A few months before my first husband passed away from cancer, his doctor called and told me I needed to come right away—he wasn’t doing well and they were very concerned. We were still newlyweds in our mid-20s. He was treated and hospitalized 250 miles away, and I had to stay home with our baby to work, which meant I could only visit him on the weekends.
I caught the first flight to be with him. Upon arriving, I found that he was comatose but stable and the Spirit whispered to me, “Go to the temple.” It was only a five-minute drive from the hospital campus, but I was there on short notice, emotionally wrought, and didn’t have much besides an extra change of clothes in my backpack. I hesitated, but I will never forget what the temple worker told me when I called: “The Lord knows where you need to be. Please come however you are.” I went straight there and I well recall how awkward, humbled, and drained I felt when I walked through the temple doors in my street clothes. Despite my feelings, everyone welcomed me with a smile and I immediately felt peace wash over me.
As I went through the session that day, I quietly cried and allowed myself to feel the special reverence and assurance that is inside the temple. Over and over I felt in my heart that it would all be okay. As I entered the Celestial Room alone, knowing my husband was so sick just a few minutes away, I was overcome with all of the anxiety and fear that engulfed my life at the time. Several of the female temple workers wrapped me in their warmest embraces—it was truly a sacred experience.
In the following months until my husband died, I visited the temple grounds whenever I needed a break from the hospital. My husband encouraged me to go for both of us since he couldn’t go and we needed the blessings of the temple. I often wandered the garden or sat in the visitors center, meditating before the Christus statue. Sometimes the sister missionaries would come and sit with me while I mourned.
It’s been 8 years, and I treasure the memory of when I really learned that there are earthly angels and how much the temple blesses us as it gives us the ability to create eternal families. Because of the temple, our son, who never really got to know his dad in this life, gets to be sealed to his dad forever and we’ll be reunited someday. I am grateful that during some of my darkest days, the temple was there for me in a very literal way, a place for me to feel the love and peace that comes from my Savior and my Heavenly Parents.