11 July 2017

20 years ago today - P-day and Temple Sealing Experience - 11 July 1997

P-day or preparation day is a day designated for missionaries to get laundry done, write letters to friends and family, attend to any other personal matters and to essentially take a day off.

Doing laundry in the MTC; I never thought much about leaving my laundry to go do other things while the machine did its work. One P-day in particular I came back to my laundry only to find that my favorite hat was missing. It was a hat that my younger sister Lyndsie had given to me as a souvenir from her recent trip to New York City. Someone had stolen it in the one place I would have thought nothing like that would ever happen. This forever changed my view of other missionaries and other people. That despite my best efforts to be the best person I could be, many other people just don't have the same motives.

A favorite way to spend a few hours on P-day was to attend the temple. Exactly twenty years ago on a hot July day in particular while having just finished a temple endowment session, another Elder from my district and I, (Elder Schakowsky) were leaving the celestial room early. We were then intercepted by a temple sealer as we made our way to the changing rooms and he asked if we'd like to participate in temple sealings. Which we happily obliged and then followed him to the sealing room.

During a temple sealing, spouses and families can be sealed together for time and all eternity. This being the highest ordinance available in the LDS faith. It is also necessary to attain the highest glory in the afterlife. Like the temple endowment, this can be done by proxy for those who have already passed on without having had the opportunity. Like any ordinance performed in LDS temples, the work can either be accepted or rejected by the individual(s) for whom the work is being done.

It goes like this, There is an altar in the middle of the room which you kneel across from the person with whom you are being sealed to. Or in this case you are both representing couples who have passed on. There is a mirror behind each of you and the reflecting images go on forever. This represents the eternal aspect of the covenants you are making with each other before God.

I don't recall who the sisters were but what I do recall was the feeling about the experience. I had never experienced anything like this before. We each took turns at the alter while the officiant or temple sealer, performed the ordinance. He would read through the names and perform the sealings while the woman and man performed in the proxy place of the individuals for whom the work was being done.

For most of the time, these were just words being spoken by the sealer. However, for one sealing in particular, when the ordinance started, the room suddenly felt full. Full of people, perhaps spirits from beyond. Then the most magical feeling happened. The words felt as though they were being accepted. That there was a couple on the other side of the veil that were accepting this work. The love felt so rich and full. I couldn't help but to feel the overwhelming love as it brought tears to my eyes. The entire room was spilling over with this love and joy. Then something happened that sealed in my mind that the experience was real. The sealing ceremony for that particular couple concluded; and in that instant, the room felt empty again. Save the few of us that were doing the ordinances by proxy. Then the next few sealings performed were like the ones before and felt like they were just words being spoken by the temple sealer.

This is by far the most memorable experience I have ever had in the temple. Save only recognizing my now ex-wife, as I pulled her through the symbolic veil when she took out her own endowments. In that moment I felt as though the veil was made thin in my mind and I recognized her. We knew each other. The impression I got was that we were good friends in the previous life. Which gives me hope that perhaps one day, if nothing more, the mother of my children and I can become friends. At the very least, for the children we brought into this world.


  1. Beautifully written. Thanks Tony! I'm it'll happen again:)

  2. I've really enjoyed these. You are a great writer.

    1. I appreciate your kind words Rachel. I'm really excited to post about some of the experiences once I got to Russia. It really was quite an adventure, wasn't it.