Monday, April 09, 2007

Carlton's log, Utah!

Thor and I had the most wonderful experience when we were young. When he was 18, and I 17, our church leaders made the arrangements for us to attend the April Conference of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. We drove up in caravans and spent our nights in hotels, girls in one, boys across the street in another. We spent a couple of days exploring Temple Square and the 'new' Church Office Building. Yup, it was that long ago! Back in those days the church had employed church maintenance teams, and as Providence would have it, our building maintenance man Sam was asked to be the head guy for the new building in Salt Lake City.

Sam was elderly by that time and he wanted to see what he would be in charge of and so he came along as well. We got a private tour of the building before the public or other members were allowed in! We also ran into Paul H. Dunn and were given an audience with him in his private office.

After the last session on Saturday we were also allowed to go back to Temple Square. We were invited back after the Square had closed for the evening and someone special gave us a private tour of the Visitor's Centers and also the Tabernacle and Assembly Hall. We finished with the Assembly Hall and while still inside had a very special testimony meeting. It was one of those times in life that neither of us ever forgot and probably will remember always.

Thor has such strong feelings associated with that trip that he wanted his own young men's group to have the same kind of experience. (Originally the girls were invited, but there were some difficulties that could not be resolved and Thor and his brother were the only ones would could actually take the group, and it ended up being only one small group of boys.)
The boys packed their bags, snacks and lunches and we headed out for conference at 5:00 a.m. Friday! We drove in two vehicles and took the slow route, stopping at as many places as the boys wished to see. We stopped in the Moapa Valley to visit the Lost Valley Museum, we saw the Monument to the Moapa Valley Saints who were sent there to establish the church in that area. While there the boys learned a lot about the Native American Indians who lived there and their history.

Back on the road the boys decided to stop and drive through Zion National Park. They wandered through the Museum at the Park's Southern entrance and then decided to hike out to Weeping Rock and then up the cliffs to give me a heart attack. Back into the car we drove through the tunnels and then the adults went back out the tunnels so that we could take photos of the boys atop the arch (you can only get a good shot of that from across the small valley).

Back into the car we drove northward to cross over the mountain pass and get back onto the 215. At the summit the boys stopped to have a snowball fight and take in the most pretty view of glittery mountain tops still covered with crystallized snow.

We didn't arrive at the hotel until late that night. They packed it in and got a good sleep. At that time I headed over to my best friend's house out in South Jordon. She had a friend who gave us first morning session tickets for Saturday and we were so close! We sat three rows back from the roped area on the floor. Crazy! The boys in our group also had tickets for that session and they had great seats in the balcony. Everyone had such a great experience! Thor and the group went to Temple Square and took tours and walked until their feet fell off! They took in all the Saturday sessions by finding seats in the JSMB. This was a very nice day for the boys and the leaders. They really felt the Spirit.

Sunday we had to head home so we listened to conference in the car. The boys still directed the drive and we went home via as many Temples as we could get in. It was terrific timing and we didn't miss any of the sessions at all! The boys climbed all over temple hill at Manti and then explored the St. George Temple and Las Vegas Temple too.

One of the things I thought was amazing was the dedication the boys had keeping the Sabbath while on the trip. They went shopping Saturday night so they wouldn't have to stop for fast food on the Sabbath. We picnicked in the park for both lunch and dinner. Then after the conference was over the boys used the walkie talkies we had to communicate between cars to sing hymns the rest of the way home.

This trip was awesome for the boys as well as for us.

add to sk*rt


chronicler said...

What a fun trip! i am glad you had a good time. I remember that same heart attack inducing walk to weeping rock myself. I think my girls hated it more than me!

s'mee said...

The walk to weeping rock wasn't what gave me the heart atack, it was watching the boys scale the cliffs above the canyon...egads!

"Um, yeah, mom...sorry we broke your boy on the trip..."

Lisa M. said...

OH S'mee. VERY neat.

This brought tears to my eyes.

I love the sacrifices of men and woman, that they make for the youth. It is incredible to see.

s'mee said...

Thanks Lisa, but in reality we got as much out of it as the boys, so I would hardly call it a sacrifice! We had such a great time!!!