A Taste of Heaven in the Mormon Temple

November 7, 2011  
Filed under Mormon Life, Mormon Temples

By Valerie Fulmer.

Many years ago I had an experience in the St. Louis Missouri Mormon Temple that changed my perspective on life in an extraordinary and unforgettable way.  Before I share this story with you, I would like to explain a little about temples.  Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (nicknamed Mormons) believe temples are sacred places where we make promises to God and perform sacred ordinances pertaining to our salvation as individuals and as families.  As stated on www.mormon.org,

“Anciently, the Lord directed Solomon to build a temple (1 Chronicles 28:1-6). This temple was a place where God could dwell, was a place of prayer, was a place of sacrifice and was a place where the principle and covenant of sacrifice was fundamental to worship.”

St. Louis Mormon TempleMormons continue to believe in the need for temples as directed by the Lord today.  We go to the temple to learn, to receive sacred ordinances, to get married for time and for eternity, to be sealed to our families forever, to renew our covenants, and to do temple work for and in behalf of deceased family members such as baptisms by proxy.

Now to my story, which I have received permission from my father to share.  Several years ago, my husband, our young son and I were visiting family in Missouri.  One evening, we were planning to go to the St. Louis Mormon Temple together.  Sadly, at the time, my father was in a manic state due to his bipolar disorder.  His doctors had yet to find the best medication or set of medications to help keep it under control.  It was the worst I had ever seen him.  My heart was broken for him.  That evening as I went to bed, my pillow became soaked in tears.  I was frightened.  I was afraid for my father, and what could happen if this manic state was not treated properly.

The next morning as we drove to the temple together as a family, there was a palpable anxiety in the air as we were all concerned for my dad.   In the past, I always knew that the moment I walked inside those temple doors, I would feel some measure of peace, because I always have, even on those not-so-good days.  But I wasn’t sure about this time.  Not under these circumstances.  I was wrong.  This time that feeling of serenity when walking through the doors was unbelievable.  I literally looked down at the floor to see if my feet were touching the ground.  The Spirit of the Lord was so strong.  Right away I felt at peace and knew that somehow, my father was going to be alright.

After performing a sacred temple endowment on behalf of deceased family members, my mother and I were waiting for the men to come out of their changing room so that we could leave.  She and I were walking around the interior of the temple admiring the beautiful paintings of the Savior Jesus Christ and His ministry.  The thought of my father and wondering what he had been doing was also on my mind.  I knew things were going to be alright, but I didn’t know how.  Then it happened.

It was not a vision, or a dream.  But for the briefest moment, I received an indelible impression in my mind and heart.  It was as if I had a split-second visit to Heaven.  I had a taste of what Heaven was like.  It was unbelievable.  It was beyond description.  It was a feeling of Joy and Love to a degree that I had never felt before.  At that moment, there was no worry, no fear, no pain.  Only complete, pure and utter joy and peace.  The experience lasted a moment or two, but the result changed my perspective on life from that day on.

I learned that no matter what happened to my father, everything was going to be alright.  I learned this applied to me and my life as well.  The strong impression I received was this:  If I stay close to my Father in Heaven by sincerely repenting of my sins and striving to live in harmony with the teachings of the gospel, I would be able to endure (and learn from) any trial and find a greater measure of happiness in my life.  Because with the Lord, all things are possible.

The other impression I received was just as powerful.  If I had a perfect knowledge of how wonderful heaven will be like, I would be able to pass through any and all of my trials almost effortlessly.  The incomprehensible joy, peace and love I will have in heaven (should I be worthy of spending eternity there) would far outweigh the suffering, pain, anguish, and uncertainty I experience here in mortality.  This was the impression I received.  Through the years I’ve come to realize there is a reason we do not have a perfect knowledge of the glory of heaven.  If we did, we would not have the opportunity to develop faith.  And developing faith in Jesus Christ is one of the purposes of life.  And so, this would explain why my experience was so brief.   I was only given a small taste of heaven, just enough to give me hope.  But how bright that hope was, and is!  Oh how Glorious it will be to live with God again, worlds without end, should I be found worthy of it.

This is what the message of the gospel of Jesus Christ is all about.  There is hope.  There is a way to overcome my tribulations and my faults here on earth.  There is a way I can find a measure of joy, peace and happiness here, today, now.  That way is through the Atonement of Jesus Christ, my Savior.  When I am striving to live the way God has commanded me to, He will not forsake me.  He is there to heal the broken hearted and bring hope to all; for my father, mother, all of my loved ones, and for everyone.

Jesus Christ not only suffered for my sins, He took upon Himself all of my pains, worries, heartaches and sicknesses (Mosiah 15:9), so that He could succor me in my time of need (Alma 7:12), if I come unto Him.  I don’t have to go it alone.  And if sickness brings me to deaths’ door, if I am living the best I can, I need not fear.  I will be, I hope to be, welcomed with open arms on the other side of the veil, and my passing will be sweeter than I can imagine.

Today my father is doing well.  He has been stable for years.  With a combination of medication, love and support from family and friends including my angelic, patient and loving mother, my father’s Faith in Jesus Christ, and due to the tender mercies of the Lord, my father is doing well enough to work full time.    He is a loving husband, father and grand-father.  He is always helping others.  He has blessed the lives of many.  He has a special place in his heart for those with physical and/or emotional handicaps.  He truly is a Good Samaritan, in word and in deed.  The Lord knew this would happen.  He knew everything was going to be alright.

Valerie Fulmer is a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

To learn more about the LDS Church, try the following links:

Basic beliefs and real Mormons

Jesus Christ in Mormonism

Mormon News

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