The Spokane Washington Temple

We stopped by the Spokane Washington Temple on our roadtrip from Yakima to Rexburg. It was a bit of a detour, but we were happy to visit our third and final temple (for now) in this state. Unfortunately we couldn’t walk the grounds inside the fence, or go inside, because it was Sunday. But it was still lovely to see.

Spokane LDS TempleIt was also really hot outside. Like, REALLY hot.

We stretched our legs a bit and walked around the perimeter of the fence. It’s so neat to me how just being near a temple can bring that familiar peace.

Spokane Temple - Corner View 1An interesting tidbit- the Angel Moroni on the Spokane Temple faces West, instead of the traditional east. Seattle Washington also faces west.

This temple reminded me a lot of the Medford Oregon temple- in fact, I think they are the same design. It is another one of the small temples designed to allow access to more people in more places.

Flag at Spokane TemplePresident Hinckley announced the idea of the smaller temples back in 1997 – 20 years ago. There’s a great article HERE that talks about these temples, and how President Hinckley wanted the faithful saints to have the opportunity to attend the temple without having to travel so far. What strikes me is the love he had for these people. He recognized their sacrifices and faith. He wanted them to enjoy the blessings of the temple more easily and more often.

By simplifying the design and getting rid of the unnecessary things like laundry, clothing rentals and cafeterias- things that many of us take for granted and maybe don’t even think about when we attend the temple, thousands of saints have been blessed. Including the people in Spokane.

Spokane TempleThe Spokane temple was announced less than a year after the original Small Temple announcement, and took only one year to build. I imagine that it was a time of rejoicing for the local saints, who at the time had to travel 4 hours to attend the temple in Seattle.

I’m so grateful for the inspiration of our leaders. And for our loving Heavenly Father who so desires to bless his children. These small temples are a perfect example of that love.Angel Moroni - Spokane Washington Temple

Date Visited: July 23, 2017

Miles From Home: 369

Location: Spokane, Washington

Dedication:  August 21-23, 1999 by Gordon B. Hinckley

From the Dedicatory Prayer: Touch the hearts of the people in this temple district that the spirit of Elijah may rest upon them, that their hearts may turn to their fathers, and that they may be motivated to search out their forebears and do a great vicarious work in their behalf. May they experience the joy of totally unselfish service as they so labor, emulating the great vicarious sacrifice of our Redeemer.



The Columbia River Washington Temple

Purple Flowers_Columbia River Temple 16x9

There’s something special about the Columbia River Washington temple.

Columbia River Temple Wide ViewIt is one of the smaller temples, but the design and architecture make it stand out. And not just that- There’s a feeling there that it’s bigger.

Columbia River Temple Spire DetailI’m not describing it very well. The detailing on the roof line is amazing, the grounds are beautiful and so peaceful, and it just seems like the earth around it is rejoicing that it gets to be the spot where this temple was placed.


The exterior is amazing. But when I walked inside- even just barely inside the doors, it took my breath away. The beauty of the woodwork combined with the strong spirit was so inviting and I felt so lucky to be there with my family.

Meerdink Boys at Columbia River Temple 3We went on a warm summer day with our boys to do family baptisms. Being with my children in the temple is one of my favorite things. There is such a peace that we just can’t replicate- though we try- at home or out in the world. The temple president came to the baptistry to meet with us and gave us a little devotional, which made the experience all the more special.

Roof detail - columbia river templeI feel so spoiled to live where I live. The Portland temple is just a few miles from my door, and I can attend or visit any time I want. I grew up in Utah where there was always a temple nearby.

Window - Columbia River Temple 2

During law school was the first time I didn’t have easy access to a temple. When Carey and I wanted to attend, we needed to drive several hours, figure out childcare, and either stay overnight or make the long drive home the same day. Needless to say, we didn’t go very often.

So when I visited the Columbia River Temple, I just felt so excited for the members of the church in the area. No more commuting- even if it was just a couple of hours. It makes a huge difference. I’m so grateful for President Hinckley’s inspired idea to build these smaller temples, to make them more accessible to more people.

Columbia River Temple Angel MoroniDate Visited: July 22, 2017

Miles From Home: 222

Location: Richland, Washington

Dedication:  November 18, 2001 by Gordon B. Hinckley

From the Dedicatory Prayer: We dedicate the grounds on which it stands with the surrounding shrubbery and trees, grass and flowers. May it be beautiful to Thy people and to all who shall look upon it. May all recognize that this is a consecrated and holy structure, Thy sacred house.


Seattle Washington Day Trip

6:50 am

Loaded up in the van, filled up with gas, took a nice family selfie, and hit the road. It was already raining, and would continue to rain all the way to Seattle, all day, and all the way home. Hey, that’s life in the Pacific Northwest I guess. From our house to Seattle is about 3 hours- an easy day trip!20170204_065427

We currently drive a 2010 Chrysler Town and Country Minivan. It has a CD player and an aux cord input. We usually use an aux cord hooked up to one of our phones, but it wasn’t working, so we fished around and found a couple CDs. The first one we put in was the Chicago soundrack. The boys thought they were being tortured. It was fun to remember going to the show way back at the beginning of our marriage. But you know how when you listen to something with your kids (or maybe your parents) and you become a LOT more aware of some of the not-so-great content? Well, we ended up skipping several songs and then just turning it off. The only other CD we found – other than Christmas music – was one that I had burnt probably 5 or 6 years ago. There were some goodies on there: On My Way Back Home by Band of Horses; A Long December by Counting Crows; November Blue by The Avett Brothers.. But for some reason there was also a lot of Katie Perry. I must have been going through a phase when I put it together.

img_20170204_122853_27210:15 am

We arrived at the Seattle Temple 30 minutes before our scheduled appointment, so we walked around the grounds a bit and took some photos. It was still rainy, but we had umbrellas and stayed dry enough. The boys were less apprehensive to let me take their pictures than normal on this trip. I hope it’s a trend that continues.

