The Manti Temple was technically the second we went to together after I was endowed. We were privileged to be invited to and be able to attend Brad and Kaysha Hobbs' (he was one of Heath's mission buddies) sealing on December 18, 2010 (three days before our own wedding.) After their sealing, we got to go see the staircases in the temple - one of the workers took us there. They are amazing! They are spiral staircases and are built without any supports. It's pretty amazing and was very neat to see! It was such a blessing to be able to attend another sealing before our own. It was fun to hear the marriage advice they got from their sealer too as we were about to be in the same position they were in. That was a fun day!
In August, though, Heath got a Saturday off. He didn't ask for it or anything, he just happened to be off so we took advantage! We went down and got to do an endowment session at the Manti Temple. It was a beautiful session. We were able to be the witness couple, which was an extra blessing. I always seem to get something a little different from the session when we are the witness couple. This is also the only other temple besides the Salt Lake Temple that still does live sessions. That is also a neat thing because I definitely get something different from the temple workers that are doing the session and how they say and act different ways. What a special experience! :) The rooms are neat as well. We were especially intrigued by the Telestial Room. It was a special session. Doing work in these temples that were built early in church history give different thinking I think. Not only am I thinking about the work that I'm doing and the beauty of the buildings and the session itself but also the work and sacrifice that went into building the temples. The outside of this temple - the stone was carved smooth by hand. You can see each individual chisel. It's so neat!
There were MANY weddings that day but we enjoyed the nice weather outside and got a nice lady to take a picture for us. Manti was Temple 8! After that we got to go over to the Lloyds house and help them pack up to move and have dinner with them too! We love them!
This temple will always remind me of some special times. 1 - this session we got to do together. 2 - The Hobbs' sealing and the feelings I had associated with being able to marry my best friend in 3 days! I'll also always remember that Heath and I were sharing a seat and he had his arm around me. The sealer was moving some people around in the sealing room so that everyone had their own seat. He looked at us, thought there was one empty seat left, and said - I'll keep you two lovebirds there, it seems you like being close to your wife. :) It made me smile so big and blush too, I'm sure. We laughed after that "we could already pass as a married couple!" 3 - We had the opportunity to come to the temple grounds with the Cummins (a family that was in a branch Heath was in on his mission) and the Lloyds (our "grandparents" - a senior couple that served with Heath.) The Cummins came from Utah and stayed with the Lloyds for a little while and we got to spend an afternoon with them. That was a wonderful experience! While we were on the temple grounds, AJ (he's seven, I think) asked what they could do if they couldn't play on the grounds. Brother Lloyd said - look at all these flowers. They are flowers dedicated to Heavenly Father. I'd never really thought about the flowers being dedicated to Him but they are and that is why they are so beautiful - only the best for the Lord. A little while later AJ had gone off and looked at some of the flowers on the other side of the road leading up to the temple. I went over to him and said - they're pretty, aren't they? His response was - Oh, they're beautiful!! It was a sweet moment. :)