We flew West for Christmas this year. Our first since being on this Southern adventure. It snowed on Christmas Day, a fitting beginning to our trip. After spending twenty minutes readying himself for an impromptu 7:00 am playdate with the snow, Ben spent exactly 3 minutes outside and burst through the door declaring he had "frost bite" and would spend the rest of Christmas Day playing Legos and "staying cozy".
It's such a wonderful feeling, being snug and dry inside a warm house while snow falls outside. If you've never experienced it then you might not know just how safe and comfortable being snowbound can make you feel. You don't want to leave, or get out of your pajamas. It is magical, and wonderful, and special.
It seemed fitting then, that a few days later, our little family would find itself in the temple. Another place where I always feel warm and safe. One we had visited in various stages of completion only a few months before. Now open, and operating, and waiting for us. The Ogden temple was beautiful, white on white, against the snowy mountain backdrop.
I felt like we had done so much to get ready for this day, washing and ironing, buying and returning various sweater vests, a bit of sewing when I couldn't find any white bow ties I loved, and of course knitting Sadie's sweater. More than that though, we had all our adoption paperwork, our marriage certificate and temple recommends. I made and sent invitations, secured a restaurant for a family luncheon, ordered a cake, stressed over how many friends and family would fit into the small sealing room, not to mention my worrying about Sadie's behavior once we were inside.
I needn't have worried. The sealing itself was simple and beautiful. A few sentences, and some tears and smiles, and we were a forever family. Alan and Sadie now belonging to us in a way the legal adoption hadn't been able to do. Two more links in an eternal chain. I don't really know how else to describe a temple sealing. Through restored priesthood power, families are linked for eternity. Connected to each other, past and present. It's such a beautiful thought. An eternal support system.
A friend of mine once commented, after her own sealing, that "all was safely gathered in", a line from a hymn about Thanksgiving and harvest I had only ever connected to vegetables, but now took on a whole new meaning. I felt the same way on this snowy, cold, Saturday a few days after Christmas. Warmth, safety, comfort, security, reverence, joy, humility, just a few of my feelings that day. And although a sealing doesn't guarantee that sibling rivalry will end and children will magically listen to all their parent's wisdom, and there won't be family and marital trials, I do believe it gives you some extra weight in your corner when something does threaten your family.
"Come, ye thankful people come;
Raise the song of harvest home.
All is safely gathered in
Ere the winter storms begin.
God, our maker doth provide
for our wants to be supplied.
Come to God's own temple, come;
Raise the song of harvest home." -LDS Hymns, pg. 94