Wednesday, July 25, 2007


Avram and I have determined that while we're here in Virginia, we'll attend the temple once a month (the Washington D.C. Temple, which oddly enough is not in Washington D.C., but rather in Kensington, Maryland). For July, instead of doing an endowment session together, we went to the temple on Tuesday and instead helped clean it while it's closed. Next month we're going with the ward youth temple trip as chaperones, so we won't be doing a session then, either. Both are a result of living in a “real” ward, I suppose.

First Avram and I helped wipe out the lockers in the Women's locker room. The main highlight of this experience came in the form of an 81 year old bespectacled woman who spoke with me while I wiped on my knees (being that most of the help was composed of little old ladies who can't bend down, I spent most of my time wiping the bottom half of lockers, tables, etc on my knees, while they wiped the top half.). She kept on looking at me on my knees going back and forth, and then would chuckle while remarking to the general air, “wonderful!” Maybe it was my sprightliness that impressed here, or perhaps my youth. I tried asking her a couple of questions, like where she was from. Upon my inquiry she would look at me once again, chuckle and, “wonderful!” I decided then and there, that if I ever go mostly deaf, saying wonderful and laughing at everything isn't such a bad way to go, because then I'll at least still be happy and cheerful, even if the comment doesn't relate.

Eventually the Sister asked me some questions, like if I was married, to which she responded “wonderful!” She thought I was very young looking, something most do. Did I have any children? Yes, one, a daughter who was a year and a half old. “Wonderful! Children are wonderful!” So this went on a while until I finished my wiping very close to her, but still as I progressed and anytime I passed by, out it came; a chuckle, and then, “wonderful!”

The second half of the cleaning shift we spent blowing dust out of air vents on three levels of the temple. We did the assembly room floor, the endowment rooms and celestial rooms floor, and all of the locker rooms. Turning a vacuum on in the solemn assembly room felt weird at first, not to mention places like the celestial room, but after a while it seemed almost normal to be padding through the temple wearing a white baptismal unisex jumpsuit and my white slippers, quietly cleaning the rooms with the humming of the vacuum. A different aspect of temple worship, yet I felt worship nonetheless. I've often attended the temple, and doing a name for any proxy work is very helpful, but it was nice to be helpful on a even more basic level of cleanliness. Besides, Avram's now been inside a brides' room!


  1. During the recent shutdown of the Santo Domingo temple, we had no cleaning duties, as there is a paid cleaning staff. (It's one way to spread the wealth to some of the Dominican members.) But I did have one special duty. I got to assist the members of the Temple Presidency in taking down the veils and the curtains in the initiatory booths for washing, and in replacing them again just before the temple reopened. It was a very sacred experience. And now, I too, have seen the inside of a bride's room!

  2. Let me swap a fun "working at the temple" story.

    Once I was working in the Provo, Ut temple. They told the story of an old man who had recently passed away.

    He was 96+ years old, and would use his walker to pass buy the "younger" men as they were griping about aches and pains and bellow out, "Oh to be 90 again!"

    He would also pass by the 70 year old sisters and wink at the "pretty young girls".

  3. Poor Avram - always the bridesmaid, never the bride.

  4. Thora, I love you so much. Thank you for telling me about your blog. I read it and I think of you and I laugh and I cry because I haven't seen you in so long and I miss you so. There is so much of you in these blogs that I can see you and hear you as I read them. I love you so much! someday, we will meet again!