Thursday, April 28, 2011

Eternal Families Under Construction

This post brought to you today by the New Mark Ward, Platte City Stake, Family History Consultants:

"Every foundation stone that is laid for a Temple lessens the power of Satan on the earth, and increases the power of God and Godliness."
President George Q. Cannon

Temple construction is progressing well...Are we keeping the pace?

Building Your Eternal Home
Getting Started:

1.  Envision your dream home.  In (our) Father's house are many mansions prepared for all the ancestors and descendants waiting to be party of your eternal family.

2.  Hire the right architect.  Elijah was sent to seal the hearts of the children to their fathers, and the hearts of the fathers to the children. Let him change your heart.

3.  Get financing.  It takes much sacrifice to build an eternal family.  Begin by paying a full tithe, and invest your time in something of such eternal significance.

4.  Acquire a building permit.  Qualify for, secure, and use a current temple recommend.

5.  Get the right builder.  Except the Lord build the house, they labour in vain that build it...Psalms 127:1

6.  Gather your materials.  Gather the names of your ancestors and prepare them for temple ordinances.

7.  Lay a firm foundation.  "Decide to do something that will have eternal consequences.  Perhaps you have been prompted to look for ancestors but feel that you are not a genealogist.  Can you see that you don't have to be anymore?  It all begins with love and a sincere desire to help those who can't help themselves. ~ Elder Richard G. Scott

Get ready Temple's coming...


Sunday, April 24, 2011

Happy Easter

"No words in Christendom mean more to me than those spoken by the angel to the weeping Mary Magdalene and the other Mary as they approached the tomb to care for the body of their Lord: “Why seek ye the living among the dead? He is not here, but is risen” (Luke 24:5–6).
With this pronouncement, those who have lived and died, those who now live and one day will die, and those yet to be born and yet to die had just been rescued.
As the result of Christ’s victory over the grave, we shall all be resurrected. This is the redemption of the soul. Paul wrote:
“There are … celestial bodies, and bodies terrestrial: but the glory of the celestial is one, and the glory of the terrestrial is another.
“There is one glory of the sun, and another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars: for one star differeth from another star in glory.
“So also is the resurrection of the dead” (1 Corinthians 15:40–42).
It is the celestial glory that we seek. It is in the presence of God that we desire to dwell. It is a forever family in which we want membership.
Of Him who delivered each of us from endless death, I testify He is a teacher of truth—but He is more than a teacher. He is the exemplar of the perfect life—but He is more than an exemplar. He is the great physician—but He is more than a physician. He is the literal Savior of the world, the Son of God, the Prince of Peace, the Holy One of Israel, even the risen Lord, who declared, “I am the first and the last; I am he who liveth, I am he who was slain; I am your advocate with the Father” (D&C 110:4).
“Oh, sweet the joy this sentence gives: ‘I know that my Redeemer lives!’” 2
Of this I testify."
~ President Thomas S. Monson


Friday, April 22, 2011

With a Full Heart

Sunrise April 18, 2011 by Valerie Anderson

News comes to me often of how people have come to find the Temple Chasers.

One sister says they print pictures from the blog to adorn their Relief Society Room.

Some families have used some of the ideas on this website as part of their Family Home Evenings.

Missionary opportunities can be found and heard about at the temple, EVERY DAY.

Sweet letters, photos and experiences have been found in my inbox.  Those are blessed mornings.

Temple Chaser cards have been mailed and delivered into the hands of those who want to know more.

My testimony has been edified and lifted by you.  I don't think you can comprehend the impact you are making.

Thank you Temple Chasers, from the bottom of my heart.


Sunday, April 17, 2011

"Chasing the Light"

Words and photos by Valerie Anderson

"Outdoor Photography magazine has an interesting article this month about the value of "chasing the light" by Ian Plant.

He says that it isn't really about photographic technique.

It is about a way of life.

A state of being.

And I quote:  "It is about chasing those rare magical fuels our passion...and becomes our raison d'etre..essential philosophies and techniques that guide (our workd)...a light chaser's manifesto, if you will. Master these tips and you just won't be chasing the light--you will be capturing magical moments that inspire and amaze"  (Plant OP page 70, May 2011).

As a photographer of the new Kansas City Temple, I feel like I am enjoying the best of both worlds.

I love photography.  I remember the first camera I owned.  I was 12 and I was traveling out of state with a group of girls my age.  My parents gave it to me. It was a Kodak 110 and it was everything a girl my age could love.  It took pictures.  MY pictures.  They were my stories.  My history.  It was simple and easy.  The best for my age and where I was experience-wise.

