Sunday, June 29, 2008

Marriage for Eternity

In the last two months, my wife and I had the opportunity to attend three weddings. All three were beautiful and a time to rejoice. It was easy to see that each couple loved each other very much.

The first wedding was of my oldest niece, Taereese, and her sweetheart, Jace. They were married in an LDS chapel by Taereese's bishop. It was surreal to see her get married, especially since some of my siblings haven't yet gotten married.

The second wedding was of one of my wife's roommates and best friends from college, Monica. Monica was married in the Cathedral of the Magdalene . It was the first Catholic wedding I've attended. The ceremony was beautiful. And I enjoyed learning about the traditions of another faith. My favorite part of the wedding was the singing of the Cantor. He had a beautiful tenor voice, and it added to the solemnity of the occasion.

The third wedding was of one of my wife's cousins, Erin. Erin and her husband, Brandon, were married for Time and All Eternity in the Salt Lake Temple. It was good to be reminded of what happens during a Temple wedding. When my wife and I were married, it was hard to pay attention to the ceremony because of all of the emotions that washed over me. So I did my best to listen during Erin's wedding.

And I felt something different at Erin's wedding that I didn't feel at Taereese's or Monica's. There was a Power in the air during the ceremony. I felt it from my feet to the crown of my head, and my heart burned within me.

Let me take a minute to describe a little about a Temple marriage for the benefit of those of you who have never had the opportunity to attend one. A couple that wishes to be married in the Temple must be worthy and receive a recommend from their local Priesthood leaders. If a couple is not married in the Temple, they still can go to the Temple to be "sealed" (married) for Time and All Eternity later in their lives.
A Temple marriage is simple. There are no marches or processions. Fathers don't give away their daughters. And there is no music. Family members and friends of the couple who are worthy to enter the Temple gather in a "Sealing Room" and wait for the couple to be brought into the room. A sealing room has an altar in the middle of it, and on opposite walls, there are mirrors which reflect infinitely into each other. The couple is brought in, and the officiator, someone we call a sealer, gives the couple words of advice.

After finishing his advice, the sealer instructs the couple to kneel across from each other at the altar and take each other by the right hand. He then marries the couple for Time and All Eternity, promising them the blessings of Eternal Life. The ordinance lasts only a few minutes. Then the couple, family, and friends leave the Temple for traditional festivities such as pictures and receptions.

Like all weddings, Temple weddings are times of rejoicing and love. But I realize the difference I felt at Erin's wedding was the "Sealing Power" which comes through the Atonement of Jesus Christ and enables families to be together forever. It is a real power that I have felt.

I testify that families can be together forever through the fulness of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

To invite missionaries to your home to discuss how you can be with your family forever, click here.


mistyp said...

Very nice post, My Craigy! I love you forever!

Bryce Haymond said...

Thank you for this post on the temple and eternal marriage. Well done.