Home » once upon a time… (part 2)

once upon a time… (part 2)

by Shawni

(Part one is here.)

Once upon a time in a land smack-dab in the middle of the desert it was announced that a temple would be built. The people in the land round about were delighted. They loved temples. They loved the spirit that they could feel when they visited, or even passed by.

The preparations began.

Those preparations blossomed not only with the assembly of rock and steel that was hauled to the temple site, but preparations blossomed within the hearts of the people who were so glad for the temple to rise in their midst. They were determined to build up their goodness, their service, their spirits, right along with the physical building of that temple.

Through the grapevine some of the ladies in the stake primary heard of a great idea: have the children in the area write their name and possibly a little bit of what they believe on their own “temple rocks” to be put in the foundation of that temple. Part of what was in their hearts would be the bedrock of what that temple would become. When they passed by that temple in years to come, even when they were shrunken little grandparents far off in the future, they would know that part of “them” helped to support what that beautiful symbol of their faith.

Well, it so happened that these ladies who had heard the idea happened to be pretty good friends with the temple builder. And he kindly consented to let them add those rocks to the bedrock.

And so through much planning and ado on the part of the builder and the church leaders in that area, those rocks were written on, gathered, and placed right as part of that temple foundation.

Some very lucky families got to take part in the placement of the rocks (the thousands of people in that area couldn’t very well fit in the space provided). One lady lucked out because she always had her camera attached at her hip. She was asked to photograph the whole thing. And she got to bring her lucky daughter with her:
Everyone delighted in the spirit of the occasion. They all caught the idea that they were taking part in something so much bigger than themselves.
The feeling of love and enthusiasm was palpable.And just like that, the testimonies of hundreds of children gained strength and vigor.

As did the foundation for a temple.


Vanessa & Tyler June 28, 2011 - 2:49 pm

what a wonderful idea with the rocks! such a beautiful blog you have 🙂

-vanessa from inevergrewup.net

Cheryl June 28, 2011 - 2:57 pm

this gave me chills!

ellen June 28, 2011 - 3:01 pm

Very cool idea.

Susan R June 28, 2011 - 3:04 pm

What an amazing thing to do and to be a part of.
There's a story for the grandchildren.

LAYTON FAMILY June 28, 2011 - 3:20 pm


Chelsea Coon June 28, 2011 - 3:35 pm

I LOVE this!

charity June 28, 2011 - 3:41 pm

Shawn, this TOTALLY made me cry. What an awesome thing to do. Can't wait to see the new temple, but even more cant wait to see you next week!!!! Love you

Jen June 28, 2011 - 3:58 pm

Thank you for sharing! What a sweet experience for those children involved! Thank you so much for your blog. I read it faithfully ~ it is so inspiring!

Amy June 28, 2011 - 3:59 pm

That is so cool and amazing you got to participate in!!!!

Jennifer June 28, 2011 - 4:22 pm

What an amazing experience! Love all the pictures. Thanks for sharing!

SydneyMin June 28, 2011 - 5:07 pm

Very cool, Shawni!! We can't wait for our Philadelphia Temple to get going 🙂 Groundbreaking is in September!! Woo hoo!

Dennis Tribe June 28, 2011 - 5:08 pm

I have been following your blog since Mother's Day (when I recieved your adorable book as a present) and I love it! When I was in primary, we wrote our names on gold leaf paper and then it was placed in one of the granite blocks in the Bountiful temple. Like I said, I was in primary. I am now 28 with 3.5 kids and I still remember what a testimony builder that was. Plus now I get to tell my kids about it. They think it's pretty cool and will often ask what block it is in. We have fun guessing!!

Ingrid June 28, 2011 - 5:12 pm

Wow. Wow. Wow. Awesome. Just awesome.

stacy June 28, 2011 - 5:16 pm

my two older kids did this at the newport beach temple and their rocks are in the foundation under the baptismal font. the newport temple was actually funded by us members in that district so the whole experience was SO personal the kids know that that temple is ours because we paid for it and their rocks are under the font. i would have LOVED for my two little girls to have that kind of connection to this temple especially since it's only a mile from us. i wonder why my ward didn't do rocks? hmmmm. 🙂 i'm so excited for you girls that you were able to participate in this…SO great!

