so glad i went to this one

Wow. All I can say is that I LOVE Temple Sealings! I have had the chance to go to several temple sealings and I am so so grateful that I went to the one today! Hattie Nicole Gardner married Justin “Juice” Lake in the Salt Lake Temple and it was one of the best sealings to date (not counting mine, because I think it’s a law that you have to like yours over everyone elses!) I just sat there in the ceremony so struck with the spirit and amazed at the awesome, loving plan of our Heavenly Father and that these two were entering into a covenant that would allow them to live together forever for all eternity. There was so much love in that room and I couldn’t help but cry my little eyes out! I think it meant so much to me also because I know Justin and Nikki so well (We all go back to the Jr. High days… like legit friendship right there.)

I sat in the sealing just trying to soak up every word that the sealer said (he was Nikki’s grandpa which made it even more special!) and now I want to write down what I could remember- because it was that good! So here we go:

He started out with a story of when he got married about 50 years ago. He thought about who he wanted to seal him and he decided on Spencer W. Kimball (Sweet, I know.) So the then Elder Kimball agreed to do it and before he took them into the Sealing room with all the family, Elder Kimball took them into another separate room and gave them individual counsel. He told the wife (Sister Howard now) all about the meaning of an eternal marriage and now the different things that she will have to do to uphold her husband and honor the priesthood. Brother Howard thought he was getting off scotch clean and thought that was all the counsel Elder Kimball had for them! But little did he know… :)

So Elder Kimball then turned to Brother Howard and said, “Brother Howard, do you know what it means to preside?” Brother Howard having just returned home from his mission, said, “Of Course! It means that I decide what we are going to do and everyone follows!” (My wording might be off, but just bare with me!) Elder Kimball looked at Brother Howard and said, “Brother Howard, do you remember your first full proselyting day in the mission?” “Yes,” Brother Howard said. Elder Kimball then said, “I bet you got up, worked out, studied, spent all day out knocking doors and contacting people, skipped lunch, finally came home around 9:00 and you were ready to be done and go to bed. But then I bet your Sr. Companion encouraged you to get ready for bed and then he instructed that on a mission you pray together as a companionship morning and night. I bet he told you that you thank God for your blessings and pray for your investigators. Then I bet he said, “I will lead out tonight’s prayer, and then we will take turns from here on out.”” Elder Kimball paused and then looked at Brother Howard and said, “That is what presiding means. You, as the Priesthood holder “Lead out” and then you take turns from here on out. Sometimes it means that you lead out in forgiveness, or lead out in family prayer, but you lead out and then take turns. Marriage is an equal partnership where not one is greater than the other.”

Elder Howard then turned to Nikki and Justin and said, “This does not mean that in your marriage one is 49% and the other 51%... this means that both of you are 50/50. No matter what. I’m sure there will be times in your marriage that you will get ornery with each other or a fight may occur. This is when one of you leads out and takes the turn to make things equal again. This means that not one of you dominates and makes all the decisions.” Brother Howard continued on all about how it’s the Priesthood’s role to “Lead Out” and set an example but that both man and wife are in it together. (Obviously that doesn’t mean that the wife doesn’t have to Lead Out sometimes or set an example… equal partnership people. :))

He shared about how in the Doctrine and Covenants, there is a scripture that talks about how in the Celestial Kingdom, there are 3 kingdoms (in the Celestial Kingdom alone!) and how eternal marriage merits you to enter into the top kingdom of the Celestial Kingdom. But he tied this into how marriage will be work and how even though they are covenanting today that will allow them to make it to the top kingdom, that it isn’t over yet. There is work to do to make sure they stay eligible for that blessing.

That is the jist of what was spoken about today and I loved it so much. I truly do love going to sealings and to listen to the blessings that were given to Andrew and I almost TWO years ago! It is a true reminder of how great the Gospel is and how even though we are humans, we have great blessings and promises in store for us.

Congrats Nikki and Justin! I am so excited for you two and I wish you the happiest of years ahead of you! I’m excited to go on double dates with you two and for us to grow old together! Love you both so much!!

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