When winter is over, I begin my yearly renaissance, making efforts to better myself, to see the world with a brighter outlook, to set creative goals, to be a more loving person.  I open my arms to well-being and abundance.  None of this comes easily.

One of my goals was to attend the temple weekly.  I picked Friday afternoon as my ritual time.  My temple is the Jordan River Temple.  Even though I’ve lived here a year, I’ve never been to that temple, because I’ve always believed that the Salt Lake Temple is the one and only true temple, and I was willing to drive a half hour to get there.  Now that I had decided to attend weekly, I thought it easier to keep the goal if I only drove five minutes down the hill.

So one Friday, I started down said hill, turned left on Bangerter Highway, turned right and made my way to Redwood Road.  Lo and behold, the temple was nowhere to be seen.  It had disappeared.  I became anxious.  Here I had decided to do this “good” thing, to attend the temple, the Jordan River Temple, no less, and I couldn’t find it.  I had seen it every single day and now, while I was full of righteous desires, the temple had disappeared in a cloud.

I remembered what Tom had told me about his mission:  that whenever someone was to be baptized, a crisis always arose during the week before the baptism. He and his companion would stop by the newly converted’s house and pray with them each night to avoid some overwhelming disruption.

I drove up and down Redwood Road, flummoxed.  I decided to drive back up the hill and have a look down at the valley again.  I did this and found the temple had reappeared further south than I remembered it to be.  I found it, went inside and was overcome with how drab the interior of the temple was.   Don’t think about it, I thought.  That isn’t what’s important.  But to tell you the truth, space, light and beauty matter a lot to me, and so I spent half the session praying to overcome my sensibilities.

The next week, I noticed none of this.  I paid it no mind.

I felt good about my decision to attend the temple weekly.  I felt like I was making some spiritual progress.

Then Sunday came.  Sacrament meeting was okay.  Sunday School was spectacular, but I thought my brain would explode in Relief Society, where the lesson was on Elder Uchdorf’s talk, “Lift Where You Stand.”  Once again, I had to hear the story of John Moyle, stone mason, who walked 22 miles each Monday to work on the Salt Lake Temple and back again on Friday nights.  (He had to set out at two in the morning).  Then he had an accident and doctors had to amputate his leg.  He carved  himself a wooden leg, practiced using it, until he could walk the 22 miles again, only this time in agonizing pain.

I liked this story the first time I heard it, but last Sunday I felt like I could never do enough.  Going to the temple once a week?  Big deal.  Reading scriptures?  Big deal.  Being kind?  Very big deal.  I collapsed under the weight of that amputated leg and those 22 miles.  I wanted to fall forward off my chair and foam at the mouth.  I didn’t, of course.  I exaggerated the whole thing to Tom and then later that day to my home teacher, who was thoroughly entertained.

Indeed, nothing is ever good enough.  Otherwise, we wouldn’t need a savior. What business do I have competing with John Moyle or he with me?  What business do I have competing spiritually with anyone at all?  Life isn’t a speedball game.

Spring:  it’s a time of renaissance and getting real.