18June2000 #0025.html

Dallas Temple

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Dear Paul and Kate, Melanie and Jared Wright, Bridget, Rob, Ben and Sarah, Sara, Heather and Nate Pace, Audrey, Rachel, and Matt via hardcopy,

cc: file, Tony Hafen, Pauline Nelson via mail, Sara and Des Penny, Claude and Katherine Warner, Lloyd and Luana Warner, Diane Cluff, Maxine Shirts via mail.

Welcome to "Thoughtlets." This is a weekly review of an idea, belief, thought, or words that will hopefully be of some benefit to you, my children, with an electronic copy to on-line extended family members. Any of you can ask me not to clutter your mail box at any time.

"The Dallas Temple has always been special to me. Maybe it is because when I came on my one interview trip, which was to Texas, (../9735.html), and Terry Daw and I finished our interviews and as (to quote from a 1997 Thoughtlet) `we left Mobil I gave the cab driver the address of the church on Turtle Creek Boulevard and had him drive up into the parking lot. The feeling of being at home I had as we drove into that parking lot determined for me my first job would go to work in Dallas.' I recently learned that Terry has retired from Arco and has moved to St. George. I need to look him up when we go to Paul's reception. That church on Turtle Creek Boulevard was the Dallas Temple of my young married life.

Maybe it is because when we moved to Dallas I found my real interest and effort was not at work, rather it was in church service. I found myself regularly doing 40 hours of church work a week, in addition to putting in my time at Mobil. Mobil was big and bureaucratic and they didn't care what I did as long as I was there. Serving as Young Men's President, Elders Quorum President, and Ward Clerk provided an opportunity for service where I could make a real difference and see changes in people's lives. In those days the Dallas 1st Ward boundaries went up Stemmons (I-35 East) to Forrest Lane, down Preston to Walnut Hill, over to Central (I-45) and south of downtown to where the cutoff from I-35 met I-45. The congregation was about 1/3 Mexican Americans, 1/3 students (dentists, doctors, lawyers, and business school graduate students), and 1/3 split between the rich and famous in Highland Park and yuppies like me (Young Upwardly-Mobile Professionals). When I was Elders Quorum President for about two years, they had not been able to get an Elders Quorum President to stay in the calling for more than 6 months for several years, we had 120 Prospective Elders with 2 attending church, we had 12% of our congregation move in and out of the ward each month, we had not had over 20% home teaching in years (we got it above 50%), there were serious crimes involving some of the members living in all of the apartments in that part of town, etc. My experience with church service had a significant impact, and reinforced many ideas that are maturing under the name of Walden 3-D, Inc. It was the same kind of selfless service that is performed on behalf of others in the Dallas Temple,

Maybe it was because Dallas was when and where, with two of my Advisors (assistants to the Elders Quorum Presidency who helped with Home Teaching), Ed Gray and Richard Holtry, we formed Computer Genealogical Services (../9720.html, ../9728.html, ../9814.html, ../9816.html, ../9846.html, ../9902.html, ../9904.html, ../9933.html, ../9950.html, and ../9951.html). It was a business failure, and I ended up with a nice computer typed book with 8 generations of our genealogy typed out. I would like to resurrect this work at some time in the future. Prior to this work I really did not know about, nor understand the significant heritage we are blessed with. It became part of me, and I felt more than ever the responsibility of building on the shoulders of Bengt Nelson, John George Hafen, Roice Bengt Nelson, Paul Adolph Hafen, etc. We are all tied together by eternal covenants and ordinances, and I really grew to understand my role in `turning the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse' (quoting the last words from the prophets in the Old Testament). This after all is the purpose of the Dallas Temple.

Maybe it is because Roice and Melanie were on the trip to do baptisms for the dead at the Dallas Temple when Ray West had a man walk in front of his car on the I-45 freeway coming home, killing him, stranding a group of kids who had spent a day of service to their fellow-men, and creating all kinds of emotional issues for those who had to reconcile experience and tragedy with a loving God. Maybe it is because the Dallas Temple is where I went with Paul to take out his endowments (../9902.html). Maybe it is because of the special experiences associated commiting to donating to the building of the Dallas Temple, and then actually being reseated in the second row in the celestial room when President Hinkley dedicated the Dallas Temple (0015.html). Probably the Dallas Temple is special to me because of all of these and many other reasons and feelings which I can not find the right words to express.

Certainly, if for no other reason, the Dallas Temple is special to me thanks to being able to participate in an endowment session with Andrea, and then go into Sealing Room 4 to participate in my 4th child's, Melanie's, and her fiancee Jared Wright's, wedding and sealing as an eternal family. I could not say the words better than Sara did at Melanie and Jared's reception on Saturday night. Melanie, when you came out of the temple you glowed. I noticed how Kate had shined at the Timpanogas Temple a day short of two weeks earlier. It was overpowering for me how my daughter glowed in the sealing session, as pictures were taken in front of the temple, and at her reception. As Melanie and I did the traditional dance Saturday night she said `Dad, I'm sorry I forgot to tell you about this.' I smiled. We talked about the song I wrote for her on 09 August 1981:

`Chorus: Little girls make Dads high With a laugh and a loving sigh A little hug or a falling tear And father's melt and forget the years 1: Melanie, I love you Can't you see what I want you to do To grow straight and grow tall To set your path while you are yet small 2: Melanie, you're growing so fast I wonder how long your cuteness will last The games you play, the things you do Become the very essence of you 3: Melanie, you are an example For your sister, Sara, to sample Choose the right so when she follows You feel good and not all hollow'

Melanie, as I held you in my arms, and as we floated around the Katy Ward gym floor, where we had so many good experiences over the years, you truly glowed. As I was editing the digital pictures, it was interesting how often there was too much light for the camera, and your face is radiating. I don't think we have camera's to pick up an aura yet. However, I will always look back on this week and recall what I experienced. Certainly as you read this you can understand why the Dallas Temple is special to me.

