What Is It?


I glimpsed eternity from the window of a bus, and shared the view with my friends.

I had to see the temple! I just had to see the temple, I thought as the bus rolled along the Washington beltway.

It was a long ride from our home in Pennsylvania to the National Girl Scout Camp in Maryland. There were about 20 girls in the bus with me, some I’d been friends with for years. Together we went to school, camped, served, and goofed off. So much of my life had been within this circle of friends, yet I felt a little different from them. A year ago I’d been baptized, and I’d changed. I was 15 years old and I knew things, really important things, that I wanted to share with these friends.

I looked out the window, and my thoughts turned to the temple. I’d never seen one before, but I’d heard how spectacular the Washington, D.C., temple is as it suddenly appears before you on the beltway. I wondered if we would see it tonight. I hoped we would pass by, and concentrated on looking for it.

I frantically searched the landscape beyond the traffic for the temple’s white spires. With every passing mile I felt my chances becoming slimmer. I closed my eyes and tried to concentrate on something else.

“What is it?” someone shouted.

“It’s the most beautiful building I’ve ever seen!”

Crowded against the windows on the other side of the bus, all 20 girls strained to see the temple towering above the highway.

“It’s the temple,” I explained to the girls nearest me.

“How do you know?” “Who’s that on top?” “Who would build something so big?” they continued. I answered their questions with excitement.

What seemed like a vision that only lasted a few seconds gave me the chance to give answers that could last forever. Since then I’ve had many opportunities to enter temples, and each time I see the temple’s spires I’m reminded that I am different, and I still know things, really important things, that I want to share with my friends.

[illustration] Illustrated by Dilleen Marsh