Yesterday was a very big day for Susan and me. We were sealed for time and eternity in the Columbus, Ohio Temple.
In attendance were my daughter Sarah, Susan’s daughter Holly and her husband Jim, Wayne and Lynn Watkins, Dennis and Cindy Mitchell, George Joseph, Earl Vanus, and Jade Balden. My son Andrew, and Jade’s husband Ben were outside the Temple during the ceremony, waiting for us.
Sister Balden was a surprise since I don’t really know her, but she felt it was important to support us. Her husband, Ben, stayed outside with their children.
I was disappointed that Emily couldn’t make it. She had planned to go, but had an obligation for band. Michael, of course, is on a mission so wasn’t there. Sarah’s husband, David, also couldn’t make it because he had too much school-work. Bishop Hunter had planned to be there, but had last-minute obligations.
Susan and I drove down Friday evening and spent the night at a motel – the La Quinta. It was very nice with a very comfortable king-sized bed. We got some Ben & Jerry’s ice cream in the room as a late evening treat.
In the morning we arrived in plenty of time for the 10 AM session. We did have a small glitch – the computer didn’t like Susan’s recommend – it was canceled! Since we also had Living Ordinance Recommends, we were still able to get in, fortunately. Apparently we should have received new regular recommends at the same time we got the Living Ordinance Recommends – will have to get that cleared up before going to the Temple again.
We met briefly with President Center in his office where he checked our recommends, and the letters from the First Presidency – one canceling Susan’s sealing to Keith, and another authorizing me to be sealed to Susan.
After that, we were escorted to the dressing rooms where we got dressed in the robes of the Holy Priesthood. Then we met up in the Celestial room and waited for them to take us to the sealing room. We read a bit from Doctrine & Covenants Section 132, which talks about the “new and everlasting covenant” of marriage.
It was wonderful to just sit with Susan, and enjoy the quiet, peaceful spirit in the celestial room. After 15 minutes or so, we were escorted into the sealing room where everyone was assembled.
John Center, a counselor in the Temple Presidency, performed the sealing. That was a pleasant surprise since I’ve known him for many years. He discussed the importance of marriage and the love that will grow over time. He quoted a verse in Doctrine and Covenants, Section 4: “Remember faith, virtue, knowledge, temperance, patience, brotherly kindness, godliness, charity, humility, diligence”. He said that although this section applies primarily to missionary work, the counsel also applies to marriage.
In performing the ordinance, I noted that he included the phrase “be fruitful and multiply”, but can’t remember if he included “replenish the earth”. That’s kind of funny, given our ages.
Afterward, we all met out front for photos (see photos here). Then we went to Hometowne Buffet for a nice long lunch with our children and the Mitchell’s. Then it was back home, but Susan and I stopped in the Belden Village area to do some shopping and even took in a movie.
It was a wonderful day and I’m so happy to be sealed to Susan. The was the culmination of a process that began a week or two before we got married. That’s when I first met with the bishop to start the process. He took his time, apparently because he wanted to be sure the marriage was going to last. What we thought would take about 4 months ended up taking 17. But all’s well that ends well.
Today, a lot of people at church congratulated us. And they happened to be teaching a lesson about Eternal Marriage in both Priesthood and Relief Society, and both Susan and I were put on the spot and asked to report on our day and our feelings. Later, we got to talk about it quite a bit with Fred and Michele Bosnakovic (a family I home teach) about the experience. They were both divorced previously and have been happily married for 12 years now. She’s a member, but he’s not. She would like be sealed to him. He’s not sure, of course. But it was a good conversation and the missionaries happened to be there with us so were able to teach Fred a little about it as well.
Susan and I both know that getting married and sealed are the best decisions we have ever made. Our love and commitment to each other just continue to grow stronger and stronger. I thank Heavenly Father every day for sending her to me. I know that he loves me because of her.