Monday, August 25, 2014

Religous Reflections 04 | My Best Friend's Wedding

"Celebrate and commemorate each day together as a treasured gift from heaven." 
-Russell M. Nelson 

A little over a week ago, my best friend became the most beautiful, blushing bride and married the love of her life in the Salt Lake temple for time and all eternity. 

It was the same place that Sam and I were married almost 5 years ago. The combination of total and complete happiness for her, and the memory of my own perfect day was enough to ruin my makeup. Thank goodness the temple keeps tissues nearby during wedding ceremonies. 

(I'm not sure how she would feel about me posting pictures from her wedding on my blog, and she's on her honeymoon in Hawaii so I won't bother her. Thus, there's a picture of Sam and me from the big day instead. Isn't he dreamy?) 

I've known Sharydon since middle school. We were in the same 8th grade science class, and my first memories of her were in the bathroom before it started. We would both rush to the mirror between classes to touch up our makeup and fluff our hair. We only had 5 minutes, so we had to make it count. The style in those days (at least where we lived--I think it may have been a localized affair) was to rat your hair so much on the sides and in the back that your head had an elevated, almost boxy appearance. The bigger the better. And, indeed, all of the most popular girls were masters of the "poof." It was imperative for social acceptance into circles that we never actually became a part of. No matter though, because we became bathroom buddies, sharing hairspray and a love of huge hair. It wasn't long before we were inseparable. 

Our friendship has endured the various stages of our lives. First the poofy hair preppy phase where our biggest aspiration in life was to work at American Eagle. (Sadly, we never did achieve this goal. By the time we were old enough to actually do it we had out grown the desire.) Next, we entered the Myspace bathroom "selfie" phase. Our hangouts consisted of taking hundreds of pictures of each other with the same "duck face," and meticulously studying the "scenester/emo" look. We helped each other along as we attempted to emulate this popular trend. I'm not sure we were ever entirely successful... I think we wore too many bright colors to be considered true "emo" kids... but we sure tried. And we chased after boys with long hair and tight pants, attending concerts and pretending to know all about bands we had never heard of. Next, came the era when Sharydon went to hair school and I (willingly) became her guinea pig. I attempted every color possible--my favorite being the orangey blonde hue I achieved when I wanted to go from jet black hair to platinum. Smart move.

We've seen each other through the hair, boys, heartache, drama, and the general ups and downs of life. Over time our hair has flattened out, but our love for each other as remained. Even when I married young and set out on a very different course in life than my hip, single friend we still managed to maintain our friendship. I set her up with just about every guy I could think of, and she supported me through all the changes that I went through--throwing me bridal and baby showers, showing up the day Klair was born to take photos--even helping me out in those weeks of recovery after childbirth. I found her doing my dishes on multiple occasions. If that's not true love, I don't know what is. 

Now that she has found her other half, I'm thrilled to be able to return the favor. I threw her a bridal shower, now I'm just biding my time until I get the chance to throw a baby shower... haha just kidding! But seriously. That will be so fun :) 

As I sat there in the temple, my hand in Sam's, I couldn't help but think back to my own wedding. It was such a surreal, transcendental day. It was as if God had temporarily parted the veil between heaven and earth and allowed us a glimpse of the perfection that awaits. And, by the look on both Sharydon and Jordan's faces, I could tell they felt the same. The ceremony was profoundly beautiful, and the love felt in that room was nothing short of angelic. I'm extremely grateful for the opportunity to return to the temple for a wedding that was so special to me. The advice given, the covenants made in that sacred place... it was all such a beautiful reminder of God's love and the true meaning of life.

"Choose your love. Love your choice." President Thomas S. Monson 

I am incredibly grateful for the priceless insights that I have because I have been blessed with a knowledge of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Some may wonder why the LDS/Mormon church places so much emphasis on marriage and family. The answer? In short, it's because we believe that the family, and the expressions of love found within it, is the true meaning of life. Marriages and families can be eternal. "'Till death do us part" does not have to be our destiny... it was never meant to be. God wants us to be with those we love forever. The atonement was wrought to make it so.

This knowledge of the forever nature of marriages and family breathes an added measure of importance-- a richness and eternal perspective-- into our relationships. Marriage isn't something designed to help us through this life so that we can part ways when we die. It is so much more. It is our shared destiny, our greatest potential. It is a love that you work for because it is meant to last forever. I'm a self-proclaimed hopeless romantic, and I believe this to be the most romantic sentiment possible. 

"Our joy now and forever is inextricably tied to our capacity to love." John H. Groberg


  1. awww you two are sooo photogenic!!!!!!

    Sandy a la Mode

  2. As I held the principal incredible terrific kid in my better half's family and watched her battle to stand and creep at our lake house, I really wanted to ponder where did the years go? My most established left for school only a couple of years back and my center child is going to take off to a neighborhood college. payday loan san diego


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