Did you watch the Provo City Center Temple cultural celebration yesterday? I hope you did. I got to go to the Marriott Center to watch it live, and it was fantastic. Then today I had the glorious opportunity to watch the dedication of the Provo City Center Temple, formerly the Provo Tabernacle. I want to take this time to write a little memoir of this beloved building.


To begin with, I have several special memories going to stake conference in the tabernacle. It was the only time we ever drove to church, and the benches were the most uncomfortable benches I’ve ever sat on for two hours straight. I also sang the Mozart Requiem there with my high school choir and other chamber choirs from Utah, under the direction of Mack Wilberg. Pretty awesome experience. I always thought it was the prettiest building in Provo.

Then on December 17, 2010, the gem of Provo caught fire, and the entire interior was demolished to ashes.


It went from this

to this.
burnt inside

We all mourned its loss, and wondered how Heavenly Father could possibly allow this to happen to one of His sacred buildings. The following Conference, President Monson gave one of the greatest announcements we’ve ever heard:

I was living in Hawaii at the time of this announcement, so I was watching Conference by myself on my bed at 6:00 in the morning. Let’s just say tears were shed. Loudly. For a good 20 minutes. #joy #tendermercy #beautyforahses #Hisplan #grateful

Then the tabernacle went from this

to this.

Stunning. When we all asked why, we didn’t know He had a bigger, better plan for our tabernacle. I know it is the same with our lives– when tragedy strikes, and we figuratively catch fire, it’s because Heavenly Father has a bigger, better plan for us. I know that to be true. He makes beauty from ashes.