The temple is a lot like that first Kodak 110 for youth in the Church.  They can attend the temple for the first time when they are 12.  They begin to have their own temple stories.  Establishing their histories.  Usually they have been prepared by their parents and they can go with other kids their age. The worship and service that they give there is best for their age and their life experiences.

Many years have past since I owned that first Kodak 110 camera and I have had a camera in my life ever since.  As my skills have developed, as I have studied and read, my talents have improved.  But it takes time, dedication and practice.

Temple attendance is very much the same.  As I converted to Mormonism 23 years ago this week, I have lived with its teachings since.  As my doctrinal understanding has developed, as I have studied and read, my talents to live the gospel of Jesus Christ as best as I can are improving.  I am learning how to adapt to superior knowledge the temple has to offer.  But it takes time, devotion and practice as well.

There were some other tidbits of advice that were spot on.  Not only when talking photography, but the temple and some purposes for our lives.

Shoot Into The Light:
Great advice when working with light is to find balance.  Too much light in a photograph can cause a flare, which distracts the viewer from the original reason you shot the picture.  Too much light can actually erase any other feature in a photograph and take it to a point that it doesn't hold any value at all.  Balance is the key.  Many modern-day prophets and apostles agree.

Learn To Love Bad Weather:
"The magic happens when the weather turns nasty."  If you think about most landscape photographs, it is when the clouds are flared up, the light is dodgy, or there is something going on that isn't a perfectly-blue-sky-day that makes the picture interesting.  Some of my best photos have been in imperfect weather.  Life is like that for me as well.  I have known adversity. Imperfection. At the end of the day, I think adversity makes me more empathetic and kinder.  A more interesting photograph of me, if you will. Perhaps revealing an image that is more like the Savior.

The stiller, the deeper, and the clearer the water is, the better you can capture a reflection.  Reflection is a unique way to represent an image. Reflection of our life is no different.  Still, deep and clear meditative reflection helps to ground us, bring insight to our minds and clarity to our decisions.  I love going to the temple because of the reflective time available to me.  I feel like "still water" when I am there, a feeling I have not consistently found anywhere else.

Unite Land And Sky:
Pay close attention to both the land and sky.  I know some folks when they shoot photographs, they only see the image at hand right in front of them.  I tend to look up.  A lot.  The sky to me is just as important as the main image everyone else may see.  It really is about seeing the "big picture".  All the small pieces that work together to make up the whole story.  

The temple is like that.  It is so many details that make up the main story.

I remember a man who once share an analogy.  He held up a drinking straw to his eye, looking through the entirety of the straw.  "This is what I see", he said.  Just a small sort of tunnel vision.  Then he pulled the straw away from his eye and turned his wrist.  He could see the entire length of the straw then.  "This is what God sees."  He was right.  The temple is designed to have us learn to think like Christ and our Heavenly Father.  Think in "big picture" terms.

Master The Moment:
Henri Cartier-Bresson described photography as "capturing the 'decisive moment' in which one is able to record an essential interaction of subjects as its peak...ideally, revealing something about the character...when power is at it's fullest, filled with energy and possibility."  Attending the temple does just that.  Revealing the true character of who we are as sons and daughters of God.  Full of energy.  Possibility.  Power.  It is about that "decisive moment" that we truly see eternity and daily decide the degree of our discipleship.

Did you know that raison d'etre is a French phrase meaning, "reason for existence"?  Temples are here on Earth as expressions of love from our God, our Father, to us.  They are gifts given to provide the opportunity for us to learn our raison d'etre...our reason for existence.  I sincerely believe this to be true.

May the completion of the Kansas City Temple do just that...fuel your passion to find out your reasons.  I know there are surely many."

Valerie always gets it.  She gets the 'good shots' and she gets the gospel.  She gets Temple Chasing.

Do you get Temple Chasing too?  It's catching. Email me if you would like to share your thoughts about the Kansas City Temple.  


Saturday, April 16, 2011

Brandon is a Temple Chaser Too!

I received an email and photos from another Temple Chaser the other day...

His name is Brandon Lovesee.  He is a student at BYU-Idaho (can I tell you how much I love Rexburg & and my old Alma Mater...Ricks College!!!), and he is from Kansas.  He has been following the progress of the construction of the temple and had an opportunity to come home and see it for himself over his spring break from college.  He took some photos and sent them to me to share as well as his testimony of the Kansas City Temple.

