We were actually married in the same temple 13 years ago, so it was an extra sweet day. (Grace took this nice photo from the back of the temple.)
My mother, after 53 years of raising eight children, is finally an "empty nester." When I reminded her of that, she said, "But I don't want to be. I want my children all around me, staying the night, making cookies, going to the park . . . I miss all of you."
I loved spending the day with her.
Here's a photo of Ryan and his wife, Cassie, right after the wedding. Ryan found the most darling bride. I'm so excited to have her as my sister-in-law.
Weddings in the temple are fairly small (about 50 guests attended this one.) Many of my friends at the reception wanted to know more about what happens during a temple wedding, so I thought I'd explain a little bit about it here.
In our church, we believe that the temple is literally the House of God. It is very sacred to us, and those who enter need to be members of the Church in good standing (meaning that our actions reflect the principles we believe).
A temple wedding is actually referred to as a temple "sealing," which means the couple is sealed together for time and all eternity--not to be separated by death.
Ryan and Cassie were sealed in a "sealing room," which looks similar to this:
They knelt across the altar, and a person who holds the authority was able to talk with them for a few minutes about their marriage covenants and then perform the ceremony. This takes just a few minutes, and the wording of the ceremony is beautiful--pointing us toward the most meaningful, purposeful parts of our lives.
If you'd like to read more about temples, this link is a good one.
Here are the three men in my family: my dad and my brothers Ryan and Robert.
We spent some time taking photos after the sealing, and I've included a few of them below.
Here's Cassie and Ryan . . . with my mom and dad and Ryan's seven siblings:
The happy couple with my mom and dad:
"Just the 10 of us."
Almost all of us:
And this is one of my favorite photos EVER. Growing up with five sisters and two brothers was heaven to me. It still is.
Here are the grandchildren who were there that day.
This is me and my sister Page. She's 18 months older and about 4 inches taller, but sometimes our children (and friends) get us mixed up.
After the sealing, my husband and children and I spent a few minutes in the Visitor's Center across from the temple. (It's open to the public.)
I've always loved this beautiful Christus:
And they have some new exhibits that help teach the importance of family:
This section focused on serving others:
I was amazed at this photo of a newly-dug well. Simply incredible.
There was also a lovely "living room" with wonderful, touching videos about family life.
Here is a brief video of one of the other exhibits I loved:
I loved the entire day at the temple and Visitor's Center. It reminded me of how much God loves His children--all of them. And I felt so peaceful as I contemplated what it is that God wants me to become.
We teach our children the principles we believe, but we encourage them to sincerely study and learn about others' beliefs, as well. We know that God does His work through people of all religions, and as we grow in mutual respect for one another, we are more fully able to serve God.
I have lots more photos from the day, but I'll just post two more.
One of my favorite moments of the day was at the reception, when I looked over and saw Ryan dancing with my mom. I don't know why it struck me so much, but seeing my sweet, 76-year-old mother dancing with her very last child touched my heart.
I just think about the number of hours she and my dad have spent raising us. They have honestly devoted most of their lives to our family. I had to run over and snap this photo:
I really love my family. And I'm so grateful for the time we were able to spend together this past weekend. (Welcome to the family, Cassie!)