Stopped at the Gate

Stopped at the Gate

From Chicken Soup for the Latter-day Saint Soul

Stopped at the Gate

My grandchildren from Tennessee come to visit me every summer; we love the time we spend together and the wonderful talks we have. When they came to visit this past summer, we took a trip to the Chicago Temple, which is about forty-five minutes away.

During one visit, my husband and I took the kids to the temple on a nice sunny day so we could spend time walking around the grounds and talking about our family being together forever. As we drove to the temple I asked Heavenly Father what I could do or say to make our experience at the temple a lasting one. We arrived and walked around the temple grounds, and nothing specific came to me, though I continued to pray for inspiration.

Suddenly the door to the temple opened as someone was coming out, and right then it came to me, as if God was whispering directly to me. I asked a temple worker who was at the door if I could step in with my grandkids so they could get a glimpse at the inside of the temple and could feel the comforting Spirit that was there. The temple worker said we could go inside, but we needed to stay in the foyer area in front of the recommend desk.

As we entered, I explained that we needed to whisper because we were in the Lord’s house, and we needed to be reverent. As I started to talk about the beautiful pictures on the walls, I felt that my conversation was now being guided by the Holy Spirit.

I told Meagan, Drew and Morgan that we could not go past the desk in the foyer unless we had a temple recommend. They looked at me with great curiosity and asked if I had a recommend. I was so happy to be able to tell them that I do. I further explained that I have to be found worthy to have a temple recommend.

“When you think about our visit to the temple, I hope you will always remember what it is like in Heaven,” I told them. “You can be good in this life and just get by, without really growing and changing inside to help you become more like Jesus. If you did that, you would make it in the front door of Heaven, but you couldn’t get past the guard to all of Heaven so you could be where the Lord dwells.

“Or,” I continued, “you can do your very best to get to know and understand the Lord, and ask for His guidance and forgiveness in your life. He will direct you, and the Holy Spirit will show you the way to go. When you reach Heaven the angel will say, ‘You are worthy to enter. Welcome home.’ You can either walk in and live with your family forever, or you can enter Heaven but be stopped at the gate, and told that’s as far as you may go. The choice is yours.”

I saw the Spirit touch their hearts as we hugged tightly. That moment in the temple with my grandchildren will stay with me forever, as I hope it will them. I thank the Lord for my family, and for His wonderful plan for our happiness.

Betty Bayne

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