On the first of March, 2014, I had the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to participate in the cultural celebration for the Gilbert, Arizona Temple. There were over twelve-thousand youth participating and it was such an amazing testimony building experience. It was a lot of tedious work to get there but the result was definitely worth it. I would not trade a single minute of my time participating in this event.
Before the event I spent many, many hours learning all the steps to the dance, (we were a part of the fire dance), sewing our Babylonian costumes, learning the chords and strumming patterns to the ukulele song, “How Can I Be,” and learning the lyrics to all the songs we would be singing. The first few weeks were spent with our ward, moving up to stake level, and then one day we had all 12,000 youth gathered to practice for this event. I was so excited to be able to perform for the prophet of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
On the day of the event, the weather forecast had predicted a ninety percent chance of rain, and I kept thinking to myself, “It won’t rain, too many people put in too much time for it to rain. Heavenly Father won’t let it rain.” And for the morning rehearsal up until dinner it didn’t rain. There was a ring of rain clouds all around us, but the sun shone down upon us, like the heavens were rejoicing with us for our temple celebration. Right before we were to perform however, the rains came down and there was a cold downpour. It was amazing how much rain came down, especially living in Arizona. We stood in the pouring rain, waiting, hoping that even though it was wet and cold, that President Monson would still be able to make it to our performance. All of the youth had such high spirits and some even started singing song like “There is Sunshine in My Soul Today.” When he finally came we all cheered and rejoiced that the prophet of the Lord came to see us. It was so amazing at how eager we were to perform even though it was freezing cold and pouring rain. You could feel the Holy Spirit so strong as we stood out on the field and performed for the living prophet of God.
After we returned home, over the next couple of days I kept pondering on the question, “Why did it rain right then? Why couldn’t it rain the next day?” Then I came upon the scripture Matthew 2:25. “And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house and it fell not, for it was founded upon a rock.” The rain descended upon us and the field was flooding, but our spirits were not drowned in the water, they only grew stronger. The youth did not falter because our testimonies were all built upon the rock of our savior, Jesus Christ. My testimony was strengthened tremendously. Even though the storms of the adversary may beat upon me, they will not tear me down for my foundation is upon the rock of Jesus Christ. I know that this gospel is true and that I am a child of Abraham and will fulfill his covenants. I choose this day to be a disciple of Christ and to be like him. I know that we are children of God called to serve in this day and bring children unto him that we may all be saved. This cultural celebration strengthened my testimony and changed my life. I know we have a living prophet on the earth today to lead and guide us.