We went in and did baptisms as a family, including some family names from both Carey’s and my sides. Afterward, we took the boys into the temple cafeteria for some lunch. Every one of us picked the barbecue ribs and mashed potatoes. Super tasty- but it was a little more than I was planning on spending for lunch. We made up for that with a smaller dinner.

12:30 pm

We headed toward downtown Seattle.img_20170207_052111_511

I really like Seattle. It’s really similar to Portland, only to me it feels a little more advanced, and a little shinier. I guess the part that really is the most like Portland (well, downtown Portland) is Pike Place Market. Red Sculpture at Olympic Sculpture Park Seattle WashingtonThe area is a little grungier than other parts of Seattle.
Still- downtown Seattle overall is a big thumbs up for me. Michael (my oldest) also really loves it and as we were walking through town started wondering about careers in the area and the possibility of moving there someday. Steven was indifferent – at least toward the city in general. Ryan and Carey are not big fans of city life.

Public Market Center Sign at Pikes Place MarketWe parked near the Olympic Sculpture Park, moseyed through that and then walked a mile to Pike Place.
We strolled through the market (I mostly just wanted to see the fish throwers- I love those guys!) and then continued on another half mile to the Seattle Public Library.



2-ish pm

Arrived at the Library. img_1802
Yeah, the library.
img_1744When we told the boys that we were going to Seattle for the day, we asked them what they wanted to do. The decision was quick and unanimous: img_1764The Seattle Public Library. We’ve been there once before, but didn’t have a lot of time to expolore. This place is amazing. The architecture, design, everything! So they wanted to spend a few hours there and who were we to complain. a_red-stairs

After visiting each floor, including my favorite red area, the map room, and the look out from the highest point, we met down on the main level and had Italian Sodas (Carey had a peppermint hot cocoa),
then took plenty of time in their little gift shop where Michael picked some Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy themed socks, Ryan opted for the Shakespeare theme, Carey got a notebook and I got a patch for my backpack. Steven, our minimalist, didn’t want anything.


5 pm

Arrived at Kerry Park, which overlooks downtown Seattle and has amazing views. Meerdink Boys in front of Seattle Skyline
We each took some time with my camera and got some shots. The idea was to stay until dark but it was flipping cold, so we lasted until 5:30 or so and decided to head on home

As we began the rainy drive, Carey started getting sick. We stopped in Tacoma for a new aux cord (so we could listen to some decent music) and Excedrin. I also picked up a few pizzas which we ate in the car while I drove.

Carey thought we were going to die. The Temple Travelers in Seattle WashingtonHe had to stop driving for a while because of a killer headache, so I took over. Unfortunately my night vision is not that great. I lose some depth perception. That along with the rain and no freaking street lamps had him on the edge of his seat. But we survived. After about 40 minutes we pulled into a rest stop. He got out, got some fresh air, vomited, and then felt a million times better. I happily handed the keys over to him and took control of the music instead.

10 pm

We pulled in to our driveway, came inside and went to sleep.

Chatter about the day proved to be very positive- a good time had by all. It was just nice to get away for the day, and to spend some time together outside of the house.

We did not hit the space needle or some of the other “main attractions” in Seattle this time around. We’ve done them before. It really was nice to just take it slow.


PS: The photos of and in the library were not taken on this trip. I put the camera away to enjoy the time. These were taken on a trip back in 2014.

The Seattle Washington Temple

This was a fun little day trip, which was magnified by the fact that we got to do baptisms with our boys. There is truly nothing better than being in the temple with your children!img_8405

img_8392The Seattle temple is an interesting design- designed in the late 70’s and dedicated in 1980. It definitely has that late 70’s feel. The windows in the front entrance have sort of an art deco feel to them which was pretty cool. The stone panels that make up the exterior of the temple have big wheat symbols- which we see in a lot of temples. I think having to do with Christ being the bread of life, or maybe the field is white…. hmmm.. I may need to do a blog post about symbols on temple buildings.

We visited on a very rainy day in the dead of winter, so the grounds were not as lush as they are in the summertime, but they were still really beautiful. It is surrounded by evergreens and just feels so peaceful. There are three statues around the grounds that I absolutely loved. One of a young couple obviously in love; the next of a mother, father and their young child; and the last one was a mother and her children. For some reason I didn’t put it together while I was there, but as I was looking at the photos I recognized that these are eternal relationships- or they can be eternal because of the temple.


img_8446Here’s an interesting fact. The Angel Moroni on top of the Seattle Temple does not face east. In fact, it faces due west. This is just due to the orientation of the temple on the property. If he was facing east, he would be facing backward on the temple. There are 9 or so other temples that have west facing Moronis. Another interesting bit about this Angel Moroni: he is one of only 5 angels that are holding the gold plates.


Date Visited: February 5, 2017

Miles From Home: 182

Location: Bellevue, Washington

Dedication: November 17-21, 1980 by Spencer W. Kimball

From the Dedicatory Prayer: Father, we are concerned with the condition of the world of today and that nations seem to need only the striking of a spark to bring war and desolation and destruction. Bless, we pray Thee, the leaders of nations, that they may rule wisely and righteously, and give Thy people everywhere freedom to worship Thee. Stay the powers, our Father, that would bring us to the brink of annihilation.

But insomuch as nations repent and follow Thee, be gracious, our Father, and let Thy destroying angel pass by, and let Thy people be forgiven. Be merciful, O Lord, with Thy repentant ones when they have suffered and transformed their lives.