Part One: Why We’re Getting Married Civilly, and then Sealed in the Temple

Wow, it feels like an eternity since I’ve posted on our blog. As the wedding approaches faster than lightening (THIS WEEK BABY!) I can’t help but feel so grateful for all of the love and support that so many friends, and family have given through social media, cards, gifts, parties, and so much more. We are truly blessed to be surrounded by so many wonderful people.

One of the most frequent questions I’ve gotten while being engaged is if Dale and I are getting married and sealed in one of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (AKA: Mormon/LDS but we don’t use those nicknames anymore…that’s another story for another time) temple. The short answer is: No, we are not getting married in the temple. Yes, we are getting sealed in the temple.

Before I dive into the reasons why we’ve decided to do it the way that we are, I want to first talk about why we are even bothering with the temple and what it means. One of the biggest misconceptions about the church we belong to is what happens in the temple. So, let’s have a straight-forward conversation about this. All I ask is if anyone decides to comment, like, or share is that you keep everything respectful.

First, just to throw it out there all of the information I’m about to talk about is on the official Church’s website. Anyway, here is a video because it has a lot of information in it. It’s three and a half minutes long. You can spare that for this post. I promise! 😉

Just like in Biblical times and in other religions, temples are still around today. Temples are where we make sacred covenants with God, and do proxy-work for the dead who may have not had an opportunity to make those same sacred covenants with God.

Here’s a simplified break-down on what happens exactly in the temple:

1. Baptism and confirmations for the dead–Just like Jesus Christ, we believe that we can do proxy work for the dead to give them an opportunity to follow Jesus Christ’s example and be baptized by the same Priesthood authority that John the Baptist did. Those who follow the commandments and are worthy to hold a temple recommend (starting at the age of 12) are allowed to do baptisms for the dead.

2. Washing and anointing–This is where we may be cleaned before the Lord. One of the former prophets of the church, President Gordon B. Hinckley, said,

“[T]here is a goal beyond the Resurrection. That is exaltation in our Father’s kingdom. It will be achieved by obedience to the commandments of God. It will begin with acceptance of him as our Eternal Father and of his son as our living Redeemer. It will involve participation in various ordinances, each one important and necessary. The first of these is baptism by immersion in water, without which, according to the Savior, a man cannot enter into the kingdom of God. There must follow the birth of the Spirit, the gift of the Holy Ghost. Then in succession through the years will come, for men, ordination to the priesthood, followed by the blessings of the temple for both men and women who are worthy to enter therein. These temple blessings include our washings and anointings that we may be clean before the Lord. They include the instruction service in which we are given an endowment of obligations and blessings that motivate us to behavior compatible with the principles of the gospel. They include the sealing ordinances by which that which is bound on earth is bound in heaven, providing for the continuity of the family.” Temples and Temple WorkEnsign, February 1982

3. Temple Garments & Ceremonial Clothing–During the endowment session, which happens after the washing and anointings, there comes a time where Temple Garments & Ceremonial Clothing are used. If you look in the Old Testament, you’ll find the symbolism behind why the clothing is used. Just like in other religions, this sacred clothing is a outward commitment to God.

4. The Endowment Session–This is where we make sacred covenants with God. A little more insight on what that means this is explained better by Elder James E. Talmage. He said,

“The temple endowment, as administered in modern temples, comprises instruction relating to the significance and sequence of past dispensations. … This course of instruction includes a recital of the most prominent events of the creative period, the condition of our first parents in the Garden of Eden, their disobedience and the consequent expulsion from that blissful abode, their condition in the lone and dreary world when doomed to live by labor and sweat, the plan of redemption by which the great transgression may be atoned.”

“The ordinances of the endowment embody certain obligations on the part of the individual, such as covenant and promise to observe the law of strict virtue and chastity, to be charitable, benevolent, tolerant and pure; to devote both talent and material means to the spread of truth and the uplifting of the [human] race; to maintain devotion to the cause of truth; and to seek in every way to contribute to the great preparation that the earth may be made ready to receive her King—the Lord Jesus Christ. With the taking of each covenant and the assuming of each obligation a promised blessing is pronounced, contingent upon the faithful observance of the conditions.”

5. The Promises to Follow God’s Laws and the Covenants made in the temple–During the endowment session, we make promises to follow God’s laws and covenants:

  • The Law of Obedience
  • The Law of Sacrifice
  • The Law of the Gospel
  • The Law of Chasity
  • The Law of Consecration

These are the same laws and commandments that God and Jesus spoke of in the Bible. Most people of a Christian background are pretty familiar with these laws. I’ll skip the details on all of this (again, you can go to the Church’s website and learn more there).

6. The Temple Sealing–In most wedding ceremonies, you’ll hear the minister or bishop or whoever is marrying the couple say, “Until death do you part.” We believe that with the sealing power of the temple that marriage–and life–does not end at death. We believe that families can be together forever. We go to the temple to convert our civil marriage to an eternal marriage.

Now that we’ve talked about the temple and everything that happens in there . . .we’ll talk about why Dale and I are doing our wedding the way that we are in our next post because this turned out way longer than I was anticipating. Stay tuned!

XO Sam

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