The little girl walks down into the water, where her father stands waiting for her. He takes her hands and arranges them on his arm as they had practiced, she intently trying to remember his earlier instructions while concious of the luke-warm font water soaking through her jumpsuit. She closes her eyes as her father raises his arm to the square, addresses her by her full name, and speaks the baptismal blessing. As soon as the 'amen' is spoken, he carefully pushes her back and submerges her beneath the water. For an instant all is silent, then she is up again - blinking and spluttering, but suddenly... happy.
The little one leaves the font to put on her new white dress, feeling lighter and more cheerful than ever before. It had happened so quickly, but she knew that didn't matter... she was baptised. "Clean and pure...," she whispered to herself. And so she was.
The young bride and her handsome husband came out of the temple at 11:30, and hour and fifteen minutes after going in. Her flowing white dress blended in with the pearly white stone behind her, both sparkling bright in the sunlight. Pictures were arranged with both families - first with his parents, then hers, then the siblings, then all the aunts and uncles and cousins.
The day to come will be a long one, filled with greetings and goings and preparations for the reception. But for now, all that is forgotten as she looks deeply into the eyes of the man she loves more than anyone in the world and smiles as he draws her close. He sweeps her up into his arms and walks down the hill to the gates, the sealer's words still ringing in both of their ears. Together... not "'Til death do us part," but "For time and all eternity..." And so it was.
The newspapers had put a story out about it the week before, but it was small and went generally unnoticed. A teenager and an involved in a car crash. Black ice... an accident by most accounts, though the police wouldn't have called it so. Both cars were totalled. Both men were killed.
The young man's family was devastated. At his funeral there was a great deal of pain and many tears. The widow of the old man attended, but she felt that there was little she could say or do to assuage their grief. Yet it made her heart ache to see them brought so low - they looked as though they would never be happy again.
Her husband's funeral could not have been more different. There were tears, and there was time for mourning... But when all the words had been spoken and the dedication of the gravesite was through, the crying stopped. The pain of loss was still present, of course, and would be for some time to come - but it was only a shadow of what it had been before. The family retired to the cultural hall in the church and enjoyed a beautiful meal prepared by the Relief Society sisters of that ward. There was laughter and conversation again, smiles and love flowing freely. Somehow, it was almost impossible to feel pain in the midst of such joy.
Later, at home, the widow continued to smile. It had been a beautiful service... the best she could have hoped for. Everything was cleared up now, and everyone gone home... but there was one more thing that needed to be done. For a moment she disappeared into the bedroom, then came again into the living room, this time with a framed photograph in hand. She looked at it fondly - an unplanned shot of a beaming bride being kissed by a dashing young husband. Smiling again, though a little sadly, she placed the picture next to the painting of Jesus Christ on the mantlepiece. For a moment the tears almost came again, but one glance at the Savior stopped them. It would be alright... She would see him again soon. And when she did, it would not be a fleeting embrace, but a lasting union...
"For time and all eternity." And so it is.