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TEMPLE MOMENTS: `WHAT I WAITED FOR'

Euzell Prince Preston of the Lebanon, Ore., 1st ward always felt her husband, Harold M., would join the Church if only he understood the gospel. She waited 56 years to find out that she was right.

She and Harold were married in St. Thomas, Nev., and later moved to the rich farming area of the Willamette Valley in Oregon. Preston was night foreman in a lumber mill for many years. In Lebanon, Ore., three children were raised in the Church. He didn't object, but neither did he attend.After his children were grown, Preston began thinking about what the Church had done for them. He also saw what the Church was doing for his grandchildren. Without telling his wife, who was now confined to a wheelchair, he began reading scriptures and LDS books. One of the books was the Book of Mormon. "I believe in it," he later said. "It made me more sure."

Then he suffered a heart attack. After he'd partly recovered, he learned that he had cancer. He recovered from both ailments and continued his spiritual progress.

"It was really the Book of Mormon [that helped convert him]," said his wife. "We didn't have missionaries come over. He just read the Book of Mormon."

Once Preston made up his mind, he wanted to join immediately. He was baptized in June 1985. A short time later he experienced continued health problems and was also restricted part of the time to a wheelchair.

On Aug. 19, 1987, the Preston family, with four of its members in wheelchairs, (Preston; his wife; her sister Grace Lancaster; and a daughter, Lurlyn Eriksen) traveled north in vans for four hours to the Seattle Temple.

At the temple, "We were both so helpless," she said. "But we didn't even have to ask for anything. The temple workers were there to help, getting us where we needed to be. It was just a wonderful experience."

Eventually the couple was wheeled to the altar and sealed to each other and their children. Preston was also sealed to his parents.

"This is something I wanted very much all my life," she said. "I just couldn't believe it was happening.

"There my family was, all around me. I had a feeling that now we were all together. I felt like this is a dream come true. There was a feeling of peace," she said.