Every morning Tuesday through Friday, Scharre Munson wakes up, feeds her cat Mittens, gets ready, and goes to the temple. Laie community members and BYU-Hawaii students help Munson get to the temple so she in turn can help others beyond the veil.
Munson uses a wheelchair to get around due to cerebral palsy. She said she asks people to push her to the temple everyday around noon. She then stays at the temple until as late as 6:30 p.m. doing sealings, initiatory, and the 4 p.m. session. Tuesday through Thursday she indexes at the Family History Center until the closing time of 8 p.m.
Elaine McArthur, a Spanish and EIL instructor, said, “I don’t know when she started going to the temple everyday. She would stay from morning to night if she could.”
Munson said in 1998 she would do up to six sessions a day. “I tell people in the temple that if I wasn’t Mormon, I’d probably be a Catholic nun because I’m trying to do the work of the Lord,” she said with a chuckle. “But then I would need to see the [LDS] missionaries.” Now Munson sticks to the 4 p.m. mobility impaired session.
Faye Munson, Scharre’s mother, said, “We’re proud of her–all the work that she does, all the people she helps do the work for. That’s something they can’t do for themselves. She encourages all of us. Anybody that spends that much time has to be devoted.”
McArthur said she became part of “team Scharre” three years ago when her neighbor, who usually pushed Scharre to the temple, got sick. “She asked if I could fill in, and so I’ve been doing it ever since,” said McArthur.
“I’m so committed to the idea that whenever you can do something for someone who can’t do it for themselves, that’s the spirit of temple work. This enables her to do that for someone else who cannot do it for themselves. By extension, you’re helping temple work get done.”
Whether it be enabling Munson to get to the temple or Munson enabling those beyond the veil to have access to ordinances, McArthur said she believes in the value of serving. McArthur also said Munson returns the favor of taking her to the temple by doing ordinances for McArthur’s family names.
Along with the community and ward members, BYUH students have played a large role in helping bring Munson to the temple, said Munson. Student Mary Elizabeth Deyro takes her to the Family History Center and BYUH on Sundays, Mondays, and Saturdays. At BYUH, Munson said she uses the wifi to do family history and indexing work.
“She desires to live fully. ... I admire her tenacity with her own goals. She’s very positive. She’s a very grateful person. It can be frustrating when you have to rely on other people, but she’s pretty resilient and positive,” said McArthur.
Munson told a story of a military man she met in the temple. “He said I’m an inspiration to all.” She said she was thanking the man for his service to the country when he said she was did so much more. “It made me feel good because he’s fighting for our country and that he would say that was really nice.”
With many experiences to build her testimony, Munson said, “One time my veil kept on getting untied, but it wasn’t me that was doing that. So I think it was a person. Either they wanted me to know they were there or they didn’t want the work.”
Scharre’s father is Lloyd Munson, a retired BYUH accounting professor. He said of his daughter, “I think she was an inspiration to her sister to get her endowments. She wasn’t afraid to encourage her. Scharre is very forthright about encouraging [her other siblings] too, and I think all of them are proud of Scharre. She contributes greatly to the family. When some of the grandchildren would pick her up at night, they supported her. Scharre is a very special part of the family. She’s a really special spirit.”
Her mother added Scharre’s desire to serve is rooted in her knowledge of the scriptures. “I think a lot of it just came from herself. She wanted to do it and that’s the good thing about Scharre that she persists.”
Her mother said even as a child with a disability, Scharre was motivated to be active. “She wanted to do things, and at first she just crawled all over. Then she got crutches. Then she could walk over to BYUH on her crutches. Now that she’s in a wheelchair, Sister McArthur has been trying to help her do yoga and different things.