It has been a long time friend.
You were a sight for sore eyes when I stopped to see you a couple of days ago. There you were...standing strong and shiny as always. Like some things have not changed.
But I noticed some things, of course, have. But I will get to that in a minute.
You know I am true-blue to you, but I will admit, I did see another Brother Angel Moroni when I traveled this last month.
His name was Brother Angel Moroni, Anchorage, Alaska.
He looked like your brother. The resemblance was uncanny. :)
Brother Angel Moroni, Anchorage was atop one of the first mini-temples built for the Church. The second one to be exact. I took his picture for you.
He looks thinner and he is holding a scroll in his hand. I liked that.
The Anchorage Temple announcement was such a wonderful day for us Alaskans.
We were living in Salt Lake City at the time of the announcement in 1997 and I remembered I cried. I don't have to live in Alaska to still feel like an Alaskan.
When the temple building was dedicated, it was so important to our family that we returned home that school break in January 1999 for the event.
Yep, I was there.
President Hinckley performed the dedication. I remember that he said "good people come from Soldotna" (our hometown of about 3,500 people). I will never forget thinking, "maybe the Prophet is talking about me." It was a proud moment for the Soldotna congregation.
The other thing I will never forget as long as I live on this earth was the singing.
I know there is recorded throughout LDS Church history, occasions where members of the Church will swear they heard angels singing when there was something spiritually special going on.
I am one of those members.
There was the special temple dedication choir that sang in the temple, and we as dedication session attendees sang along with them. But there was such a power in the sound. An unseen force that physically caused the hair on your arms to stand on end.
People looked around at each other while we sang. "Do you hear it?", our eyes were asking each other. "You hear it too?", our eyes would answer each other.
It was truly divine.
As divine as that moment at the dedication at the temple was, the big picture is that it isn't really about the dedication or construction of the temple at all.
It is about family. Eternal family.
This last month, while we visited the temple in Anchorage, it was the first time that my husband, his mother and our children have all worshipped in the temple together. Three generations. It was such a nice moment for us. It was the first time she (Grandma) had ever been to the temple with any of her biological grandchildren. It was tender.
The grounds are so different from the Kansas City grounds. Still lovely and sweet. Lots of trees.
It was peaceful and actually soothing for me as we heal our saddened hearts at the loss of our friend, Tom, who passed away in June. I think you remember him...he came to see you many times before he died.
While I feel as though I have been a part of the Anchorage Temple and it's history, I still could not help but feeling that my temple heart belongs to you here in Kansas City.
Speaking of Kansas City, your construction friends have been busy while I was gone.
Imagine my surprise when I drove up to see you, and there is a house being built right across the street!
Rumor is that it is a Distribution Center. Other rumor is that it is a house for the Temple President.
I don't know the answers, but what I do know is that you are getting some company! And a fence.
Hang in there, Brother Moroni. Don't let the hottest day in 25 years in Kansas City yesterday (107º plus heat index) dissuade you from doing your work. :)
As the scriptures say, "This (heat) too shall pass."