Just What Does a Temple President’s Wife Do?

I highly anticipated last Saturday night. For weeks, the night was going to be the night of our Commonwealth School’s Spring Parents’ Meeting. If you don’t know what a Commonwealth School is, go get the book about it here and read it http://shop.lemimentortraining.com/The-New-Commonwealth-Schools-by-Aneladee-Milne-and-Tiffany-Earl-105.htm

It’s a way for you to have the five environments of learning for your homeschooled youth written about in A Thomas Jefferson Education without doing it all yourself. It helps you create a community of youth and parents involved in a liberal arts education.

 

Then the meeting got postponed. I was disappointed because I always look forward to socializing with adults but also thrilled because that meant that I could go to the wedding reception of my cousin’s son in Provo. I wanted to see my aunt, grandmother of the groom, and visit with her. She is my mom’s sister. She is such a storyteller that according to my husband, you can’t get within ten feet of her without getting sucked into hearing a story.

 

Sure enough, she was there. I was so excited to get to visit with her. She lives in Seattle so I hardly ever see her. I remember when I was growing up, whenever she would come visit, she and my mom would stay up until 3 or 4 AM talking. For some years she and her husband were temple president and matron of the Seattle Temple. I have been getting into family history research and temple work lately so I wanted to talk to her about that. When I first heard that she was called to be a temple matron I wondered what that involved. I pictured her sitting on a throne in the temple, surveying her kingdom. I asked her about the job and if my image was correct. She laughed. “There’s hardly any time for sitting. You are constantly being asked questions and going here and there. ” She explained that her husband once came in after a long day of being a temple president shaking his head. “I have been a partner in a law firm for years. I have been a stake president. I have never seen anything so complicated as running a temple.”


(The taller young man on the right was the groom at the wedding reception.)

 

I asked her if people who visited the temple shared any stories with her. She smiled and said they did all the time. She said that she especially asked those who converted to the LDS Church as adults to share their conversion stories.  “I can’t count how many women told me that they joined the church because of Donny Osmond!” According to her, Donny Osmond once said that he would never a marry a woman who wasn’t a Mormon. So all these women joined the Church. Then she told me a really neat story of a lady whose ancestral homeland was Spain.

 

This woman said that back in 1912 in Spain, two young brothers were very curious about the deep questions of life. They went to their Catholic priest and peppered him with these esoteric questions. The priest said, “Only the Mormon Church has the answer to that question.” They asked him why he wasn’t a Mormon and he said that it was because then he wouldn’t be able to make his living as a Catholic priest, and that’s all he knew. “Are there any Mormons here in this city?” they asked the priest. He was pretty sure there weren’t.

 

So these two young men went to the harbor in their city where cruise ships would dock. Every time a cruise ship would come in, they would stand by the gangplank and ask each passenger who walked by, “Are you a Mormon?” Finally after asking many people, they found one! The Mormons took them to a hotel and answered all their questions and gave them the address of the LDS Church headquarters. These two young men then started a correspondence with the LDS Church. Who was assigned to answer their letters but a young Gordon B. Hinckley! These two young men eventually had two female sisters assigned to come teach them the gospel (they weren’t official because the church wasn’t officially established there) and they were both baptized. One of the female missionaries married one of the young men. That was the parents of this woman who told my aunt the story. They came to America and started a new life, new family, and religion here.

 

 

I would love to take a month off and just go stay at my aunt’s home and transcribe all of her stories and put them in a book. She knows so many interesting people, like Bill Gates. Hmmm, Maybe I should put that dream on my vision board.

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