On my flight home from my honeymoon, I had a lot of thoughts on my mind, so I decided to blog about it. That was back in 2015, and to this day, I still get requests from friends and family to share this blog with them or loved ones. I’m reposting here and would love it if you share it with someone in your life!
“Congratulations on your engagement!” is commonly followed by tidbits of very well meaning advice.
- “Make sure you get high quality photography. Pictures last forever!”
- “Has your mom given you the talk? …” (I won’t elaborate)
- “Are you buying or renting a place? Come live by us!”
- “Never go to bed angry.”
- “Make sure you have dinner cooking every night when he comes home.”
If you are reading this and you gave me any of this advice, or any advice at all, THANK YOU! No seriously, I was so thankful for all the advice I was given before getting married. Heck, I’m thankful for any advice right here, right now!
But none of the advice I was given was really geared toward preparing to get sealed in the temple.
A few days before the wedding I was running around town looking for shoes my size, buying bobby pins and calling my mom a dozen more times just to get everything squared away. I was at my wits end. I thought to myself, “Is this all there is to getting married? The looks, the logistics, the party?”
Gratefully no, thanks to the restoration of the gospel of Jesus Christ. I was preparing to be sealed to my sweetheart for eternity in a temple, by someone holding the priesthood keys to bind on earth and in heaven. Getting prepared to get married in the temple, or to get married at all, requires spiritual preparation in the months before the wedding that is seldom talked of. It takes some prioritizing, but everyone can do it, and you don’t have to be engaged to start.
The best thing I did before getting married in the temple was to read my scriptures and pray every day. I believe that getting married in the temple was an act of making a promise with Ryan and with God. How could I possibly walk into the temple the day of my wedding and pray to Heavenly Father something like this: (excuse my conversational parlance)
“Hi Heavenly Father, I’m really excited to get married today, and I am so glad you led me to Ryan. I guess it’s been a while since we talked. I was busy buying bobby pins and registering for gifts and getting ready for the party tonight. But I would really like to have a spiritual moment today in the temple that I can remember for the rest of my life since this is the biggest step of my entire life. Thanks for everything. “
NO!! You’d never want to have a prayer like that in the temple before making the highest covenant ever. You would want to feel the Spirit as you enter, knowing that you have been nourishing your relationship with Heavenly Father each step of the way. You have been talking with Him daily about all the plans. You have read scripture that has helped guide your thoughts and actions as a child of God. And you will have shared your thoughts about your spiritual progression with your fiancé. You might have even started reading scriptures and praying together as a couple (Ryan and I did this and I recommend doing it once you are engaged).
When I entered the temple on my wedding day, I had a calm peace in my heart. It truly was the highlight of my day, and my life. Because I had been looking forward to being sealed by reading my scriptures, it was natural to kneel and pray right before I went upstairs to the celestial room with Ryan. Without getting too personal, I had a spiritual experience unlike any I’ve ever had. I believe that was largely in part due to my personal spiritual preparation.
So this is me, giving you the only advice I know about getting married, because I don’t know anything about being married yet after just one week. Continuing to pray and read scriptures daily made my temple sealing much more significant and gave me proper perspective throughout the process of being an engaged person. As Sister Linda Reeves once said (and I paraphrase): prayer and scripture study are the very things that take away stress, including the stress of planning a wedding, from our lives. I’m adding my testimony to hers.
So there is the advice that nobody gave me before getting married. And the rest of your marriage is up to you, your fiancé and the Lord.