How a Drowned Laptop Taught Me the Miracles of the Temple

In the September 1995 Ensign, President James E. Faust wrote:

“Satan is offended when we use that [temple] recommend, going to the temple to partake of the spiritual protection it affords. How often do we plan to go to the temple, only to have all kinds of hindrances arise to stop us from going? The devil always has been offended by our temple worship.”

Such was the quote that ran through my mind on a Friday evening when I scooped my laptop from a bucket of water by the living room couch and held it dripping in my hand.

I turned to my husband, who was standing in the doorway with his jaw dropped. “We have to go to the temple,” I said.

That had been the plan all along, but one thing after another was pushing us up against the clock for the last session. I guess that Satan thought that if our losing keys and a temple bag hadn’t yet hindered us, baptizing my laptop might do the trick.

I wrapped my laptop in a towel, dumped a container of rice over the keyboard, and we were out the door. We ran—literally—to the temple and sat down just in time.

In the rush of getting to the temple, I hadn’t really let the magnitude of the incident sink in.  Thinking back over the evening’s events, I realized that my laptop had to have been sitting in that bucket of water for over an hour. To make matters worse, it had been plugged in. Even I know that water and electricity are not a good mix.

Thoughts of what were on that laptop flooded my mind. Almost certainly lost were years’ worth of writing projects—including a novel I’d written for my brother as a Christmas present and my capstone Honors thesis for my Bachelor’s degree. There was also the slideshow of pictures we’d shown at our wedding, which we’d tried numerous times to back up and couldn’t because of computer glitches.

But sitting in the temple, all thoughts of what I’d surely lost vanished from my mind. As I reflected on the covenants I’d made and the promised blessings of eternity, it didn’t seem to matter.

It was a special experience for me because a laptop, keys, and a temple bag weren’t the only things we’d recently lost. Just two weeks before we’d lost a pregnancy at 12 weeks, and my heart was still tender for that little baby we couldn’t yet meet. I needed to be in the temple that night.

The laptop incident became a good reminder that opposition often flies before goodness, growth, and healing, and that the things that are truly important are those that last forever.

Joseph Smith said, “All your losses will be made up to you in the resurrection, provided you continue faithful" (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, p. 296).

Although such promises don’t erase the pain of loss, they do provide hope. We believe that this life is but a sentence in the book of eternity and that death and missed opportunities are only temporarily closed doors. The temple reminds us of these truths. When we leave the temple, we leave armed with God’s power and the blessing that angels will be around us to bear us up (D&C 109:22).

About a week later, I bought a new laptop. I entered my icloud information and, to my astonishment, everything that had been on my old laptop magically reappeared on the screen before me. Every. Single. Thing. To me, it was nothing short of a miracle. Although my laptop and the things stored thereon were only of temporal value, I felt prompted that it was a symbol and further testament of the truth of that promise, "All your losses will be made up." 

So next time there’s a road closure, or your car breaks down, or a family argument breaks out just before your scheduled temple trip, just remember that the strength, hope, and power you seek are waiting inside God’s holy house. Your efforts to get there will be rewarded.

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