By Cecily Markland
It was a grueling, six-hour, 57-mile bike ride across the Valley, as members of the priest quorum of the Greenfield 1st Ward, Chandler East Stake, completed what they called “Tour de Temples.” The six young men and four leaders started at the Gilbert Temple, proceeded to the Mesa Temple and then continued on to the finish line at the Phoenix Temple.
“It was so far, it was overwhelming,” says Chad Thompson, Young Men’s President. Yet, he adds, “The young men learned about helping each other, persevering through it, even though they had doubts at first. Relying on each other, we were able to accomplish our goal.”
Ammon Krauser, 18, says, “I like to work. I like challenges,” but, one aspect of the ride made it seem longer and much harder than he anticipated. “Our tires kept going out,” he says. “We’d have to stop and fix them and then get going again.” Ammon says, “One of my friends stayed with me and helped me through the ride.” Then, “just as we came over the top of the hill and, it really was like, right over that hill, we saw the [Phoenix] temple and I was motivated to finish.”
“It was definitely easier with my quorum there,” says Jacob Fisher, 16. “We don’t have to do things alone. Often going through things with friends and family make that trial easier.”
Seventeen-year-old Tristan Nell, says the Tour de Temples, “was actually not as hard as I thought it would be.” Yet, he adds, it was the slow and steady, 13-mile-per-hour pace they kept “that actually made it pretty easy.”
Tristan says, like other things in life, “Small, simple steps help to make a big process easy.” He says he learned, “You can’t expect to have zero preparation and then do something good. You can’t procrastinate and try to do it all at the last second.”
Dallin Thompson, 17, agrees. He says, he learned, “You have to persevere. Some things present more challenges than others. We have to keep going.”
He adds that he was impressed “with the spirit and excitement that was displayed as we got to each individual temple. I distinctly remember as we approached the Phoenix Temple, a gradual incline arose, this alone made me realize it’s not an easy feat to make it to the temple and the adversary tends to inflict the greatest challenges in our way to sway us off our vital journey to salvation.”
Brother Thompson says he learned powerful lessons right along with the young men.
“The crowning moment for me was at the very end. There’s a half-mile stretch, a steep hill, on 59th Avenue. At the top of that, it drops off and you see the Phoenix Temple. It was kind of overcast, but a ray of light was shining right through on the temple.”
“It was beautiful,” he continues. “It was a difficult journey, but at the end, we knew a lot of good things were working for us. It was a beautiful ending.