Last week a friend invited me to go with her to a wedding in LA because she was heading over with an engaged couple and didn't want to be the third wheel. It was kind of an out of the blue invitation, but decided to go because when I prayed about it, I had a good feeling. So, I went on a weekend adventure to LA.
I actually ended up at the wedding ceremony itself (it's called a sealing when it's performed at our temple). Which is actually kind of a privilege and kind of unexpected. Sealings are performed in our temples and there isn't much room in the sealing rooms (kind of on purpose) so those attending are usually close friends and family. The biggest difference I would say between a mainstream Christianity wedding and an LDS wedding is that when a sealing is performed the ecclesiastical authority does it with the sealing power given to Peter in order for the marriage to last beyond the grave. This is because we don't believe Jesus was lying when he taught the Pharisees that people married by the priesthood held by the Levites don't keep their marriage after this life (Luke 20:27-35). But we also believe that Heavenly Father intended for the relationship between man and woman to extend beyond the grave if they are worthy (1 Corinthians 11:11) "Nevertheless neither is the man without the woman, neither the woman without the man, in the Lord." In order to settle this seeming conflict in the Bible, we believe that the prophet Joseph Smith received revelation that instructed him that weddings performed by the sealing power given to Peter would extend beyond the grave.
I'm really grateful the family let me tag along for it. The sealer made special care to highlight certain aspects of the covenant made between the two spouses as well as the covenant they were making with the Lord. It gave me a deeper understanding of the sealing covenant. It was really cool for me at the end of the covenant as well, because after the two spouses accepted the covenant and the sealer pronounced them husband and wife, I felt a strong manifestation of the Holy Spirit. I was like "Wow, these two people are going to be together forever if they keep living the way they have."
After the wedding, I helped out with the reception. That was also a really cool experience for me because their family was really nice to me. I was a complete stranger but they treated me like I was one of them. I will probably never see them again, but I was really grateful for that experience.
I did a lot of other fun things, like hitting the beach and disneytown but I would have to say being at the sealing and helping out with the reception were the highlights of my LA trip.