On August 30th I had the joy of being married to my sweetheart in the Salt Lake temple of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. It was a dream come true. Literally a miracle.
A temple marriage is not really seen as “traditional” the way most people look at a marriage ceremony. I would say it’s more traditional in a biblical sense. In the temple, the bride is not escorted down the aisle by her father to be met at the alter by the groom and the rest of the bridal party. The ceremony is actually an ordinance that takes place as the bride and groom kneel at an alter inside a small room in the temple, join hands, and make covenants between each other and God to love, serve, and be faithful to each other. It is recommended that only close friends and family attend, making the event a sacred and reverent one. Our room was a “large” room, and seated a maximum of fifty people.
One of the trademark phrases in a traditional, non Latter-day Saint wedding is the phrase “until death do you part…” This phrase implies the doctrine that once either the bride or groom pass away, their marriage is null and void.
“For in the resurrection they neither marry, nor are given in marriage, but are as the angels of God in heaven.” -Matthew 22:30
During the temple marriage, the words “until death do you part” do not exist. Instead the phrase “for time and all eternity” is used. This is because we believe that a temple marriage, performed by God’s restored priesthood authority, seals us to our spouse and family, allowing such a bond to remain intact in the next life, and through the eternities. It’s not the change of words that creates such an effect, but the authority by which the words of the covenant are pronounced upon the bride and groom.
Many who question such a doctrine often use the scripture above to rebuke our claims of eternal marriage. This is exactly why I quoted the reference. We believe that in order for marriage to be eternal, the ordinance must be performed on the earth, in the temples, by those authorized to do so. The marriage ordinance is not performed in heaven, hence the scripture.
I will never forget the day I was married. Everything was beautiful beyond my imagination, especially my wife. We have begun an exciting journey together, and I look forward to every day.