4 Nov 2010 - Ed and Mary in front of the Snowflake Arizona Temple.
This past Thursday, November 4th, was a big day for Ed and me. For the first time, Ed entered the temple to make sacred covenants with the Lord and receive the special blessings offered there. It was an amazing spiritual experience for both of us.
I first entered the temple in Mesa, Arizona, for the same purpose 27 years ago, on March 24, 1983. It doesn't feel like it was really that long ago! I have been back many, many times over the years, but I am so thrilled to finally have a husband who can attend the temple with me. At the end of Ed's first temple experience on Thursday, it was wonderful to sit in the beautiful Celestial room together, holding hands and absorbing the peaceful spirit.
For those of us who are members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the temple is one of the most sacred places on earth. Not only do we make covenants and receive blessings for ourselves there, but we also return often to perform ordinances for our kindred dead, such as baptisms. We believe the Lord wants all people to enjoy the blessings of obedience to His commandments, even those who never had the opportunity to hear or accept the gospel during their lifetimes.
Ed and Eugene ham it up on the temple grounds.
Since it was Ed's first time to go through the temple, he asked our friend Eugene to be his escort. Eugene and his wife Wyndie were happy to be a part of this momentous event, and they rode along to Snowflake with us. Eugene had never been asked to be an escort in the temple before, so this was a good opportunity to get in some practice at it. In less than a year, the oldest of Eugene and Wyndie's three teenage sons will be heading out to serve a mission, and prior to his departure he will attend the temple for his first time, with Eugene as his escort.
This coming Thursday morning, Veteran's Day, our son Jacob will also have his first temple experience. All newly called missionaries go through the temple before heading off into the mission field. I know it hasn't fully sunk into my brain yet, but in just 24 days Jacob reports to the Mission Training Center in Provo, Utah. Then he'll be off to serve in the California Santa Rosa Mission for 2 years.
Wyndie and Eugene joined us at the temple.
Our friends Rob and A'Lece also joined us at the temple, coming along to support Ed on this special occasion. Being worthy to go to the temple is something we Mormons prepare for and look forward to for a long time, often from our youth, so it is a big step in our lives. I'm so proud of Ed for making this goal a priority in his life.
By the time we all left the temple, it was after 9:00 p.m. and most of the small town of Snowflake had gone to bed. However, we found an Arby's that was still open. Eugene, Wyndie, Rob, A'Lece, Ed, and I went there for dinner and enjoyed the spirit of friendship for the rest of the evening. It was truly a great day for us.
Eugene had a good time posing us for pictures on the temple grounds.
As significant as this day was, it was one more step on the path to a day that will be even more important to us. Ed and I were married civilly on May 21st. It was an "as long as you both shall live" promise of marriage. In the LDS church, we believe the Lord intends for families to be together forever, and marriage sealings are another ordinance performed in our temples.
On our first anniversary, Ed and I plan to return to the Snowflake Temple to be sealed in eternal marriage. I can't even express how much we look forward to that blessed day. Now that will be a day of great celebration!