27 April 2013

Families in the Temple

Mother and Daughter

Saturdays are the biggest and best day of the week in the temple. People come from far and wide and the temple block is always teeming with families. A week ago Saturday I got lucky and was able to work with three beautiful families.

The first was a sister who was going through the temple for the first time to be sealed to her husband immediately after the session. What made this more interesting than usual was that her mother was also going through for the first time--I kept thinking how sweet it would be to prepare for that day as mother and daughter. It became even more unique when I realized that the sister escorting the bride had come through for the first time herself only a couple of months before.

Family of Five

I found the three children huddled together with their arms around each other on two straight-backed chairs in the foyer of the temple. There were two girls, 16 and 13, and one boy, 11. The space was really too small for the three of them, but in their excitement and anticipation they wouldn't be parted. When I told them it was time to go back, their faces exploded with smiles. It was obvious that their family had prepared very carefully for this day and its special promises. They reverently followed me to the sealing room where we waited until the sealer invited them into the room. After they were sealed to their parents, the sealer had the family gather and look into the temple mirrors. They stood with arms around each other as the sealer taught them about the pre-existence, our life here on earth, and the great potential of the eternities that stretch before us. As he spoke, the family physically drew closer and closer until they almost literally became one as arms embraced and tightened around one another. The spirit was palpable and their happiness could not be contained. That family will never forget what they learned and what they felt during the sealing. 

Change of Heart

The last family I worked with had one daughter about 14 and another about 10. The oldest daughter was not interested in being there--every particle of her body language expressed resistance, disinterest and even some resentment at having spent so many hours waiting in the temple. The youngest daughter was thrilled with the whole experience and seemed to drink in every detail of her time in the temple. When I took them back, I felt like I was dragging the 14 year old and chasing down the 10-year-old. We waited outside the sealing room for a few minutes and then they entered. As I watched the sealing, a miracle literally took place before my eyes. The resentful, disinterested 14 year old began to soften. By the end of the sealing, she was weeping openly and seemed confused as to why. This family also stood before the mirrors and the parents wrapped their arms around the children as the sealer spoke. The older daughter's countenance began to soften even more and she suddenly turned and wrapped her arms around first her mother and then her father, weeping and hugging and weeping and hugging. I thought she would never let go of them. She came out of the sealing room a completely different person and returned to the front of the temple with a spring in her step and a light in her eyes. Oh, how I hope she can keep what she felt with her forever!

1 comment:

  1. What lovely and touching stories, I loved reading them. Thank you.