Many years ago, one of the LDS temples was built in St. Louis, Missouri. My husband, Gary, (a pastor, but definitely not an LDS pastor!), wanted to view it before it was closed to the public. You see, the Mormon church allows a period of time for the public to take a tour of any new temple before they dedicate it and close it to everyone who isn’t a somebody in the Mormon church. So we packed up our three kiddos, who at the time were 6, 3, and an infant, and headed over to the “sacred grounds.”
One of the first things we saw after we parked and approached the temple, was the terribly long lines. But even stranger than that was what they were handing out to every spectator–slippers. You know the kind–those lovely stretchy hospital slippers–that we had to wear over our shoes before entering. Okay, I thought, no problem–yet.
When we finally made it into the building, we were taken through this amazing structure that had every detail in place. The place was decorated mainly in heavenly colors of white, off-white and whitest white–hence, the slippers were finally making sense.
They took us through various rooms and levels. We saw the baptismal pool for the dead, we saw the laundry room where the holy underwear is washed, we saw a grand selection of portraits of Jesus in just about every conceivable situation–some of course, that didn’t quite jive with our Baptist beliefs, but I digress.
I must say that being on this tour as the mother of two tots and one infant added a very interesting dimension to my experience. The one I was holding, the infant, began to emit a very distinct odor. Those of you who are young moms know it without hesitation! But that wasn’t the worst part, my middle son, the three year old began to dance that very unfortunate dance that warns all who are near that a bladder is about to explode. I began to watch like a “hawk on steroids” for the closest bathroom on our route, but alas, there was none to be found. You know, I’m not sure if Mormons even go to the bathroom in those temples. There’s quite a mystique that I think they try to keep in place when entering their “holy of holies.”
Once we emerged from the temple, my husband found it impossible to resist sharing his faith/beliefs, or at least, arguing with one of the young Mormon missionaries that greeted us at the end of our trek. I hoped that his efforts would wrap up quickly, but as time wore on and the smell began to overwhelm me–as well as, everyone near us–I began to look for a port-a-potty or something in the parking lot. I scanned feverishly only to have my three year old reminding me, once again, that he too needed the rest that only a room could provide.
In desperation, I decided to head for the van and perhaps find a grassy spot where my son could discretely “unburden” himself. But when I looked down and saw the beautifully manicured grass, with practically every blade standing in perfect orderliness and attention, I felt that I just couldn’t defile it. Actually I worried that if I did the Mormon lawn security officers would emerge with sirens blaring.
So I felt that my only option was our van. And once inside, I quickly scoped it out for a back-up plan. Then my eyes caught sight of something very helpful. I saw my husband Gary’s “Big Gulp” in the cup-holder. I scooped it up and handed the “Not-So-Full-Gulp” back to my squirming son to fill ‘er back up. Once he had done the deed, I made my biggest mistake. I placed the lid back on the cup and put it back in the cup-holder. After all, as I mentioned before, defiling the grass was still a major concern.
Now my attention quickly turned to my next emergency–changing my infants diaper–just as my husband returned to the van. You already know what’s coming don’t you! Well, the problem was that my husband didn’t. I was too busy wiping my baby’s bottom to notice that Gary was rapidly reaching for the “Big Gulp” he had left in the cup-holder! In the split second that Gary lifted the cup to his lips our three year old yelled at the top of his lungs, “Daddy, I peed in that cup!” Unfortunately, the time that it took for my son to utter his warning was not enough time for my husband to stop. So he did, indeed, get a slight, but very disgusting, sip of the dreaded pee!
It was one of those times when I knew that I should have chosen a better strategy. It definitely wasn’t a pleasant ending to our time at the beautiful temple, but regardless, it certainly made it a memorable one!