an embarrassing picture and a story about a young girl

I’d mentioned that the Brigham City temple open house reminded me of another open house that I’d been to a few years ago. I visited the Newport Beach temple with my family during the summer of 2005, and I have to admit that I don’t remember much about that day. I thought the temple was beautiful, but I had grown up going to the San Diego temple, and in my mind, no place could top that. In my dreams, my wedding was always at the San Diego temple. The Newport Beach temple was nothing special to me. Yet.

Now, please don’t judge my pink hair or my outfit. If anybody remembers me looking like that, please don’t tell me. It was a few days before my fifteenth birthday, and I both felt and looked incredibly awkward. Fast forward past a few years of me feeling uncomfortable in my own skin and thinking that I was neither beautiful, nor special. Fast forward past going away to college and going to church in front of the Newport Beach temple and sometimes not even taking a second look at that beautiful building. Fast forward past dating the wrong boys and wondering if anyone would ever want to marry me. Fast forward past meeting a cute boy at church who loved the Newport Beach temple and thinking nothing of it. Fast forward past getting to know this boy over cups of hot chocolate from Starbucks, holding hands, fireworks, and a beautiful ring. Fast forward to the best day of my life, and pause.

Yes, that’s the same fountain. And yes, this place is the most special to me now. What happened inside changed my life. All these memories came back to me as I was walking through the Brigham City temple, and I realized that we go to the temple to remember. We need to remember all these life-changing moments, even the ones we didn’t know we were having at the time. I wish I could talk to the girl with the pink hair who was for the first time, visiting the temple where she would marry the love of her life years later. I wish I could tell her,

You need to stand a little taller because someday, someone’s going to love you the way you want to be loved. Someday, all the tears you’ve cried over the wrong boys won’t matter. Someday, you’ll have someone that will remind you every single day that you’re both beautiful and special.

There’s something better for you than what you see in your dreams. You just wait, try a little patience, and try a little faith. If you only knew what your Heavenly Father has in store for you. You just wait.

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