Even thought I am an insomniac and probably could have, I didn’t watch the Royal Wedding between Prince William and Kate Middleton early yesterday morning. But as I was trying to take it easy (I’ve been sick), and after seeing that several of my friends had watched it, I thought I would view some of the video clips of the event. My daughter joined me on the couch as we enjoyed some of the ceremony together.
It was a nice opportunity to talk and think a little about marriage. She asked about how this was different from a Mormon temple marriage (often called a sealing). LDS temple ceremonies are very simple, and a large temple sealing room might accommodate a few dozen people. (The photo below shows a sealing room in an LDS temple.)
Often, wedding receptions are held where a larger group can then gather to celebrate with the couple.
I’ve had some thoughts swimming in my head since watching the clips of the Royal Wedding.
1. Marriage is worth celebrating. Love is worth celebrating, but not just because I enjoy a story of romance. Marriage is a foundational element of my Mormon belief. In the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, we believe, simply, that “marriage between a man and woman is ordained of God.” Marriage is, as was said in the ceremony, “God’s law.” It’s the foundation of family life which is central to God’s plan. I rejoice when I see a new family beginning.
2. I appreciated the central role of faith and God in the ceremony between William and Kate. I was very moved by the prayer that was offered.
3. The promise of fidelity and loyalty that is made in marriage is a foundational element that I wish more people (and our society in general) took more seriously.
4. I was also struck by the traditional element in the ceremony of the man pledging his body and earthly goods for the care of his wife. I know some people find such things offensive, but I think there is real value in that role of a man as a protector and provider in the family. (This is another concept taught in our Family Proclamation, although not in exactly the same way as reflected in the Royal Wedding ring ceremony). This notion to me does not preclude a woman from being educated and being able to provide an income if need be, and is not the same as helpless dependence.
5. I don’t in any way want to take away from the beauty of their day, and yet I’m always sobered by the words, “Till death do us part” (or the variations of that phrase that appear in wedding ceremonies). Truly, that to me is the most significant difference between Mormon temple weddings and other weddings. The authority by which temple sealings are performed bind a couple together not just for this life, but into eternity. If marriage covenants are kept, the promise is that death will not sever the relationship. When I see a couple such as William and Kate who appear to love each other so much, I wish for nothing more than for them to be bound to each other beyond death.
6. While I think most people enjoy the pomp and circumstance such as the traditions witnessed with the Royal Wedding, I still end up thinking about how the notion of royalty in our world is exclusionary. There is royalty and there are commoners. It’s hard for me not to ponder on Mormon doctrine that teaches that we are all children of a Heavenly King, our Heavenly Father. His desire is to give all that He has to us. All He asks is that we follow that path that leads back to Him, which is by following His Son, Jesus Christ.
A favorite scripture of mine is in Romans 8:16-17:
The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God:
And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.
As I was thinking about these things, I found the following blog post in my Facebook feed. LDS Nana had some of the same thoughts I did: Every Temple Marriage is a Royal Wedding.
Did you watch the Royal Wedding? What thoughts did you have?