The Cardston Alberta Temple

Cardston Alberta Canada LDS TempleWhen 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.Cardston Alberta Temple - Side Detail

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. Cardston Temple

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.Cardston Temple Courtyard

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.”Cardston Temple 5

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. Carey in front of Cardston Temple

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.Cardston Temple 11

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.

The Calgary Alberta Temple

Our trip to Alberta Canada was so wonderful. It was sort of a honeymoon- we didn’t get one 18 years ago. So after we dropped our boys off at EFY in Rexburg, we zipped up to Canada. I’ll include more about our trip in another post. Here, I’ll just tell you that the Calgary Temple is lovely.Calgary Alberta Canada LDS Temple

We walked the grounds before going inside to do some sealings. We entered the grounds through an iron gate, which framed the temple beautifully. Magpies sat on the roof, which was fun to see. I know it’s weird, but I’ve never seen birds sitting on any temple before. Maybe I just haven’t been paying attention.Calgary Temple Staircase

Walking around to the south side of the temple, we went down a beautiful curving staircase into the courtyard. It is such a peaceful and beautiful area, and I was taken aback by the grandeur of the temple.Calgary Alberta Temple

I also was super surprised to see a rabbit! Or maybe it was a hare. Anyway- it was just relaxing on the grass. Apparently they are pretty common.Rabbit at Calgary Temple

We were able to do family sealings inside. I want to introduce you to a world traveler: Alice Emily Garretson, Carey’s Great-Grandmother. When working on our family history, we noticed that her work had been done for her in many places. She was baptized in the Perth Australia Temple, confirmed in the Provo Utah Temple, had her initiatories done in Recife Brazil, and her endowment completed in Guatemala. When we finally found her, we did her sealing to her husband here in Portland. When we discovered her parents not long before our trip, we knew we wanted to finish off her work at yet another temple, so she was sealed to her parents in Calgary Canada.  We don’t know much about Alice, but we feel like she would like this. We look forward to learning more about her. Calgary Temple - Black and White

We really liked the Calgary temple- the members were so nice, it was a beautiful setting, and just an overall wonderful feeling.Angel Moroni - Calgary Temple

Date Visited: July 26, 2017

Miles From Home: 790

Location: Calgary, Alberta, Canada

Dedication:  October 28, 2012 by Thomas S. Monson

From the Dedicatory Prayer: We ask Thee to bless all who walk in righteousness and faith and obedience to the commandments Thou hast given. Wilt thou provide comfort to them when they face adversity. Wilt Thou sustain and strengthen them when the winds of opposition blow against them. Wilt Thou bring joy and peace into their hearts and the assurance of Thy everlasting love.