My week was pretty uneventful, when compared to the last couple of days at and tied to the Dallas Temple. Monday there was a meeting down at Exxon-Mobil on OTC-2001 and the Immersive Environment seminar I am in the process of organizing. The missionaries came to dinner in the evening. They had a car and so we didn't pick them up. I sang `Froggie Learns the Gospel' to them. There is always a lot of work to do each day, and yet sometimes I can't recall what was done. Andrea had Relief Society on Tuesday night. Wednesday we had a meeting planning for the Gulf Coast Association of Geological Societies seminar on Immersive Environments in October. For the Venturing Crew we talked about Deed Restrictions and what is involved in getting permission to build certain types of houses in the exclusive subdivisions encompassed by our ward. The scouts were over at the Firestation, and we couldn't find Austin's little brother so we did not go take pictures of potential sites. Thursday's Sales Forecast Meeting was cancelled because Dave Ridyard and Peter Duncan were out of town. Tom Frantes of Exxon-Mobil Upstream Research postponed meeting with me again. We did have a good SEG preparation meeting. Thursday evening Paul and I gave Kate a blessing, since she had come down with bronchitus as a result of being wiped out after two weeks of travel.

Friday morning Andrea, Audrey, Amy Williams, and myself left the house at 4:00 in the morning for Dallas. We drove straight to Ben and Sarah's. Sarah had just arrived with the flowers from Tyler. Ben and Sara were messing around. There was nothing for us to help with, so Andrea and I went over to the Dallas Temple to do an endowment session while Amy and Audrey did vicarious baptisms for the dead. Our endowment session started 10 minutes late and we were a few minutes later than everyone but Melanie and Jared in getting to the sealing room. It was somewhat surreal walking into a room full of people, over half of whom I had never met, and shaking Jared's Father's hand for the first time and introducing myself. The Sealer was from Denton, and he had a wonderful sense of humor. When he asked Melanie if she could remember the commitments she made when she took out her endowment the week before (0024.html) and she said `we are going to come back often' I felt real good. He said a lot of funny things. For instance, he pointed out how when he left the temple the other day to drive back to Denton his wife asked if he wanted a drink. He said no, and when they got home his wife said `You are the tightest person I have ever known,' and then he realized she wanted to stop for a drink. His advice was good, and the spirit he brought to the ceremony was wonderful.

There were forgotten tuxedos, a quick run to Ben and Sarah's, flowers that wouldn't stay on, a cameraman who had to wait, and every thing turned out wonderful. There was certainly the potential for emotional disaster as we stood in front of the Dallas Temple. However, everyone wanted it to be special for Melanie and Jared and I thought it was just about as perfect as it could be. The ride back to Houston was uneventful, other than Naomi Wright Williams rode back with us. Most of the passengers slept, and Andrea and I took turns driving. We went to Mission Impossible-2 in the evening. I liked the action, and it seemed pretty shallow to me. Photography reminded me of Cider House Rules, and at least the message wasn't as obviously pro-abortion as that movie. Maybe my reaction was related to having been at the Dallas Temple in the morning. Saturday morning Andrea and I helped decorate the Katy building gym for Melanie and Jared's reception. I had the really tall ladder (40 foot) fall on me and have some really big bruises on my right arm. The gym looked nice. Marti even got the basketball hoops fixed so they tied in to the decorations. The pictures and movie files tell the story of the evening better than my words can (http://www.walden3d.com/photos/Family/05_JaredMelanie/).

It was a perfect evening, until a couple of irritations after the clean-up. I discovered someone stuck a thumbtack through my several thousand dollar silver and gold Monte Blanc pen (../9945.html). Guess it is a good thing I don't care about these kind of trappings. Then as I was taking plants and stuff out to the car Marti's mother, Robbye Chloe Llewellyn Sharp Jackson, confronted me and it ended up with both of us feeling verbally attacked. I responded with short, what I consider factual and non-judgemental responses, and as she proceeded to go into detailed descriptions of why `everything is my fault' I said `And who is judging whom?,' walked off, got Andrea, and we left. I know it was hard for Grandma Jackson to once again not be at the actual wedding ceremony of someone she loves. I am sorry she was and is so angry. I must admit it was the first time in a long time I have found myself letting someone get to me. I am sorry I still find myself becoming angry in certain circumstances. Thank goodness I didn't say anything in anger. I was suprised later to hear some of the things I supposedly said, which I did not. Thank goodness it happened after Melanie and Jared left. And thank goodness Andrea is here to help me see past the moment and to keep a reasonable perspective. I realize Andrea's support is one of the key blessings associated with family, love, sustaining, and the spirit of places like the Dallas Temple."

I'm interested in sharing weekly a "thoughtlet" (little statements of big thoughts which mean a lot to me) with you because I know how important the written word can be. I am concerned about how easy it is to drift and forget our roots and our potential among all of distractions of daily life. To download any of these thoughtlets go to http://www.walden3d.com/thoughtlets or e-mail me at rnelson@walden3d.com.

With all my love,
(H. Roice Nelson, Jr.)

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Copyright © 2000 H. Roice Nelson, Jr.