It’s been a little more than 3 years since mom died. Considering that we are only required to wait 1 year before performing temple work for her, I’ve been slow to get this done.
For a long time, I was holding out hope that I could get together with one or more of my children and perform the work together, but with Sarah in Ohio, Emily in Utah (at the time), and Susan and I in New Mexico, it eventually became clear that things weren’t going to come together as I had hoped. Of course, Susan and I could handle it all ourselves, but I wanted to give my girls a chance to participate.
I finally realized that we didn’t need to meet up in one location in order to accomplish the work, and fortunately both of them did express interest in participating, so I asked Emily to perform the baptism, confirmation and initiatory work in Utah and Sarah to perform the Endowment in Ohio. After that Susan and I could have her sealed to my dad here in Albuquerque.
Emily completed her parts in two separate visits to the Salt Lake temple in August and September, 2017. Sarah did her part in the Columbus Temple last month (February 2018). So the stage was finally set for Susan and I to do our part.
I needed some help in getting ready so I asked Sister Roberts in our ward to meet with me and explain a few things about FamilySearch.org and the process of completing sealing ordinances. I was especially wondering how I could be sealed to my parents after they were sealed together. It was also necessary to call someone at the temple to make arrangements.
Yesterday, we made that trip to the Albuquerque Temple. We were greeted in the front lobby at 9:45 by Brother Fisher, who had received the assignment to help us. We were escorted to the office on the second floor where a sister reviewed our records and explained the process.
We then changed our clothes, putting on the “robes of the holy priesthood” and then made our way to Sealing Room #1. Brother Johnson was the Sealer. I had just seen him the previous evening in the Temple as we were cleaning together – he as a volunteer, and me as a member of the custodial staff.
There were several others in the room as well including some who had brought names of their own for Temple work. I was the only one there for the purpose of performing a “live” sealing, which was because I was being sealed to my deceased parents.
Susan and I were the first to kneel at the altar to represent my parents. As we held hands in the “patriarchal grip”, Brother Johnson said the words of the ordinance that sealed them together for all eternity. Of course, this blessing is not forced upon them, but is dependent upon their acceptance of it, and also predicated upon their faithfulness.
After that, Susan represented my mother, and Brother Fisher represented my father, as I was sealed to them, also for eternity. This was a very special moment, and as we rose, I reached over to shake my “dad’s” hand and then hugged “mom”, as represented by Brother Fisher and Susan.
I had also brought the cards required to perform some other ordinance work, including the sealing of mom to her parents, Alfred Pinckston and Ethel Ford. We also helped perform sealings of several other names, brought by others in the room.
After that, Brother Fisher guided us to the Celestial Room. We thanked him for his help as he departed.
As we sat in the Celestial room, we reviewed our experience and pondered the significance, thankful for the opportunity to complete the work in such a beautiful and peaceful setting. I felt deep gratitude for the blessings of the gospel, and for my sweetheart, Susan, and for her support in accomplishing this work.