When planning our trip to Canada (just a few days before we left), we originally budgeted in just enough time to walk the grounds of the Cardston Alberta Temple on our road trip back down to Idaho to pick up our boys. But as we learned more about it, we knew that wouldn’t be enough. We had to go inside. And boy are we glad we did. This temple is truly amazing.
The Cardston Temple was the first LDS temple built outside of the United States and sixth operating temple. It had such an amazing historical feel, and you could see the love that was put in to building it by those early Mormon settlers.
I can’t even describe how cool it is when you walk inside. The fountain (that was originally outside) greets you when you walk in the door. And it just feels, almost like you’re walking in to Book of Mormon times. I can’t really explain it.
The endowment session is four stage progressive, which means that you pass through four different rooms before entering the Celestial Room. And goodness! Those rooms are beautiful. Each room’s walls are covered in amazing hand painted murals that were incredibly intricate and detailed. Being surrounded by these paintings added so much to the endowment for me. I absolutely loved it. The murals were actually replicated and put in the Provo City Center Temple.
After our session we headed down to the cafeteria for a quick lunch. While we were there, a gentleman came and sat at our table asking our names. Carey looked very familiar to him, and he asked his last name. Turns out he wasn’t related to who he thought he’d be- Meerdink is not a common surname there in Alberta. But my maiden name is fairly common: Orr. He told me that the Orr’s had settled a town about 40 miles from Cardston called Orrville. I couldn’t find it on a map, but it’s still good to know. My ancestors didn’t come through Canada, but I’m sure we’re all cousins.
Growing up and even to this day, if ever anyone asked my last name I would say “Orr, O-R-R.” Because nobody got it the first time, and nobody could spell it. I like to think that if I lived in Canada, I would just be able to say “Orr.”
Anyway, the Cardston Temple has an information center- not to be confused with a visitor’s center. Do you know the difference? A visitor’s center is run by the church’s missionary department and is tasked with helping share and spread the gospel. An information center simply informs the visitor’s of the history of the area and temple. We met a wonderful couple who a great historical rundown in the few minutes that we had.
After walking the grounds we hopped in our car for eight more hours of driving. Yes, our visit extended our day by quite a bit, but it was so worth it. I can’t imagine having missed out on such a wonderful place.
Date Visited: July 28, 2017
Miles From Home: 722
Location: Cardston, Alberta, Canada
Dedication: August 26-29, 1923 by Heber J. Grant; Then an addition was dedicated on July 2, 1962 by Hugh B. Brown; and a re-dedication on June 22-24, 1991 by Gordon B. Hinckley
From the Dedicatory Prayer (1923): …we humbly beseech Thee that the people of this great nation and the people of the world may overcome selfishness and refrain from strife, contention, and all bitterness, and that they may grow and increase in the love of country, in loyalty and patriotism and in a determination to do what is right and just.