It’s still summer, right?
Exponent II’s long-anticipated temple-themed issue is surely worth the wait. Mormons’ unique culture surrounding our temples and temple worship has made this issue rich with work ranging from humor to heartache.
This issue also has a fantastic Letter from our Art Editor, Margaret. Enjoy!
I was just a baby really, just twenty years old, when I went through the temple for the first time. I was getting married in three months and had just moved across the country to join my fiancé in Maryland. For those three months I was living with my future sister-in-law, Julie, and her husband, Karl. I barely knew them but immediately counted them as kindred spirits and a safe refuge for the faith crisis that was beginning to envelope me. I walked into their kitchen one evening after an endowment session and blurted out, “Do you think it’s okay to not really like the temple?”
Karl deliberately put down his work, looked me in the eyes, and said, “Absolutely.” I talked to them both for a long time that evening and they were unfailingly supportive, loving, and calm. I don’t remember much of what any of us said, but in the years that followed, I returned often to the love and empathy Karl showed when he answered my question. It took me many years before I could get through an endowment session without crying. It took prayers of wrestling with God before I could come to a place of peace about my decision to stay in the Church. But often along that difficult and rewarding journey, when I felt lonely, confused, and angry, I steadied myself by remembering that people I loved and deeply respected thought that my feelings were valid and believed that I still had a place in this Church.