In the talk, Elaine Dalton, who is the president of the entire churchwide Young Women's organization, said this:
Last summer a group of young women from Alpine, Utah...determined to focus on the temple by walking from the Draper Utah Temple to the Salt Lake Temple, a total distance of 22 miles (35 km), just as one of the pioneers, John Rowe Moyle, had done. Brother Moyle was a stonemason who was called by the prophet, Brigham Young, to work on the Salt Lake Temple. Each week he walked the distance of 22 miles from his home to the temple. One of his jobs was to carve the words “Holiness to the Lord” on the east side of the Salt Lake Temple. It was not easy and he had many obstacles to overcome. At one point, he was kicked in the leg by one of his cows. Because it would not heal, he had to have this leg amputated. But that did not stop him from his commitment to the prophet and to work on the temple. He carved a wooden leg, and after many weeks he again walked the 22-mile distance to the temple to do the work he had committed to do.
The young women in the Cedar Hills Sixth Ward decided to walk that same distance for an ancestor and also for someone who was their inspiration to remain worthy to enter the temple. They trained each week at Mutual, and as they walked, they shared what they were learning and feeling about temples.
Emma's leaders decided early in the summer that they wanted to do the same thing. They also trained and prepared. This morning at 5:30, Emma headed out the door to get a ride with Stephanie to the meeting point. She was equipped with band-aids, water bottles, a lunch. And her mother's prayers.
What I loved most from Sister Dalton's talk was this part:
...As they started out, I was impressed with their confidence. They had prepared well, and they knew they were prepared. Their eyes were set on their goal. Each step they took was symbolic of each of you as you too are preparing now to enter the temple...As these young women continued to walk, there were distractions along the course, but they stayed focused on their goal. Some began to feel blisters forming, and others felt knees starting to protest, but they kept going. For each of you, there are many distractions, hurts, and obstacles along your path to the temple, but you too are determined and keep going. The route these young women took was mapped out by their leaders, who had walked and driven the course and determined the safest and most direct way to go. Again, your course is marked, and you can be assured that the Savior has not only walked the course but will again walk it with you—every step of the way.
Along this journey to the temple there were fathers, mothers, family members, and priesthood leaders acting as guardians. Their job was to ensure that everyone was safe and protected from danger. They made sure each young woman stayed well hydrated and had enough nourishment to maintain her stamina. There were aid stations provided by their priesthood leaders, with places to rest and to drink water. Young women, your fathers, your mothers, your bishops, and so many others will be your guardians as you walk your path to the temple. They will call out cautions and direct your course, and should you become injured or hurt or get off course, they will help you.I was impressed that in the final miles of their walk, brothers, other young men, and friends came to support these determined young women and to cheer them on. One brother lifted his sister, who had large blisters on her feet, and carried her on his back the final distance to the temple. As these incredible young women reached their goal, tears were shed as they touched the temple and made a silent commitment to always be worthy to enter there.
The temple walk is a metaphor for your life. Parents and priesthood leaders stood guard along the route. They provided support and aid. Young women guarded and encouraged each other. Young men admired the strength, commitment, and stamina of the young women. Brothers carried sisters who had been injured. Families rejoiced with their daughters as they ended their walk at the temple and took them safely home.
I can't read her words without getting a little teary eyed. I was a little emotional all day from the time I sent Emma off to the millions of times I thought about her and her wonderful loving leaders who helped her along. What an undertaking! And truly what a metaphor for life. Youth with a goal, being helped and loved and supported along the way. Parents and leaders knowing it's worth it, praying their children are strong enough to do what it takes.
A band of parents gathered at the temple to greet our girls.
Their arrival caused quite a stir amongst us:
|What a sight to see our beautiful girls in pink round the corner!|
We hugged our heroic girl.
More than once:
I want Emma to remember that she can do hard things. I want her to remember how strong she is, how important worthy goals are, how loved and supported she is. That she wants to go inside the temple someday.
I am forever grateful to these exhausted companions of Emma's. They helped her and cheered her on and I think will always remember today.
I love this girl!