Jun 22, 2009

What Will She Say When I See Her?

by Joyce DiPastena

So last Wednesday, our Relief Society had a temple day, and I had to go because I’m Relief Society president. Not that I didn’t want to go…I did! It’s just that I’d had several late nights in a row, and was so very sleepy on Wednesday, and sure enough, my worst fears came true. All started off hopefully enough. I thought I was going to be okay at first. Then my eyes became a little droopy. I’ve fought that before, and furthermore, I consoled my guilt with the fact that even one of the temple workers (bless her!) had clearly nodded off for several minutes. (I was sitting in the second row, so she couldn’t fool me!) But then my eyes started crossing. When they begin to do that, I know I’m in serious trouble. Sleep will not be far behind! Desperately, I reached in the pocket of my temple dress and pulled out a Werther’s hard caramel. Now that’s taken care of my sleepiness in the past. (Although sometimes it takes two Werther’s or more to “take care” of it.) But this time, to my horror, my body was so sleepy, my mouth refused even to suck on the candy. It just lay there like a stone on my tongue. (A nicely flavorful stone, but still…) I knew I was lost. I struggled. I “rested my eyes”. The session went by in a flash (and a bit of a blur). Needless to say, I walked out of the temple that day with my head hung low in guilt and shame.

It was hard afterward not to scold myself with the thought, “You might as well not have even gone to the temple!” But despite my sleepy failures, I know I got something out of the session. Memories of covenants and commitments were somehow refreshed in my mind, in spite of myself. And, I kept insisting, however I might have failed myself, my ancestress, Anna Maria Ulisse had received her endowments that day!

Yet now, several days later, I still find myself wondering: When I meet Anna Maria someday, will she thank me for attending the temple and making it possible for her to receive her endowments? Or will she say to me instead in disappointment, “That was the best day of my existence! I was so excited! And I can’t believe you slept through the whole thing!”


  1. I shouldn't laugh Joyce but I am. I think the only time I haven't catnapped at the temple was my first time and when I have been an escort. Other than that, to my utter dismay, I have caught a few winks. I echo your feelings at least I was there.

  2. I think we all experience that at one time or another...or should I say frequently. I use life saver mints to keep awake...and sometimes having a question on my mind for which I am looking for answer helps...but when you 're that tired...I don't think anything helps!

  3. Oddly, I went to the temple on Friday and nodded off and had the most incredible glimpse. I'm not sure whether I was really asleep but it was very powerful. Anyway, I think if we're open and there we can still get blessings.

  4. Wednesday is my day to work the early morning shift. Wish I could have seen you.

    Yes, I've catnapped at times, and felt guilty, but sometimes I get glimpses of further understanding, and occasionally a feeling of what I call "pure joy" sneaks up on me without warning.

    Next time you feel sleepy, try initiatory instead of a session. It's much more difficult to fall asleep there, and so very rewarding.

  5. I love doing initiatories, Anna! You're right, I never get sleepy there. I'd do them all the time if I could, but then Anna Maria Ulisse still wouldn't have her endowments. :-(

  6. I fall asleep there more than I care to admit. There will be a lot of family members asking me why I slept through their sessions.

  7. Hmmm . . . do we really know the answer? Just like anything in our life, the Lord knows our heart and our intentions. He knows what a tough week we have had. I have a feeling we are awefully hard onourselves at times when it isn't necessary. There is so much peace in the temple, and if our body is there,our spirit and soul are there. This HAS TO COUNT FOR SOMETHING!

  8. Good points, Cindy, because I have certainly "been there, done that." I'm sure your aunt will be thrilled when she sees you, Joyce!!! Nice post.


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