The year is almost over and the end of our Temple Challenge is only two months away. While we really aren’t doing this for the friendly competition, it is all about taking on a big personal challenge. You have to admit, the idea of visiting all the temples in our area in one day is a crazy one! Not many even have this opportunity unless you live on the Wasatch Front and want to take your spiritual commitment to the extreme. So when we did this the first time, we accomplished six in 12 hours. As hard as that was, we said we’d go for seven next time! Well… that next time was last weekend.
This is what our day looked like on Saturday, October 29, 2011:
4:30 am – Got up, got dressed and scraped frost off the car windshield (I showered the night before).
5:00 am – Picked up boys and headed to Bountiful (the opposite direction from last time).
5:45 am – Arrived at the Bountiful Temple (#1) behind a group of 60+ youth already there!
6:50 am – Completed our first 25 confirmations for the day despite a busy start.
7am – Arrived at Grandma Fisher’s for a yummy breakfast and a side of early morning enthusiasm.
7:45 am – Arrived at the Salt Lake Temple (#2).
9 am – After minimal wait time, we surprisingly completed 25 confirmations and 25 baptisms. We were two hours ahead of schedule.
10:15 am – Arrive at the Jordan River Temple (#3), the only one we had an actual appointment with.
11:20 am – Too many people, too long of a wait, hunger setting in. So after 25 confirmations, we decided to have lunch right there in the Jordan Temple cafeteria.
12:10 pm – Arrived at Oquirrh Mountain Temple (#4)
1:35 pm – The flow at Oquirrh was clogged with Young Women and a new Baptistry Coordinator. Having been limited to only 3 ordinances each, we completed 21 confirmations and 18 baptisms.
2 pm – Arrived at the Draper Temple (#5)
2:55 pm – Performed 70 ordinances in under an hour. How? Because no one was there!
3:25 pm – Arrived at Mount Timpanogos Temple (#6)
4:35 pm – Performed another 70 ordinances with only a handful of youth ahead of us. The light load on the last two temples got us thinking: we might actually be able to exceed our goal today! We agreed to decide after Provo and our planned stop for dinner.
5:05 pm – Arrived at Provo Temple (#7)
6:10 pm – Provo was packed to the brim and the boys were hungry, lethargic and getting irritable. We did 35 confirmations and decided to head for dinner…or better yet, a sugar rush!
6:30 pm – Arrived at Krispy Kreme in Orem and watched 7 boys devour 45 doughnuts in under 30 minutes! It was like a feeding frenzy of starving piranhas. I guess setting out to accomplish 7 temples in 1 day means we tackle KK with the same amount of intensity! I have to admit, those are dang good treats!
7 pm – The boys were given a choice to either head home or slip in one last Temple. They chose to exceed our goal and make a stop back at Draper. It’s their favorite temple and the one we didn’t get to include on our first blitz. So let’s make up for last year and up the ante for next year!
7:35 pm – Returned to the Draper Temple (#8).
8:25 pm – The baptistry at Draper was completely empty when we arrived. So finishing up our last 70 ordinances for the day took no time at all. We ended with a prayer in the waiting room, marveled at our accomplishment this day and said our good-byes.
9 pm – Arrived at home for some family love and a good night sleep!
In summary, there were:
7 boys, 2 adults, 8 temples, 16 hours and 385 individual ordinances performed.
This was definitely a different experience than the first time we attempted this challenge. Even though we did two more temples than our last blitz, we had less boys, less adult support and performed fewer ordinances. There were also several lessons learned from this experience which I highlight below.
- Do not make accommodations for personal errands while on your temple quest. Not even if it’s “on the way” or “will only take a second”. This day is about temple work and the focus should not divert from that for anything, except food. Even a stop at the gas station to refuel a vehicle should be taken care of the night before.
- Check ALL recommends BEFORE leaving the young man’s driveway. Make sure he actually has a valid one and that it didn’t just expire.
- Krispy Kreme doughnuts are not my idea of “dinner”, but they do motivate boys just like candy does in Primary. Is it good? No. Does it work? Yes.
- There are a few things we could tighten up to be even more efficient. When we do this again, I say we GO FOR TEN!