Today I'm home instead of at Sacrament meeting because TB woke up feeling sick, and today is my GF-in-law's birthday. I think that the whole family is going over to my MIL's house to spend time with her and her brother. I think that if I can't be in Sacrament today, that Heavenly Father would be glad that we've chosen to spend our Sabbath with family, supporting them in their time of grief. But the lesson today was to be, (and will be thanks to a friend who is covering my class), on Eternal Marriage.
Eternal marriage is something that I'm striving to achieve in my own family. It's something that I pray for at least 3 times a week if not every day. I pray that my husband will chose the gospel and that we can be sealed in the Temple with our children. It seems harsh when you realize that marriage is only thought of now as a "legal arrangement" between a man and a woman to live together. Satan has managed to change our views of something that is the most holy of callings, and necessary for our exaltation. The scriptures tell us that we can't reach the highest level of glory unless we are married for eternity in the holy temple. It's about more than just living together and having children. It's about a partnership that will last for ever.
I was married in the Relief Society room in the Scituate RI ward by my then Bishop, Craig White. It was a beautiful little ceremony that lasted about 15 minutes, with a witness couple, and TB as the ring barer. I never thought that day would come for me but I prayed on it over and over. I had prayed that Heavenly Father would bring me together with my eternal companion, who ever that may be. After much prayer, by then ex and I began to spend time together again and he had done some changing during the year that we were apart. I prayed hard as it seemed that we were on our way to getting back together again and I was afraid that it might be a distraction of the Adversary to keep me from my eternal companion. But after much prayer, I realized that he was my eternal companion and a few months later we were married.
I still believe and know with all faith, that my husband is meant to be my eternal companion, but I pray hard all the time because I know that free will is a big factor in this process. I try to live my principals in full view of my husband now, instead of trying to keep it from him as it might make him uncomfortable. I got myself to the temple finally, and I've tried to fulfill the covenants that I made there, every day. The thought that he or I could pass away and that when we meet again in the spirit world, we would have no claims on each other, or our children just scares me. I want to keep my family together, now and then especially. I think the fact that my children would no longer be my own scared me the most. I know that I can always have my marriage sealed by my children after my husband and I pass on, but I also know that it's my responsibility to prepare for my exaltation in my own time, and that I don't want to depend on anyone else to take care of it for me. I want to enjoy the blessings of an eternal marriage in my life time!
I was reading the chapter last night and it stood out to me that I have to teach my boys to prepare for a temple marriage. They have to be willing to sacrifice to get there, and be unwilling to accept less than the highest blessings that Heavenly Father has in store for them. There is still the call to temple marriage for those like myself who were married outside of the temple, but its tough to reach that if one doesn't prepare themselves to get there from the outset. If a couple got married outside of the temple, it's because one or both of them weren't worthy to get there, and so there is work that needs to be done and for some, that work is a greater challenge than for others. It took me 7 years to finally be prepared for the temple, but it can take more or less time for others. I don't know how long it will take for my husband to accept the gospel, if he ever does, and then how much longer it will be before he's ready for the temple, but I continue to pray every day that we'll make it there!