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The temple is a place where very special, sacred ordinances take place. In order to enter, one must be willing to make very big promises, commitments to change one's lifestyle and fully dedicate oneself to the Lord. The temple is not a secret - we want everyone to attend, but we do not want anyone to promise to keep these big commitments unless they are truly ready to consecrate themselves to God.
The most important and sacred of these promises is the marriage covenant. We believe that this ordinance is necessary to enter into the highest degree of glory in the Celestial Kingdom. Most people view marriage as a contract - an agreement between two or more parties for the doing or not doing of something specified.
Marriages that take place in the temple are covenants, or promises between the individuals and God. The terms are specified by Heavenly Father, and if we keep our commitments, He has promised to pour out blessings upon us. This means that when challenges arise, we cannot run away because we do not like the contract any more, but we are accountable to keep our promises to God and our spouse. One of the blessings promised in the marriage covenant is being sealed to our spouses and our children for time and all eternity. This means that death is not the end of family life, but that our relationships can continue forever.
LDS marriage is very focused on the family. We believe that the commandment to multiply and replenish the earth still applies, and when we enter into the sacred marriage covenant we commit to bear children and raise families unto the Lord. We believe that having children is a sacred privilege, and that family relationships teach us how to become more like our Savior, Jesus Christ. We believe that families are essential to God's plan, and that they have the potential to bring us a fullness of joy. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints provides us not only with the ordinances that allow our families to be together forever, but teaches how to treat each other so that we actually want to spend eternity together. (The Family: A Proclamation to the World goes into more detail about this.)
We believe that temple ordinances, especially the temple sealing, are necessary for exaltation. Through the ratification of sacred ordinances and the sanctification of keeping our covenants with God, we can someday be perfected through the Atonement of Jesus Christ and live with Heavenly Father again, enjoying all the blessings He has.
Can you see now why I have always dreamed of getting married in the temple? The promise of being sealed to the man I love the most for time and all eternity, of having our future children sealed to us as well, of having God directly involved in our marriage, of someday being able to return home to Him and receive all of the joy and goodness that He has - these promises are so, so beautiful. I still feel like I can barely comprehend them, and I am so amazed that Heavenly Father would offer such blessings to me.
One of my friends remarked that my fiancé and I seem to have reached "fairy-tale levels of happiness," and I would have to agree. Our parents, church leaders, and prophets have taught us how to serve and love one another, and on Friday we will enter the Holy Temple and be sealed to one another forever and ever. The best part is that because we are committing to love one another as perfectly and unselfishly as God loves us, the joy and love that we feel now will continually grow through all eternity. There is nothing greater than knowing that as wonderful as it is right now, the best is still yet to be.
"Some think of happiness as a glamorous life of ease, luxury, and constant thrills; but true marriage is based on a happiness which is more than that, one which comes from giving, serving, sharing, sacrificing, and selflessness." - President Spencer W. Kimball
“The whole subject of the marriage relation is not in my reach, nor in any other man’s reach on this earth. It is without beginning of days or end of years; it is a hard matter to reach. We can tell some things with regard to it; it lays the foundation for worlds, for angels, and for the Gods; for intelligent beings to be crowned with glory, immortality, and eternal lives. In fact, it is the thread which runs from the beginning to the end of the holy Gospel of Salvation—of the Gospel of the Son of God; it is from eternity to eternity.” -Brigham Young
How grateful I am to be able to embark on this wonderful journey with a wonderful man who loves me so sweetly and is my very best friend - and how even more grateful I am for my Savior, Jesus Christ, who has made this joy possible.