Daisha June 28, 2011 - 5:19 pm

Wow, what a special experience. I love it. Thanks for sharing!

Lynn June 28, 2011 - 5:57 pm

That is SO cool to see!!

Our city wide Stakes just did that for all the primary children last year here in Calgary. Can't WAIT for our temple to be finished. They just started putting up the stone on the walls this past week. YAY!


Jamie June 28, 2011 - 6:08 pm

Just like "DennisTribe" I was one of those primary kids who wrote on the copper tablets. Those tablets are now in the spire of the Bountiful temple and each time my husband and I pass it I say, "I'm in there. I always will be!" How special!

Heather June 28, 2011 - 6:14 pm

What an awesome idea! My favorite picture was the close-up of the rock pile where you could even make out some of the things that were written on the rocks. So neat!

Your paralyzed friend,

Cindy June 28, 2011 - 6:46 pm

LOVE! What a beautiful idea!

Lynne June 28, 2011 - 7:10 pm

Oh now this is a small world kind of moment — I live in Illinois, but a college friend of mine lives in the Phoenix area and I'm pretty sure it's her daughter's name written on that rock in one of the pictures (but it's not her daughter holding it!). My friend is Nichole Barney and her daughter is Kiley…I'm going to tell myself it's the same one for fun. haha

Megan June 28, 2011 - 8:27 pm

This made me cry. What a sweet memory and moment! I love this idea. What an unforgettable experience all those youth will have to treasure forever!

Jill June 28, 2011 - 8:28 pm


Jessica :) June 28, 2011 - 8:31 pm

What a beautiful idea and special opportunity to be there to witness everything happening. Thank you for sharing this special experience in your lives.

kara jayne June 28, 2011 - 9:09 pm

i love knowing that each of my kids have a rock in there – and me too!! they let me do one since i was in the primary presidency. i must admit that i'm jealous i couldn't be there to witness it. so glad you documented it through pictures!

ChrisKatieKelly June 28, 2011 - 11:19 pm

This absolutely gave me chills and made me tear up. The picture of the all the rocks with what the kids wrote just makes me smile. How neat!!!

The Wonderful World of Wampler June 29, 2011 - 12:26 am

Seeing all of those rocks made me smile. 🙂 What a great idea.


MegJill June 29, 2011 - 1:33 am

What a beautiful idea and experience!

Kelli June 29, 2011 - 3:23 am

Love this idea! I drove past the Brigham City Temple being built a couple of weeks ago, and it's so crazy thinking that such a special place is soon going to be there!


Holly Decker June 29, 2011 - 4:02 am

holy moly that is awesome.

The Longnecker Zoo June 29, 2011 - 1:21 pm

I have chill bumps. What a wonderful thing for a childs testimony to grow everytime they see that building. Love it!

Brooke June 29, 2011 - 3:13 pm

Is this blog launched? Well, I guess that doesn't make any sense. I guess the only way to ask my question is this: do you make money off of your blog, or is it just a hobby?

I'm just curious! 🙂


Natalie June 29, 2011 - 9:57 pm

WOW – that is so amazing and touching – what a simple and yet marvelous way to create a lasting memory. I love it!

Annessa June 30, 2011 - 2:27 am

That is super cool! Our children were able to do that for the Sacramento temple and, though I didn't think they remembered it because they were tiny, they mention it every time we pass Sacramento or talk about temples. "My rock is under there!"

Corinne June 30, 2011 - 11:26 pm

What a beautiful idea! Made me cry at the end.

lori July 1, 2011 - 1:35 am

What a fabulous idea, i agree with many others on here, this made my heart smile and my spirit soar! This should be a tradition, just think of all the temples being built and the kids that could be declaring their testimonies in the foundation, WOW!!!

Jeanne July 1, 2011 - 6:58 am

Oh my goodness I have tears- how very very special for those kids!

Shawni July 1, 2011 - 10:25 pm

Lynne, that totally is Kiley Barney. Nichole and I live in neighboring neighborhoods and were actually college roommates for a little bit so I wonder if you and I ever crossed paths? Anyway, What a small world!

Eyrealm July 2, 2011 - 1:46 am

What a terrific idea! Can I use your pictures for a DN blog?

Lizzie July 5, 2011 - 1:58 am

What a beautiful post.


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