I completely forgot to write about this!
It happened on December 29th, 1998, so just pretend this was written over a week ago, okay? Okay.
Year of Tens: Temple Edition
It was Christmas Vacation between semesters; Brandon and I were apart. He was able to get two fabulous part-time temp. jobs in California, so he headed home to work (and be with his family) while I went to Idaho to finish prepping for the wedding. Our marriage would be on January 16th, 1999, and we had a lot to do in order to make the deadlines. My mother had been doing a lot of prep work for me while I was at school, and I think she was relieved to finally have me around to make final decisions.
It was during this break that I decided to go through the Temple. (For those who don't know about Temples and would like to learn more --so you can understand what I'm talking about --please go here.) If you did the calculations correctly, you would see that I went through the Temple nearly 3 weeks before I got married. This is rare; most young brides receive their endowment the day before they get married (some on the same day). Also, Brandon was not there. This always shocks people --including Temple workers. It's hilarious! But I'll get to that later. I chose to go through the Temple so much earlier because I decided I wanted the chance to go again before getting married. I also had been taught that although the culmination of the Temple experience is being sealed to my spouse, the washings, anointings, and covenants I make are mine --and mine alone. Brandon can't make them for me, nor can he keep them for me. With this knowledge, I decided I needed to do this for me. You know --me. Brandon--the awesome support he always has been --completely agreed with me, too.
[With that said, dear reader, I hope you understand that I am in no way judging when/where/how a young bride decides to go through the Temple; it's a personal thing!]
So, with my parents, a few friends, my grandmother (who had flown in from Canada to make cakes for the wedding --35 angel food cakes! --and attend my endowment session), and my mom's cousin (who is like another grandmother to me), we headed to the Temple.
Couple of memories:
*It was in the Idaho Falls Temple
*My grandmother was appalled I would enter the House of the Lord wearing a modest denim jumper. Denim is for work clothes, you know. I got an earful on that one!
*My mother told me to carefully listen to every word of the initiatory (washings and anointings) portion, and so I did. Because of this, it was my favorite part.
*My mother was my escort; our friends that were there (my parent's age) ended up being the witness couple.
*I realized my hands looked like my mother's; I felt a deeper connection to her I had never felt before.
*My grandmother and mother's cousin decided I needed help with everything and they gloriously chatted away like hens (whispering, of course) and fawned over me. It was annoying (umm, you're supposed to be quiet in the Temple!) and sweetly endearing (I love those women somethin' fierce!) at the same time.
*My father did the prayer circle with me (because Brandon was not there).
*The Temple workers asked for Brandon and looked at me like I was psychotic when I told them he wasn't there.
*The other brides with their new manicures and nervous looks also gave me psychotic stares when they learned my fiance wasn't there.
*When I went into the Celestial room, I felt so happy. That's the only way to describe it. I wasn't weirded out by the Endowment Session (many people warned me they thought it was weird, and I do have to admit it was nothing at all like I expected; in fact, I'm wondering if this is just what they meant), and I wasn't sad about Brandon being in California. I had a feeling of peace and it was awesome.
So, there you go! Ten years ago (Dec. 29th), I went through the Temple for the first time. Brandon and I went back a week later (this time in Provo) with my cousin and her husband, and that was scarier --I didn't have an escort! But it turned out just fine. We also did a session the day before our wedding. Besides returned missionaries, I don't know very many young brides who got the chance to attend the Temple three times before their wedding*. It was wonderful!
If you have been through the Temple, what was your experience like? Did you go before a mission? Marriage? For the heck of it? What was your favorite part of the whole process? (Try not to be too explicit, please --keep the sacred stuff sacred, okay? Thanks.)
*FYI- usually, church leaders discourage men and women from entering the Temple too early (i.e. months before a wedding, or years before a mission, etc.) because the covenants we make in the Temple are very important and yield extreme consequences when broken. It's the "higher law", and should never be taken lightly. This is why women have been encouraged to wait until right before the wedding, thus ensuring that they are actually going to get married. Some find this ridiculous; I think it's actually pretty wise. Young men aren't allowed into the Temple until after a mission call has been issued, either. Of course, there are some exceptions, and I know many men and women who neither served a mission or married that have received their endowments, some of which were young when they received them.
And hey, you may disagree with the church's policy on this, but please don't discuss your frustration here. This is not a debate about the Temple. If you have a problem with it, email me. Thanks!