West Jordan, UT--When area resident Scott Jensen returned to his locker after what he called a "drowsy" endowment session in the Jordan River Temple Wednesday night, he found his temple bag missing from where he'd left it on top of the lockers.
"It was a deluxe version my wife gave me this past Christmas," Jensen said. "I was so excited about it, I even agreed to a New Year's resolution to attend the temple once a month. That's pretty hard for me, because I hate seeing movies twice."
Made of leather, the stolen temple bag is equipped with an external hook so it can be hung on a locker cubicle wall. "It had these hinges to hold it open so I could have easy access to all the compartments," Jensen said, "and a zippered place for my packet, and straps to keep the other clothes in place. Man, it even had two perfect little slots for my temple slippers."
Jensen's wife, Alicia, admitted that her husband sometimes needs gimmicks to help him fulfill religious duties. "The elders quorum president can't get him to attend early-morning presidency meetings unless he promises donuts," she said. "The only way I've been able to get him to do personal scripture study is to buy him a Palm Pilot. The minute I spotted that temple bag in the BYU Bookstore, I knew he'd like it."
Alicia, who attends the temple once a week by herself, said she never says the word "temple" out loud when asking Scott to attend. "I've learned to use code words like 'dinner and a movie,'" she says. "We don't need Satan overhearing our plans and hedging up the way to the temple. Last month he ruined our temple night by stopping Scott from finding socks that matched the color of his suit."
Jensen said he would replace the leather temple bag with a polyester version, which can be folded and stored inside the locker. "But I'm definitely going to keep my eye out for my stolen bag," he said. "My fear is that someone is using it as a briefcase."
He added, "You know how shocked you are when you first go to the temple and realize the lockers have actual locks on them? You can't believe they would have to take precautions like that in the Lord's house."