"I was on my mission when they announced the Kansas City Temple in conference.  The other Elders I was with did not understand why I was so excited.  They were all from Utah so they didn't understand the 4 hour drive (one way) to St. Louis, only being able to go to the temple once every few months, or anything like that.  I was so excited.  I thought about how I would be able to go much more regularly.  I thought about being able to go with some of my friends from high school to the open house and helping them feel the Spirit (of course, being a missionary I pictured them all getting baptized too!)  Hopefully, I'll be in the area during that time.  I was one of only a few members in my high school, so I have many friends to share with.

The Kansas City Temple also reminds me of the sacrifice of the early Saints in this area.  Though it is not being built at THE temple site in Independence, it is still in an area full of church history.  These Saints gave so much so that we could have the Gospel today.

I know that the Church is true and that Jesus Christ is our Savior.  I know that at the temple, we can be sealed into forever families to return to live with Father someday.  I know that Thomas S. Monson is God's prophet on the Earth today."

~Brandon Lovesee
Pictures and words shared with permission by Brandon Lovesee

Thank you Brandon for sharing your testimony and example with us.  "Hello" also to the rest of you BYU-I'ers, who I adore.  Life is good there.  Love your time there.  Go to the Rexburg Temple often.  It is spectacular and I wish it had been there when I was there.

A photo I snapped on my phone of the Rexburg Temple last summer in the dawning hours of a storm.

Wouldn't you like to be a Chaser too?  Email me.


Wednesday, April 13, 2011


Looks like ground-breaking for tree planting has commenced.

The Temple testifies of Christ. So does the beauty that surrounds His Holy House.

"Things which are in the heavens above, and things which are on the earth, and things which are in the earth, and things which are under the earth, both above and beneath:  all things bear record of me."
Moses 6:63

Alma taught, "All things denote there is a God; yea, even the earth, and all things that are upon the face of it, yea, and its motion, yea, and also all the planets which move in their regular form do witness that there is a Supreme Creator."
Alma 30:44

I love the symbolism of using the testifying beauty of creation to enhance and landscape these sacred grounds, which will draw many to this Holy edifice.


Monday, April 11, 2011

Dear "K"

An open letter to our new friend K:

K, we met this evening at the Kansas City Temple site at sunset.  Hopefully you will see this post.

I was there taking photographs with my daughter, who sat patiently in the little green truck sometimes for over an hour, in the still of the evening, listening to the birds chirp and the stillness of the temple site.  I know on the outside she looked like a typical teenager texting her friends, but on the inside, I know she was feeling the peace the being on the temple grounds. 

That is why she tags along sometimes.

K, I waited over an hour for the sunset.  The clouds were wonderful.  They had all the promise of fiery oranges.  The kind you can create on some Photoshop program but it just doesn’t have the feel of real.  I was excited.

Although, now I realize I didn’t come to the temple tonight to see just the clouds.  

I had a feeling.  As this afternoon moved into evening tonight, I said to my family, “I have to go.”  It was such a strong feeling that I knew I should be there.  Especially tonight.

The clouds were poised, and the “sunset show” was about to begin. 

Then the wind came.

That darn wind showed up and blew my potentially fiery orange accent clouds away.  I was so disappointed.

I thought to myself, “Self, should I go home?  The clouds are gone, and there is nothing left here to photograph.”  But something inside me said “stay.”

Then you and your husband pulled up.

Your camera is smaller than mine, and you couldn’t get anything but dark for your images.  You asked about mine…where were they going to end up?  Perhaps on the internet?  “My friend and I do a blog…here is our card (with the site address)” I replied.

We started to visit and we figured out that we are neighbors.  Our homes are only a few streets apart.  I asked you what ward you were in.  You aren’t.  You are not a member of our church.

I have met several people at the temple grounds who come for different reasons.  Many of them are walking, enjoying the peaceful stroll.  Most are LDS, but some are not. 

You had a “something special” about you.  Happy.  Bright.  Cheery.

You said something that my daughter and I will never forget.   That is why I am writing this letter to you. 

You said you were at home this evening.  And that God spoke to you and said “go to the temple right now.”  And you did.  And you found us.
As we closed our visit, I told you that the clouds I waited for had been blown away, but perhaps we had stayed for you.  You replied that we had done as God had wanted….for us to meet. 

K, we both did our part this evening.  I went to the temple to shoot pictures for the blog.  Those photographs are my way of sharing the power and wonder of God, His creations and His plan that I know to be true.  You heard God speak to you that you should come to the temple.  And you did as He asked.  What devotion and dedication on your part.  Trust.  I admire that.

