" But from the beginning of the creation, God made them male and female. For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother and cleave to his wife. And they twain shall be one flesh, so they are no more twain but one flesh. " Mark 10:9
I recently attended the wedding of my niece. Our family travelled across the country for her special day. She was a beautiful bride. Her beautiful long black hair and olive skin looked stunning next to her beautiful white gown....... I remember the day she was born. Can it be that she is now a grown woman and married to the man of her dreams? Where has time flown?
As we sat in the chapel and listened to the ceremony I was so very touched by the vows that my niece exchanged with her beloved. They were traditional vows, but they really touched my heart..... I was so touched....... I wept....... and my niece was weeping as she pledged her love and commitment to her husband. It was beautiful.
As I pondered the vows they exchanged to one another, I felt an ache in my heart..... my husband and I will be married 17 yrs and on our wedding day we exchanged no vows to one another. We were married in an LDS Temple, and there was no exchange of vows. There was no " I promise to have and to hold, to love and to cherish in sickness and in health..........." there was no such vows made. Instead we recited the following:
Officiator: Brother ______, and Sister ______, please join hands in the patriarchal grip or sure sign of the nail.
Couple: Joins hands in the patriarchal grip ( a hand grip similar to the boyscout hand shake) . No clothing is supposed to interfere when this grip is given to one another.
Officiator: Brother_______, do you take Sister Pickering by the right hand and receive her unto yourself to be your lawful and wedded wife for time and all eternity with a covenant and promise that you will observe and keep all the laws, rites and ordinances pertaining to this holy order of matrimony in the new and everlasting covenant, and this you do in the presence of God, angels, and these witnesses of your own free will and choice?
Groom: says "yes".
Officiator: Sister ___________, do you take Brother Pickering by the right hand and give yourself to him to be his lawful and wedded wife and for him to be your lawful and wedded husband for time and all eternity, with a covenant and promise that you will observe and keep all the laws, rites and ordinances pertaining to this holy order of matrimony in the new and everlasting covenant and this you do in the presense of God, angels, and these witnesses of your own free will and choice?
Bride: says "yes"
Officiator: By virtue of the holy priesthood and the authority vested in me, I pronounce you legally and lawfully husband and wife for time and all eternity, and I seal upon you the blessings of the holy resurrection with power to come forth in the morning of the first resurrection clothed in glory, immortality and eternal lives, adn I seal upon you the blessings of kingdoms, thrones, principalities, powers, dominions, and exaltations, with all the blessings of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and say unto you: be fruitful and multiply and replenish the earth that you may have joy and rejoicing in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. All these blessings, together with all the blessings appertaining to the new and everlasting covenant I seal upon you by the virtue of the holy priesthood through your faithfulness, in the name of the father and the son and the holy ghost. Amen.
Basically an LDS couple is making a "covenant" or promise to be faithful to the LDS ordinances, laws and rites. They make no promise to love one another, to cherish one another, to be there in sickness or health or good times or bad. Nope. There is no exchange of rings as a symbol of their love and commitment. There is no lighting of the unity candle, to symbolize that they will be a "light" to the world. Finally there is no glorifying God in the entire ceremony. There is no singing His praises or promising to be faithful to God. The promise is made to "observe and keep all the rituals rites, laws and ordinances". There is no promise made to one another other than to take the said person as your lawful wife or husband.
After attending my niece's wedding I can honestly say there is no comparison.
Here is an example of traditional vows made in a Christian wedding:
Male: I ______ take you, ________to be my wedded wife. To have and to hold, from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish till death do us part. I hereto pledge you my faithfulness.
Wife: I ______ take you, ______ to be my wedded husband. To have and to hold, from this day forward, for better , for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish till death do us part. And hereto I pledge you my faithfulness.
The Christian couple makes promises to one another. They are promises to love, to cherish, to be there in good times and bad.
I was also touched when I watched my niece being walked down the aisle by her father....... it was so beautiful. When the pastor asked "who gives this woman to be wedded today and the father answered : " I give my daughter to be wedded today"..... I just wept..... I know how much my brother in law loves his girl.
My dad never got a chance to walk me up the aisle. He had to stay outside the temple and wait for me to come out before he could kiss me and hug me. I knew how hard that was for him. It just about broke his heart to not be there on my wedding day.
The Lord spoke and taught about marriage. He believed that marriage was one man and one woman joined in one flesh. That is the picture of marriage taught in the Bible. That has always been God's plan for marriage.
I love the passage in Ephesians chapter 5 ........
" Husbands love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it. So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself. Nevertheless let every one of you in particular so love his wife even as himself and the wife see that she reverence ( respect) her husband. "
What a beautiful passage on marriage! A godly man should love his wife , enough to lay down his life for her as Christ loved us.......when a husband loves his wife like this, then the wife is easily able to submit to his headship and reverence or "respect" him.
God knew that men needed to be respected and women needed to be loved. He created us that way. Women have a need to be loved and cherished and men have a need placed in them by the creator to be respected and reverenced.
What a beautiful picture of marriage! Marriage was not designed to be a vehicle for us to receive dominions and powers and kingdoms. Marriage, ordained of God is a symbol of the relationship Christ has with His bride - The Church - one of love and reverence.