on a literal odyssey
While I appreciated all of the many gifts, cards and well wishes that Kim and I received at our wedding, there was one gift in particular that stood apart from the rest.
An empty jar.
Attached to it was a letter with a quote from S. Michael Wilcox and a note from some dear friends. I couldn’t finish reading the letter and had to have Kim read the rest of it for me.
“My wife often cans peaches and pears in the fall. A great deal of work is necessary just to prepare the fruit. Then, once it is prepared, she puts it into jars, places the seals on, twists the lids tightly into place, and sets the jars in boiling water. Then she waits for the seals to set.
She has performed this operation dozens of times with hundreds of jars. In all that time I have never seen her seal an empty jar. Unless the jar is loaded with fruit, a seal is not placed. I doubt if anyone, among the thousands who can fruit every year, has ever sealed an empty jar. There must be something to preserve or the seal has no significance.
The sealing of temple covenants is similar. When we are married at the altars of the temple, the Lord, from one point of view, gives us an empty jar. Then he instructs us to fill it with the wonderful fruits of righteous marriage. We fill it with love and compromise and forgiveness and joy and peace and shared trails; we fill it with all the things of life, all the good fruit. As we keep our covenants, returning often to renew them as we work for the dead, the jar begins to fill. As we grow older and our love deepens, we desire to preserve forever all the good we have stored.
Our abiding in the covenant allows the Lord to place the seal on our covenant relationship and preserve the fruits of our righteousness for all eternity. This is the same for all temple covenants. Nobody seals an empty jar; neither does the Lord seal empty covenants. First there must be fruit to preserve.”
In the temple, you were given an empty jar as a present. Eternal marriages are not made at the altar. They are made by the things that you will do together and for each other every day thereafter. May you spend your lifetime filling your jar with all of the sweet things of your life together.
With love and best wishes for your marriage,