Continued from Fictional Story: Mosiah 4:30.
Tara tossed her books through the open window and onto the front seat of her Toyota Corolla then turned around and leaned against the vehicle. She could see Paul pushing his way through the stream of students. He wore jeans and a black muscle shirt and his brown hair was tousled; a few stray locks hung over his forehead. Wow! He's handsome. Tara waved and Paul hurried over to her car.
"Hey Beautiful, what's up?"
"Not much." Tara shrugged and felt the queasiness begin in her stomach.
Paul wrapped her in a hug and gave her a quick kiss on the lips before moving his attention to her neck. "Jared is having a party at his place tonight. Wanna hang?" he asked as he dotted her neck with kisses.
"I thought we were going to have some time for just me and you. I really need to talk to you, Paul."
"So talk. Why do we have to schedule it?"
Tara moved our of his embrace. "This really isn't the right place or time for what I have to say." She tried to keep the anger out of her voice, but Paul caught it.
"What's with you? You've been so moody lately."
"Please, Paul, not here, not right now!" Tara's eyes filled with tears that she tried to blink away.
"Oh, no," Paul shook his head, "you're not pregnant are you?"
Tara covered her face with her hands and nodded.
Paul kicked at the asphalt. "That's just great. And I suppose you have this idea that you're going to keep it, and we're going to be one big happy family?"
Tara slowly brought her hands away from her face. "Well, I had hoped, since you said you loved me..."
Paul held up one hand. "Wait a minute. I have plans, Tara, and those plans don't include a baby."
"But you said you loved me!" Tara protested.
"Ah, sheesh, Tara, do you know how many girls I've said that to?"
Tara stared at Paul; the pain from the blow he'd just dealt her kept her throat constricted. Tears began to trickle down her cheeks.
"Go ahead, turn on the faucet. I'm outta here." Paul turned on his heel and stalked away.
Tara opened the door and climbed into her car. Her vision was too blurry for her to drive, so she sat with her forehead resting on the steering wheel until her sobs subsided. Then she dabbed at her face with her sleeve and started the car. I hurt like I've never hurt before.
For a while she merely drove, completely unaware of where she was going. But as her troubled thoughts began to settle down, she knew what destination she wanted. She pulled into the Mesa Arizona Temple parking lot near the Visitor's Center and shifted her car into park. Deep green grass stretched in front of her; she remembered the area from her family's visits to the Easter Pageant. Slowly, she opened the door and got out.
You don't belong here. The thought hit her hard, almost knocking the breath out of her, and she almost climbed back into the car. You've messed up really bad; the Lord doesn't want you at his holy temple--you'll defile it. This time, Tara's knees buckled and she sank to the ground; she hugged her knees and tried not to cry. She stood up and lifted her head with determination. This is the Visitor's Center. I don't have to be pure to be here; I just won't go onto the temple grounds.
As she followed the sidewalk up to the Visitor's Center, Tara continued to argue with negative thoughts that seemed determined to prevent her from going any further. When she reached the building she looked through the glass doors and windows and saw the Christus standing with his arms open, welcoming. Tara could see the nail prints in His hands and feet.
Warmth, tingling and comforting, spread through her body. Tara, return to me. Walk the grounds of my temple and feel my rest.
"I will!" she whispered. She gazed into the tranquil reflection pool that separated the temple from the Visitor's Center and marveled at the image of the temple that sparkled in the water. She walked the sidewalks slowly admiring the different varieties of plants and flowers--from the towering palms to the small daisy shrubs. Tara lingered again at the second reflection pool, and then wandered through the small cactus garden. She sat on the cement bench and studied the Organ Pipe cactus. As she sat, she realized that her thoughts had calmed--she no longer felt hopeless; instead, she felt peace. She didn't know what she was going to do, but while she remained on the temple grounds, she knew somehow everything would be okay, eventually.