Sunday, April 30, 2006

The Temple Was... Nice

People always ask the same question: How was the wedding? the endowment? the mission? I never know what to say so I mumble that it was nice and tell who was there or launch a spiel about how friendly Brazilians are. Every now and then I try to say that it was horrible, but I can't do it with a straight face yet. Sometimes for sealings I report, as solemnly as possible, "They both said, 'Yes.'"

What can you say? On the one hand the experience is near ineffable--how do you describe the eternal sealing of people you love? On the other, it is completely routinized--exactly like every other sealing I've attended. On the one foot I am forbidden to say what actually happened. On the other, what I can say requires hours if not weeks, and I don't think that's what they want. Further, sometimes the experience is less than "nice"; sometimes folks really struggle--and you can be sure I'm not going to tell you about their difficulties. If we're talking about my own then our relationship is way past how-was-your-mission.

Of course, sometimes there are interesting goings-on suitable for chatting. I can always move a how-was-your-mission conversation along with gastro-intestinal tales. At one sealing I attended the groom's father had a cardiac "event" right there in the sealing room (he recovered). At another the (very shy) bride was surprised to learn, at the alter, that she would have to kiss her husband--in front of everyone! It was an uncomfortable few minutes (we tried really hard not to laugh, I promise).

But mostly it's just... nice. Yesterday I and a few other family members were with one of my brothers as he received the endowment. I missed the siblings who couldn't attend (not yet endowed, live too far away, no babysitter, etc.) but it was nice all the same. It is nice to be together. It is nice to be in the temple. To be together in the temple is "nicer" than anything else I've ever done.


At May 02, 2006 1:39 PM, Blogger Eric Nielson said...

Nice Post.

At May 08, 2006 11:30 AM, Blogger tyler said...

The mission question is particularly silly: what kind of 2-year summmary are you supposed to give in thirty seconds? Really. I never did figure out a good answer for that question. I gues the closest I got was the talk I gave when I got home--and that lasted over twenty minutes.

Sealings are nice. Probably even better than nice sometimes. I had a friend who was so excited/nervous that when the sealer paused for her affirmative response she just laughed. It was really funny.

The Temple is also more than nice when someone comes who has not been for a very, very long time.

Finally, the Manti Temple is more than nice. The world room is covered with a magnificent mural by Minerva Teichert. Breathtaking--definetely worth a trip.

Still, even this post is too long for casual conversation. So, in the end, I suppose most spiritual experiences, at least vis. a vis. chapel conversation, are just nice.

At May 08, 2006 6:28 PM, Anonymous Edje said...

Thanks, eric and tyler.

I've never been to Manti; I'll have to make a point of it.

At June 11, 2006 12:12 AM, Anonymous scjr said...

Amen on the irritation with the question - it always stupifies me and leaves me stumbling. In particular I think of right after I went to the temple for the first time. All I remember is a million people's faces all agressively asking this question with big obnoxious smiles on their face.

Part of me wondered if they went some place different than I did on their first time, part of me just wanted breathing space, and the final part wanted to say "no - it wasn't nice and I don't know and I need to think about this and could you all just get very, very lost!

The second time I went was profoundly different. There was no one asking silly questions - just the man I was about to marry... and he was totally quite until I finally started asking questions, but he was there.

A similar question is when people ask "is the baby good?" Everyone asks it. What are you going to say, "no, he's bad." What's a good baby? Best I can tell they all poop and cry and none of that has any indication of how many times he is going to one day burp in the middle of church, talk back to his teacher, or cut his sister's hair. Dumb question. How about, "how are you feeling, how are you handling the changes, is he eating well." Ok... now I'm blogging.

Glad someone missed me - i miss you too.

At November 14, 2006 1:51 AM, Blogger Mabel Maybe said...

They just want something to say. Answer the unspoken question by saying, "I wish you could have been there."


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