I often looked at the picture of the Oakland Temple hanging from the wall in my room, mostly because I loved to lie on my bed and dream of going there someday with my future companion.
My fiancé had already been through the temple before his mission. Now he and I were preparing to go through together a few days before our wedding.
I know the temple is a holy place, and only worthy members holding temple recommends can enter. I had made an appointment to see my bishop and would also have to see the stake president for a temple interview. I realized, however, that there’s more to an interview than just making the appointment and answering the questions. I had to be prepared and feel worthy. I wanted to be able to tell my bishop and stake president that without a doubt I felt worthy to attend the temple.
How does one go about getting a feeling of worthiness? I felt like I had been living a good life, and I was striving to keep the commandments and follow the counsel of my Church leaders. But I had to be sure I was forgiven of my sins and could therefore worthily enter the temple. In contemplating all these things I decided to set aside a day for fasting and prayer.
At my parents’ farm there are many places for privacy where I could fast and pray undisturbed. I chose a spot on the root cellar, shaded by a large pepper tree, where I would go to my Heavenly Father in study and prayer. I began my fast on Monday. Early Tuesday morning, with scriptures in hand, I went to the tree. I looked forward to some moments of quiet prayer, gospel study, and meditation as I sought an answer from my Father in Heaven. I began reading, and as I did, I would often stop to pray. I felt the Spirit very strongly a few times, but I had not yet approached Heavenly Father with my question of worthiness. I decided to get off the cellar and kneel on the ground.
The sun was coming up and the rays were filtering through the rows of crops. It was beautiful. The light seemed to warm my soul, and I felt the Spirit very strongly. Suddenly, the good feelings went away and I felt confused. I knew I had felt the Spirit, but I had not yet received an answer to my question: Am I worthy to attend the temple? I felt that I was, but I had to be sure.
I continued to pray, but that strong spiritual feeling I had before didn’t come again. I wanted to go back to the house, but I knew I couldn’t leave until I felt good. I decided to continue reading my scriptures. I turned to Doctrine and Covenants 50:34 [D&C 50:34], which says, “He that receiveth of God, let him account it of God; and let him rejoice that he is accounted of God worthy to receive.”
A beautiful and joyful feeling came over me, for I knew I had felt the Spirit, and in that verse it said that if you receive of God, rejoice that you are worthy to receive it! I felt so good as the tears streamed down my face. Finally, I knew I could answer before my Church leaders. But more important, I knew I could answer before my God that I was indeed worthy to enter into his holy house.