordinance worker in the Portland Oregon Temple last Wednesday. I only served there a few months, but they had the most impact on my temple appreciation and testimony within the last 8 years. 

The Portland Temple had been closed for 2 weeks prior to my shift, so I wasn't able to attend or serve there during that time. As soon as I arrived on the grounds, I realized how much I missed visiting it during those 2 weeks. I truly felt like I was coming home. I was full of mixed feelings that day--while I was incredibly happy to be back, I was also sad because I knew this would be my last shift. The temple was the first goodbye I had to deal with before the move. I even teared up a bit as I changed out of my white dress and had to say goodbye to my trainer.

The temple is a place that has saved my life on a few key occasions. One particular dark night, I asked God why I shouldn't commit suicide. He told me "Just wait until you go to the temple tomorrow. Then you can make a decision." When I got to the temple the next day, the grounds were bursting with tulips, my favorite flower, and my heart was instantly filled with happiness by the sight. That, of course, wasn't enough to pull me out of the darkness. Once inside the temple, I prayed again "Why should I hold on? What am I staying alive for?" The answer didn't come instantly. But it came--the temple was why I needed to hold on. My ancestors were why I needed to hold on. They still needed me on the earth. That answer came so powerfully to my soul, and in some of the dark moments of suicidal temptation that inevitably followed, I have relied on that answer. 


It has been a sacred privilege for me to assist with and administer the sacred ordinances of the temple. I have a special place in my heart for my wonderful trainer--she was so perfect for me, sass and all--and the sweet older workers who volunteered with me. I am ever grateful and amazed by the grace of Jesus Christ that allowed someone as imperfect as me to serve in His Holy House. I have come to a greater understanding of the sacred ordinances, symbols, and blessings contained here. It was sad to drive away from this sight for the last time, but how grateful I am to be moving to a land full of temples! I will be living just a 5 minute drive from the Salt Lake temple--I've never lived SO close to a temple before (2 hours to Portland!) and am thrilled by the convenience!

When I think about those awesome life moments I would've missed had I taken my own life, the temple immediately comes to mind. What tender mercies, peace, and knowledge I would've missed otherwise. How grateful I held on for that. 

You Might Also Like

6 thoughts

  1. O my O my. Someone like me. You inspired me to come back to facebook Elyse. Something to live for. You are right. I have been searching for that something to live for... I found it in being a mormon, and some days, I almost think it sounds too simple. I thought "Here's the reason I am so suicidal, i think about heaven all the time! Really, the answer for me was...Here is why i dont have a prison sentence, earthly or hell bound, here is why i don't use illegal drugs, and here is why i dont re-commit acts of violence. Someone as lowlife as me. A disabled, useless as i seem to be a person here on earth. A failure to commit. Crazy as one in psychology would call it. You have so much to live for Elyse. So many that love you. Please never give the adversary the advantage of suicidal thoughts. I live with the pain of suicide everyday! So dont think I am being self righteous and now "Hey Elyse, I really think you need to here this for your own good, teach you a lesson sort of thing." I love you... sweet Elyse. I have thought in great depth, even on the tiny time we spent together! That the suffering of you leaving in such a way, would be as sad as the suffering of someone just as you are, who has impacted my life in the way you have, be just like the death of that of a person with a terminal illness. Thats how I know its like a fight Elyse, Never give up the fight! God won't let you down, NOBODY is going to let you suffer...girl you be like "When its time to go... everybody is gonna be down with you! On that level, Got me? J/k for all the ghetto talk, lol tryin to be silly. I should probably let that sassy side of me go, but you know what I mean! Love you girl! Ally

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you for your kind words Ally. You are not a lowlife though! And you aren't useless! I have also valued the short time we've spent together--you are an inspiration to me!

      Delete
    2. Aww thanks! Enjoy Utah and all the blessings god has in store for you!

      Delete
  2. And by re-commit I mean commit acts of violence. We sre survivors Elyse. Never forget It. No matter the PTSD. SURVIVORS. -Ally

    ReplyDelete
  3. Girl I never would have guessed my struggle has been your struggle too. Love you so much and keep keeping on. Elissa

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I could copy your comment word for word! I didn't know this was your struggle as well! And I love YOU so much! I am excited for the next time you guys venture down to Utah!

      Delete

Subscribe