There are no pictures of this part, because cameras aren’t welcomed in the Temple, but I’ll tell you all about it. I was dressed in all white and so was Randy and after all of our church friends had gathered into the sealing room, we were led there by the man who would be performing the sealing, President Wadsworth, the guy in charge of the Reno Temple. The room was very simply decorated. The walls were white, the carpet and upholstery on the chairs and the alter were cream. There were gold accents around the room. From the ceiling hung a large crystal and gold chandelier. On the left and right walls were large mirrors in gold frames. The reflection of the chandelier seemed to go on forever in those mirrors. In the center of the room was an altar and it had padded places around it to kneel. The far side of the room had three chairs: one for the President and two for usually the fathers of the bride and groom. In those chairs sat Darren Katich and Bruce Ford.
Darren has been quite a mentor to Randy since Randy started going to church and since Randy moved to Reno. His wife, Leslie has been a great help for us in preparing for and decorating for the Ring Ceremony. Even though it’d have been awesome to have family sit in that seat, Darren made a fine substitute. Bruce is another person in the church who has been a great influence in our lives. We took a gospel class that met at their house and they always had such good insights into the scriptures and fostered great spiritual conversations. His wife Evelyn helped me pick out my white Temple dress a couple of years ago which I wear when I go to the temple and wore tonight. She makes the most lovely desserts and always has something gluten-free for me. Again, it’d have been nice to have family there, but Bruce made a good stand-in.
On the left and the right walls were two rows each of those cream upholstered chairs I told you about and occupying those chairs were people from church. I saw people I have sang with in the choir, sat next to, taught with. I saw people whose children and grandchildren I have taught in Sunday School. All in all, there were about 40 people. I was surprised to see so many people there for us on that night. They all knew we were a little sad that our families couldn’t be there and were ready to try to fill our families’ shoes, standing in as our church family. I am grateful for their support.
On that last wall was a love seat where Randy and I sat looking across the alter to the far side of the room where the President and Darren and Bruce sat. Flanking us in chairs next to the love seat were Leslie, Darren’s wife, and Evelyn, Bruce’s wife. They sat almost perfectly opposite their husbands in the chairs traditionally reserved for the mothers of the bride and goom. They’re not our mothers, of course, but good women who have always been there for us. Maybe they’re our “church moms.”
President Wadsworth didn’t jump straight to the sealing part. He opened with some thoughts about the gospel, about our purpose here on earth, advice to Randy and I. I can’t remember all that he said, but I do remember that it all was good to hear and learn from and very spiritually deep.
He talked about how we all lived as spirits in Heaven before we came to earth. And that we had to come to earth to learn and grow. Staying in Heaven where everything was perfect, we would miss out on knowing joy and happiness because we could never experience their opposites and so appreciate the good in life. He talked about how important our bodies are then, because through them we can grow and learn, but without them, we are like Satan. Can’t rise above where we are but do regress and become like Satan not only in the sense that we don’t have bodies like him, but eventually we’d become like him in our attitudes and actions.
He gave us advice on how to treat each other then, knowing we lived in Heaven, knowing that we are children of God. He talked to us about how to respect each other and each other’s bodies too. He specifically spoke of how to speak to each other: quietly, sweetly. No yelling. It was a good little sermon. Then, President Wadsworth began the sealing part. He invited Randy and I to get up off of our love seat and to kneel across the alter and hold hands together. He asked us to look at each other and then beyond each other into those two large mirrors. Now the mirrors held a forever reflection of us and not just the chandelier. He told us that our marriage is designed to go on forever. We’ll be married here on earth and we’ll be together as a couple again in Heaven after our earth lives are over. He married us and we said yes. We kissed across the alter and exchanged our rings.
From there, we went back to stand in front of our love seat. All of the people in the room filed past us whispering congratulations and compliments in our ears and hugging us. Then, Randy and I changed out of our white clothes and met up with everyone else dressed in our Sunday best in the lobby. They congratulated us some more and took pictures of us in front of the flowers in the entry way.