"We're going to the temple tonight, can I pick you up at 6:30?" read the text message.
I must admit, for a moment I briefly hesitated. After all, I was having a fabulous hair day and had no desire to mess it up. Despite that, I decided to go. I put on my blue skirt and a black cardigan before I packed up my purse with a comb and hair ties. I was happily clipping my hair back when I realized I had forgotten to pack my recommend.
I looked in the special pocket in my wallet. It wasn't there. I checked my purse. Not there either. I checked my cinch pack. No recommend. I checked my Brtitish day bag, my old jean purse, the shelf by my bed, my desk, my chest of drawers, my side table, and all of the drawers in my bathroom. I checked the kitchen, the living room, the coat rack, my bedroom again, and was then officially frustrated. I quickly pushed my worry aside and folded my arms, there in the middle of the hallway. I prayed that I would find my recommend and have the opportunity to go to the temple that night. After 'amen' I prayerfully searched all of those places again. And again. And again.
My Young Women leader pulled up in my driveway. I sulked down my porch steps and over to her car window, which she promptly rolled down. "I can't find my recommend anywhere," I said, my head held low. I couldn't tell if she was upset with me or not when she said, "Oh." She called a few people while I stood there on my driveway, trying desperately not to cry in front of her. Why would Heavenly Father not want me to go to the temple?
Eventually my leader arranged for me to have an interview with the bishop right before we left and I got a new recommend. I was able to make it to the Timpanogos temple with my YW group.
When we got inside, I changed into my white clothes and looked in the mirror. In my eyes, I looked really ugly with my hair pulled hastily back, my make-up washed off, and wearing an ill-fitting jumpsuit. I felt subconscious as I left the dressing room, but tried not to think about it too hard. We did baptisms first. We had to wait for really long time, but after I was done and back in the dressing room, I felt different. I changed into a new jumpsuit for confirmations. But that time, when I saw myself in the mirror, I didn't look ugly. my hair was wet, my apparently poorly washed off mascara now formed dark circles under my eyes, and I was wearing another ill-fitting jumpsuit, but for a moment, it was as if I was seeing myself through God's eyes. It didn't matter that I was fat or pale or had split ends or stubby fingers. I was doing the Lord's work, and I looked beautiful. I don't think I will ever forget that moment, because I have never felt like that in my life.
I know that God loves us very much and knows we are all beautiful and have divine worth and he rejoices when we are in his service. He does answer our prayers, even if it's in an unexpected way. I'm so grateful for my knowledge of the gospel and the opportunity I have to have so many temples nearby. I hope I can remember those things forever.