I think that we could have talked for a good long while and shared our feelings about many things. I did not get the chance to tell you that I know that there is happiness that can be found on this Earth at this time.  I know that the temple being built so close to our homes is not just for the LDS people, but for all people who choose to partake of its peace.  A gift to all the people of this area.  Why wouldn’t it be?  We are all God’s children.

K, thank you for coming to join us at the temple this evening. 

God be with you until we meet again. 
Your new temple-chasing friends, Valerie and Aubrey


Sunday, April 10, 2011

From our Prophet...

Words from our dear Prophet from General Conference last weekend to accompany stunning new photos just sent to me from Val Anderson, taken this evening....

"I express my undying gratitude to my Heavenly Father for the temple now being built in Rome and for all of our temples, wherever they are.  Each one stands as a beacon to the world, an expression of our testimony that God, our Eternal Father, lives, that He desires to bless us and, indeed, to bless His sons and daughters of all generations.  Each of our temples is an expression of our testimony that life beyond the grave is as real and as certain as is our life here on earth."

President Thomas S. Monson

Address stone...

I was inspired by the message given by the Prophet of our Church.  I am motivated and my desire to attend the temple as often as possible has increased.  I do hope and pray that my fervor and zeal toward the Kansas City Temple translates to better temple attendance in general. 

After all, as with our hearts and intents, what happens on the inside is more important.  I am grateful for this beacon to the world, for the message that it testifies of.  

Find a temple near you...and a Chaser.  


Friday, April 8, 2011

What the temple means to Emily Burneson

April 6

"I remember an experience that I once had in a department store.  I had two children at the time, an infant and a toddler.  One moment my 3-year-old was by my side, and the next moment he was gone.  I couldn't find him anywhere.  My panic sent me frantically searching up and down the aisles.  I thought I had lost him.  Soon, with the help of other women in the store, Daniel was found hiding inside a circular rack of clothing.  Words cannot describe the complete despair that I felt when I thought that Daniel was gone; nor can I explain fully the joy that I felt when we were reunited.

The work done in temples reunites loved ones and allows them be together as part of an eternal family.  My husband and I have been sealed in the temple through the Holy Spirit of Promise, and our children have been added to our family as part of the covenant we made there.  If we remain faithful to those covenants, our children will not be lost.  They will be ours forever.  I could not imagine spending eternity without every member of my family.  The sealing power of the temple binds us together and allows us to achieve the highest degree of Celestial glory.

It is also in the temple that Heaven and Earth meet.  We are able to symbolically cross through the veil and enter a peaceful place that reminds me of home.  In the Celestial room of the temple, I feel close to my Father in Heaven.  I am able to pour out my soul in prayer and supplication and, with clarity, receive guidance and love from the Lord.  The troubles of the world are left outside.  In the temple, my sights are turned to the path back home to Heavenly Father and my life is better aligned with matters of eternity.

My love for the temple began at a young age.  I remember singing about the temple as a little girl and anxiously awaiting the day that I would enter the House of the Lord.  I remember my first temple trip to the Chicago, Illinois Temple.  The closeness that I felt to deceased loved ones penetrated my heart.  The most joyous moment of my life took place in the St. Louis Temple, where I was joined with my spouse for time and all eternity.  I want all the members of my family, my ancestry and my posterity alike, to have all the blessings of the temple."

(Photo credit to

Thank you for sharing your beautiful testimony of what the temple means to you.

I would love to hear from more Temple Chasers.  Please send me your; What the Kansas City Temple means to me!

I'm waiting....

So is everyone else.

Long live Temple Chasing!


Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Happy Organization Day!

A glorious sunrise on the morning of the organization birthday of the restored Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

"Meeting in the Peter Whitmer home on 6 April 1830, a small group of believers formally organized the Church that had begun to grow based on the truths revealed to a young prophet."
Elder John K. Carmack

And look where we are today.....
A temple in Kansas City....


President Monson's-The Holy Temple; A Beacon To The World

"Each of our temples is an expression of our testimony that life beyond the grave is as real and as certain as our life here."

President Thomas S. Monson

The perfect address for this Easter Season.


Saturday, April 2, 2011

Temple Chaser at the House!

It was a joy to be here today.

I am completely overcome with the beauty of this, the Lord's House.

I am grateful to those who were able to join us this morning.  What a glorious experience to share with fellow Temple Chasers.

More pictures to come soon...I promise!  We had photographers packing serious heat and I look forward to the photos from them to share.

Don't forget, get your submissions in to me.  I asked the question, "What does having a temple in Kansas City, mean to me?"

I LOVE to see the TEMPLE!



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