One year ago today, Jaime and I met at the Manhattan Temple of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. I wore a dark tux with a sharp red vest and tie, she wore her wedding dress. I went through an endowment session and entered into the Celestial Room. There was Jaime, as beautiful as ever. We went to the Sealing Room, where many of our friends were waiting for us. The Temple President, President Stone, gave us some salient, inspired advice for our marriage and then sealed us as husband and wife for time and all eternity. President Stone said I was to be the provider, the protector, and the presider in this family, while Jaime was to be the nurturer.
So began the rest of my life for time and all eternity.
We left the temple with our friends and went to eat at Penang on the corner of Columbus and 72nd in Manhattan.
We took pictures at various locations in Manhattan including:
What we did for our wedding is have it split on two days, rather than just one. So we were married on Thursday, August 4 and had our reception on Friday evening, the next day. This way, we sort of had two parties and we were able to spread out the enjoyment of the wedding. I’ve been to weddings where the bride and groom felt rushed, going from one place to another. We decided to take it easy.
Also, because many of our family and friends were not Mormons and they could not go to the temple to see our sealing, we did a ring exchange ceremony on Friday so they could at least feel like they participated in the wedding itself rather than just a reception. On my mission for the church (which I’ll post about later on), one of my investigators played the drums in a band and invited us missionaries to a wedding he performed in. I had never seen people have so much fun at a wedding reception as those Romanians did. I promised myself that my wedding would be full of dance and fun. Ours was. 🙂
I love Jaime. That is my first thought on this first year of marriage. It is wonderful. Jaime and I communicate well with each other. She is my best friend, and I am her best friend. We talk to each other about all our concerns and the things that make us happy. We didn’t have much time to “solidify” our relationship with each other as a month into our marriage, we find out that Jaime is pregnant! We had hoped that our first child would come like a year or two into our marriage, not right at the start. But, I don’t know, I think it has brought us closer together, and forced us to think less about ourselves and more about each other and Ava. The day Ava was born was special and sacred. My bond and my love for my wife grew especially strong.
For those reading this, what would I suggest about marriage? I think firstly, people should realize that once married, selfish things should be relegated to secondary or even tertiary positions. Most important thing in a marriage, and in my marriage, is the well being of my spouse. I am here for her, first and foremost. She is here for me, first and foremost. I’ve done what I could for my wife, including sacrificing things that, when single, brought me satisfaction or pleasure (such as playing Civ III all day). Once in a marriage, it no longer is about me, but about her.
It is sad because just this morning on the Today Show, they highlighted a woman who said that she was bored with her children. Her comments, as she elaborated, were all about selfish desires. She didn’t feel intellectually stimulated with her children. And her children’s replies were astounding in how they sounded just like their mother, all about me me me.
To all who read this blog and are yet married, if you don’t want to give up selfish desires, don’t even think about marriage until you do. It will be a waste of your time, it will be harmful to your children and the relationship with your spouse. Happiness comes from serving others. There is no greater place where you can serve others than inside the walls of your own home. If you can’t give up the things that make your family come second, don’t bother making a family in the first place.
One more piece of advice. Communicate. Communication is the key to any and all relationships. The better you communicate with your spouse, the better your relationship. Jaime and I talk all the time to each other. And not just on things that concern us, but regular life, the events of the day in our lives and the world around us.
Finally, stay close to the Lord. The Gospel of Jesus Christ changes people’s lives for the better. The closer we come to Christ, the more at peace we are. An eternal marriage in the Temple of the Lord is a three-way contract, not just a two-way. This is a covenant between Jaime, myself and the Lord. He is a signatory to our marriage contract and we have chosen to follow the Lord. Our lives are blessed because of this. Ava came into our lives earlier than we had planned, but the Lord found a way for us to drop our budget down to one salary. He prepared a job for me in Pennsylvania, a less expensive place to live than New York City, where Jaime would be close to her side of the family. Our moving to Pennsylvania also helped Jessica’s husband, Joe, join the church, and now be an active participant in helping others come to Christ. The blessings from the Lord are innumerable and too many to mention. Good health for all three of us. A peaceful environment to raise up our children. Peace in our hearts, even as the world around us becomes more and more hateful and violent. If only all would turn to Christ….
Finally, I love Jaime dearly. She is my eternal companion and I could not be happier. May she know that my life is for her.