Sunday, May 1, 2011

Run Chasers Run!

The Kansas City Temple Run was held yesterday, April 30th.  Valerie Anderson was there to catch the runners and the spirit of the day in action.

She shares her experience in a letter to Moroni:

It seems as though you are pretty busy sounding your trump (although a primary boy in my ward says he thinks you are shooting a big gun...) and educating folks on how to pronounce your name - "No, it is Mo-ron-i...not Macaroni" - that you might no have gotten the information about the big 1st Annual Kansas city Temple Run that was held this morning. It is hard to get info since you don't have time or skills to surf the Internet, so I figured you would like a little back history.

As you know, LDS folks are a happy bunch. They like to have just as much fun as the next fella, and one way is to throw a party. So, you can consider the temple run a sort of "Welcome to Missouri" party for you and the temple. It is a fun way that folks could come out to the temple. See friends. Take some pictures. Sweat a little.

Since you were facing East (we understand you were not trying to be rude with your back to us the whole time) while we were all there and the action was west of you on the closed-off streets, I thought I could give you a recount of the event.

We got up to some mostly perfect weather this morning.  It has been raining for days and days (why am I telling you?  You live outside) so I am sure there is more than one member of some planning committee from the Liberty Stake that prayed for a little break in the weather this week.  The spotty clouds made a nice picture or two of the temple.  There fortunately were plenty of folks there with cameras so between all of us, there will be some great pics floating around now.

Since I am not on the planning committee (or even a member of that stake), I don't have all the details.  Hopefully someone can fill in the blanks here.  From rumor, I hear that the registrations had to be closed a while ago at 1,500 participants.  That there were 149 volunteers - at least - to help out.  And that about a billion oranges were cut up for snacks after the race for the runners.

There were dark blue shirts everywhere!  Everyone looked great in that shade of blue.

I arrived at 8:30 am, an hour before the racing lining up began and there were already a ton of folks there.  From an event stand point, it was extremely well-organized and well-run.  I was highly impressed.  The Liberty Stake President welcomed everyone and I think I heard the stake president from Independence gave the opening prayer.

Being the humanitarian that you are, we knew that you would appreciate that a service project went along with the run today.  People donated household goods to the "In As Much Ministries."  It won't be very often I am guessing that you see folks walking around the temple with packs of toilet paper in their arms (are you allowed to use toilet paper and temple in the same sentence?).

The thing that stuck out to me the most was all the families.  Did you see them too?  Grandmas.  Dads.  Little girls.  Babies.  It was fun to see all these various shapes, sizes, ages, and colors mingling together.  Some brought everyone in the family and some came alone.  Many ran in the race, and many watched for fun and to cheer along.  It made me think that the heavens were happy to see so many gathered in.  Just having fun.

I don't know who won the race (, he was speedy!).  But here is his picture...

And there were missionaries.  Lots of missionaries.

There were missionaries in church dress directing parking.  Singing hymns while they did it.

There were missionaries "giving five" to the racers for encouragement.

There were missionaries who gave out bottled water for the thirsty...much like the spiritual "water" they give to those who spiritually "thirst".  I liked how they were waiting for the finishers.

There is something that you missed from your perch that I caught while I stood at the finish line taking some pictures.  It would be a great analogy for some sacrament talk some time, so if you ever want to use it, feel free.

As the runners came towards the finish line, one of two things generally happened.  Runners would either 1) push harder, finish faster, or pick up their sprint or 2) they were giving everything they had left to just finish.

Do you know what I learned from those finishers (drum roll please...or trump sounding as it were)?

They finished.

There are some who had others waiting for them at the end, cheering them on.  There were some who ran with someone to help them both finish.  There were some who came across the line alone.  There were some who skipped, some who leapt, some who held their arms up in delight, and there was even one who cart-wheeled through the finish line.

But it all comes back to the fundamental idea that they finished.

As I drove home, I was thinking about the temple and its purpose.  It really does in some ways boil down to the finish.  As we carry on through this life, it is very much like that race.  Some of us have runner bodies...some of us don't.  But with the temple, we all have equal opportunity to finish the race right.  Some will be sweatier than others.  Some will have someone running with them to encourage them. Some will not.  But at the end of each of our own personal race, there will be The One who will be waiting for us with His Living Water to refresh us.  He will quench our thirst.  He will sustain us.  He will be there when we finish, regardless of how worn out we look when we cross the line.

He will be there to love us and tell us, "Well done, thou good and faithful servant."  Brother Moroni, it was a great day.  If you ever find yourself with some free time and some internet waaaaay up there on top of the temple, you can see all the pictures from our outing at this location:

Sister Val

As I was typing this post from Sister Val, the song, "Lord Accept Our True Devotion", from the LDS Hymnal on page 107, kept going through my head.

"Lord, accept our true devotion.
Let thy Spirit whisper peace.
Swell our hearts with fond emotion,
And our joy in thee increase.

Never leave us, never leave us,
Help us Lord, to win the race.
Never leave us, never leave us,
Help us Lord, to win the race!"

Keep running to the Temple Chasers!



K.Q. Webster said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
K.Q. Webster said...

I so wanted to go to that! But I was at a track meet at William Jewell college. I was IN Liberty! Running! Ah well, I'm glad everyone had fun and I hope to be there next year!


I had no idea the church did stuff like this. Very very cool.

Caitlin Hafen said...

I love this so much! I just got home from my mission there in Independence and I know a lot of those missionaries! Thank you for posting such amazing pictures and thoughts about the temple. It is going to bless so many lives of the people there. Keep it up!


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