On August 20, 1982, I picked up Karen at her sister’s home in American Fork, and drove north to the Jordan River temple. It was our wedding day.
Rather than being a peaceful event, that day and those leading up to our sealing were crazy.
We were both in school and focused on our pending finals.
Our families had never met which added stress as we carefully monitored that challenging dynamic.
Then we were hit with the onslaught of expectations we failed to meet.
My mom was worried about my lack of a belt. (Suspenders are for wimps.)
My future father-in-law wondered why I wasn’t wearing a flower. (Flowers, really?)
My future mother-in-law was against Karen and me driving to the temple — alone, together. (Give me a break.)
When we arrived at the temple there was a long line of other couples also being sealed that day. It was the first time I waited in line to enter the temple.
The temple was so crowded the aged temple workers struggled to make sure each beaming couple was shepherded to the correct sealing room at the appointed time.
I can still remember entering our reserved sealing room filled with what seemed like hundreds of people.
I was getting married — for eternity.
I trembled in fear to the point that I was unable to place the ring on Karen’s finger. She had to put it on herself.
Several years and four children later we returned to the temple to have our adopted son, Jacob, sealed to us.
I dropped off my family at the front doors of the Timpanogos temple so they could avoid the raging weather.
Making my way across the parking lot, I was overwhelmed by the contrast of the thick black clouds unable to dim the white exterior of this temple.
The violent storm outside stood in stark contrast to the peace inside. Instead of the confluence of emotions that accompanied our wedding day, this event was much more sacred.
We were joined by a small group of family friends. Karen’s mother, no longer concerned about my driving, made her presence clear. She had died not long before this event.
The temple workers brought our children, all dressed in white, to the sealing room. To say they were overwhelmed would be an understatement.
But this time, the peace that alluded me at our sealing was there in abundance.
The temple means different things to different people. It is a house of covenants, a house salvation, a house of peace, and a house of God.
But most important to me, it is a house of family.
It is where my family started.
It was where my family was extended.
It was what enables my family to endure beyond the grave.
The temple has been the focus of my life.