At the Doorstep of the Temple


With great anticipation, my family waited in line at the Bountiful Utah Temple open house. Our guide explained to us that as we walked through the temple, we would need to wear covers over our shoes. Tens of thousands of people had already visited the temple that day, walking through rain and snow. Shoe covers would help keep the temple clean.

I assumed we would put the covers on our shoes ourselves. But when we reached the door, I saw a group of young men and young women—volunteers from a nearby stake—placing the covers onto people’s shoes. Caught by surprise, I automatically raised one foot, then the other, as a young woman assisted me. I was a little embarrassed, feeling that I could certainly have done it myself. And I doubted that the task was enjoyable, considering the cold weather, the wet and messy shoes, and her uncomfortable kneeling position. As the young woman finished, I offered an inadequate thanks. Even after she had assisted thousands of others, her smile and kind response were sincere and tender.

I felt overwhelmed by her act of service. Then suddenly I was filled with a sweet thought. If the mortal Messiah were here today, wouldn’t he also be serving in a quiet, selfless way—making that which was unclean clean? Deep emotion washed over me, and I felt the Savior’s deep love. Had he not knelt in Gethsemane and died on Golgotha to make the highest, most sacred things possible for us?

A feeling of reverence accompanied me throughout the tour. The temple was beautiful, but what I remember most happened at its doorstep.

Not long afterward, I was released as a counselor in our stake presidency. During the following days, I wondered what calling the Lord would next extend to me. Would it be something considered “important”—or some quiet act of kindness that would be unnoticed by most? It did not matter. Wherever I would kneel to serve, I would remember that Christ, too, had once knelt to serve us all.

[illustrations] Illustrated by Larry Winborg