The Counselor in the Bishopric reverently concluded his testimony and said, “Amen”. A resounding evangelical “Amen” rose up from the congregation. I didn’t need to look to know that it was my son who shouted it.
Raising a special needs child in the church is an adventure.
One Sunday when Elijah was in his pirate stage (pirate clothes, pirate books, and pirate movies), we sat in front of a good brother that was suffering from orofacial cancer. He had a prosthetic nose and a black eye patch. I should have been quicker on my feet; Elijah started to jump up and down and before I could cover his mouth, he shouted, “A pirate!!! A pirate!!!”
But there was also the day Elijah stood in testimony meeting and said, “I know Jesus and one day he will heal me”, or when Elijah blessed the sacrament and even men broke down and cried.
Years ago, the deacons in our ward accepted the Stake President’s challenge to go to the temple once a week and do baptisms for the dead. So when Elijah turned twelve, I took him to the Draper temple on Tuesday morning with the other boys. My trepidation quickly turned to gratitude as the temple workers patiently served Elijah. They showed me how I could baptize him by going straight down instead of back into the water. They allowed us to use a reserved, more spacious locker so I could assist Elijah in getting dressed.
One week turned into two, and weeks turned into months, and months have turned into years. On April 6th, Elijah will turn 19 and we will commemorate 7 years of Temple Tuesdays. We have grown to love our temple workers; they are the very best. They are always very kind to me, but Elijah is like a celebrity on Tuesday mornings in the temple.
Admittedly, I worry that Elijah has grown too comfortable in the temple; trying to swim in the font is really not okay. Certainly nobody has more style when it comes to being baptized. He has proven that there really are a thousand ways to go under. I see the smiles of the temple workers and suppose that the Lord is also smiling.
It’s curious that Elijah was named after the prophet who restored the sealing power of the temple. The temple has turned my heart to Elijah and his heart to me. We don’t know what the future will bring, but we expect one thing not to change … Elijah and me and Temple Tuesday.
Intrigued by Elijah’s story? Just click on his father’s name above to see the other Essays he has written.