I just learned some wonderful news! Some family friends of ours from Spain are going to the Hong Kong Temple (the one for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints – long name! No wonder people call us Mormons) together for the first time on Nov. 20th! Our local branch of the Church is having a youth temple trip on the same day. This is awesomely cool to us because we believe that by performing sealing ordinances (sealing: think eternal, spiritual glue) (ordinance: a ceremony when you make a promise to God and His promises are extended to you) in the temple, families can be sealed together for eternity. We promise God we will do all we are able to keep our family strong and focused on Him, and God promises that He will give us the tools we need to do so, not only for now but for eternity. Families are a central part of what our church is about and we do everything we can to strengthen family units. To see friends of ours be able to take this landmark step is quite exciting and worth celebrating.
I’ll try to explain some of what having a family sealed means to us. Think of some of the seals that are used in good plumbing. The seals that are used to join one pipe to another help keep air out and water in so that the water can flow freely without noise, leaks, or vibration. Air is not bad in its own right, it’s just not appropriate to have in your water pipe. Likewise there are many things in the world that can interfere with the smooth flow of family life. These may be things like television, or music, or other activities which can cause disruptions in how well our family works together. Being sealed gives us one more reminder of what has eternal importance and to find ways to keep the family strong by managing our use of time.
There are some other, bigger kinds of plumbing seals. There are large rubber gaskets that prevent leaks from large tanks of water (think about the tank on your toilet). Without these gaskets, there would be a big mess of water that you would constantly have to mop up. Rubber or plastic gasket seals keep the water flowing where you want it to go, when you want it to go there. Being sealed as a family acts in a similar way. It helps us focus on the larger goals we want to achieve together. This might involve helping family members who are struggling with unemployment or who may be having difficulty getting along with one another.
Sometimes hefty wax ring seals are used to control the flow of some really nasty stuff, like the sewage line connecting to your toilet. Sealing can help keep that stuff flowing away from your house rather than oozing in where it can contaminate other things. When our family remembers what it means to be sealed in the temple, it can become a powerful way to keep our focus together and keep out some of those really nasty problems that can overwhelm us. Addictions, abuse, adultery – these are some big problems that can really rip families apart. Being sealed and focusing on our Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ can strengthen us to avoid these challenges and help us repair when we fail at them.
We believe that God is the father of our heavenly family and that He created us to live in family units so that we can try to learn to become like Him. He wants us to return to Him as part of His family. By learning to strengthen our families on earth, we can better prepare to live with God in our larger family in Heaven someday.
winner-winner, chicken dinner 🙂