CARDSTON, ALBERTAReturning home - both on earth and in heaven - was a thread woven throughout the rededicatory sessions of the Alberta Temple.
Several speakers referred to the importance of the temple in leading families to their heavenly home. And much was said about the sweet return home for Elder Victor L. Brown and Sisters Elaine L. Jack and Ardeth G. Kapp, all born in Cardston, though Sister Kapp was reared in Glenwood about 20 miles to the north.Elder Brown is an Emeritus General Authority; Sister Jack is Relief Society general president; and Sister Kapp serves as general president of the Young Women.
Mention was made as well of others who had died and perhaps "returned home" for the dedication.
"In this temple today, I think others are permitted to be here, that they might come home," reflected President Thomas S. Monson during the first dedicatory session.
Elder Brown, speaking in the fourth session, recounted his first trip to the temple at age 9, when he was sealed to his parents. He was ill, and so dizzy that he couldn't sit up. His mother suggested they reschedule the sealing, but the young boy wouldn't hear of it.
"I still remember the warm feeling I had when President [Edward J.T Wood sealed us and we became an eternal family," remembered Elder Brown. "The Alberta Temple has much to do with my beginnings. This is the first time I have really come home and been in Cardston with all of my children. I've never been so emotionally involved as I have been today. This is one of the choicest experiences of my life."
Sister Jack was raised less than a block from the temple. She recalled, during the fifth dedicatory session, "strolling the temple grounds" with her friends as a young girl. She did baptisms for the dead, received her endowments and was married in the temple. As a young woman, she also recorded patriarchal blessings given by her grandfather, John F. Anderson, in an office in the temple, where she likely recorded the blessing given to Sister Kapp.
"This temple has always been an important part of my life," Sister Jack reflected. "How grateful I am for it. It's wonderful to come back."
During the sixth dedicatory session, Sister Kapp recalled her childhood in nearby Glenwood. "This is truly a coming home experience to me in every sense," she said.
As Sister Kapp walked through the temple the evening before the first day of dedication, she paused as she overlooked the baptistry. With emotion, she quietly told those with her about remembering the chill of cool tile on her feet as she stepped off the carpet.
She also was married in the Alberta Temple, and had her name placed on the temple's prayer role by her parents as a seriously ill 16-year-old.
"This has been quite a homecoming," said President Monson. - Mike Cannon