It's Saturday night, and you and your husband have two choices. Either you go to the new James Bond movie on opening weekend or the temple to do sealings. It was a hard tossup!
This last week was conference weekend, and we heard from our Prophet Russel M Nelson and other church leaders. A talk given by our Prophet stuck out to me because I kind of geek out on that type of stuff.
"When you bring your temple recommend, a contrite heart, and a seeking mind to the Lord's house of learning, He will teach you.... He wants you to have spiritual insights and awakenings you've never had before."
We eventually decided to do some service, so we hopped on the scheduling app and scheduled a time that evening. James Bond will just have to wait!
When my husband was younger, and his parent went to do sealings at the temple, he always thought they would clean the ceilings! So to clarify what a sealing is, in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, we believe that we can bind family units together for eternity in the temple. Ancestors and those who have passed away can also have their sealings performed by those who are still on earth. Those who you are performing the ordinance for on the other side, have the choice if they would like to expect the ordinance or not. So when people in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints say they are going to the temple to do "Sealings," they are not going to clean the "Ceilings," but they are going to bind families together for eternity.
To the temple, you can either bring your own family names found in your geneoligy, or you can use temple names that have been submitted.
After working all day, we became tired, so we headed to the temple an hour early, hoping to get into an earlier sealing session. When we got to the waiting room, they told us to have a seat, and they would get us in as soon as possible. But, time ticked on, not because they were too full but because people had missed or forgotten their appointments and there was no one we could join. So we and the Sealers all sat in the waiting room for another couple to join. As we were waiting there, Shane took his nap, and I began to pray my little heart out.
"Heavenly Father, in President Nelson's talk, he promised, "When we go to the temple, we will have more experiences, and our mind will be awakened. So help me prepare my heart, mind, and spirit to be awaked, and I can have more spiritual experiences..."
Finally, another couple came, and we were swooshed into a room. We did not bring family names to the temple, so we just used the temple names. Before the Sealer begins his shift for the day, he is given names in a folder consisting of couples, sons, and daughters who have already passed to the other side. All of them need to be sealed together for eternity,
Shane and I were kneeling across from the altar, ready to seal a couple together. The first name was read aloud who Shane was representing. The Sealer said, "Michael." Some of you may not know, but Shane's first name is Michael and Shane is his middle name. As I sat there, I thought, "Wouldn't it be funny if he said my name next for who I was representing!" Sure enough, and I am not kidding, he said, "Elizabeth!" So here Shane and I were across from each other at the alter, sealing a coupe together names of Michael and Elizabeth, and our first names are Michael and Elizabeth. After the Sealer was finished with the ceremony, I said, "I think something just happened you have never experienced before, the couple we just sealed together, Michael and Elizabeth, is our first names!" He said he had never had this happen before in all of his years of being a sealer in the temple! For any of you who has ever done sealings in the temple, you know firsthand that this is nearly impossible since you can't even pronounce the names most of the time!
In the temple that day, I know God put together an opportunity for us to feel his love and that he is aware of who we are and the service we are giving to those on the other side. I said a prayer in faith, and he did give me a spiritual experience.
We have gone to the temple many times to seal families together, and someday we may meet these families, but I don't think we will ever forget this couple, Michael and Elizabeth.
President Nelson was right.
"I plead with you to seek—prayerfully and consistently—to understand temple covenants and ordinances. Spiritual doors will open. You will learn how to part the veil between heaven and earth, how to ask for God's angels to attend you, and how better to receive direction from heaven. Your diligent efforts to do so will reinforce and strengthen your spiritual foundation."
I am so excited about the experiences we have all been promised to receive in the temple. I think God is just excited to give them to us. So go with faith, go with a prayerful heart, go with a heart to serve, and go with an opened mind because you will have "Spiritual insights and awakenings you've never had before."