We Wanted to Renew Our Vows
June 1993

“We Wanted to Renew Our Vows,” Ensign, June 1993, 29

We Wanted to Renew Our Vows

Valentine’s Day seemed like the perfect day for Rich and me to get married and begin our new life together. We had chosen Las Vegas as the place to exchange our vows, anticipating an exciting, magical honeymoon.

Unfortunately, at least three hundred other couples had the same idea. We waited in line for more than two hours just to have the justice of the peace spend two minutes declaring us husband and wife. Then off we went on our honeymoon in the glitter and lights of the city.

After about six months of marriage, we both felt something was missing. We were happy but wondered if we hadn’t shortchanged ourselves. What a shame that the joy of our beautiful union had not been shared with our family and friends. There had been little ceremony, no flowers, no cake. We didn’t even have pictures for our scrapbook.

At the time, it was a trend to renew wedding vows on the first wedding anniversary, so we decided we would do just that—but in a church this time, with family and friends witnessing.

First, however, we needed to find a church to attend. Neither of us had attended church services in several years, and we felt awkward calling just any local minister and asking him to participate in our celebration. We wanted to attend the church first.

Each Saturday we would turn to the yellow pages, call one of the listings, and go to that church’s services the next morning. Each Sunday we left the services unnoticed and unfulfilled, so we continued searching by this method each week, checking each off our list of possibilities. As we continued down the listings alphabetically, we purposely skipped over The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. We knew that the Mormons were very committed to their faith, and we were not looking for a life-style change. We just wanted a church where we could renew our vows and visit occasionally on Sundays when it was convenient. Finally, however, we had exhausted our listings, so just to be fair, we decided to visit the LDS church.

The first time we attended meetings in a Latter-day Saint ward, the bishop shook our hands and welcomed us personally. Many other members came over and welcomed us, talking with us as if they really cared! We couldn’t figure out how they knew we were visitors.

The meeting itself was unusual—a preacher didn’t address us. Instead, members of the ward spoke on prayer and family home evening. We were impressed with this church.

When we returned to the ward the next Sunday, we found the same warm feeling. That week, the bishop asked us if we would like to have the missionaries come visit us at our home. We said yes.

The missionaries showed us the film Man’s Search for Happiness at our first lesson. We were touched with our Heavenly Father’s plan for us. By the time they taught the lesson on baptism, in which we were challenged to be baptized, we had already marked a date on our calendar.

After our baptism, Rich and I revised our goals as a couple. Now we wanted something much greater than simply to renew our vows as we had once hoped. We now wanted to make covenants together in the house of the Lord. A year later, we went to the temple, where our marriage was sealed for time and all eternity. Many of our loved ones were there as witnesses.

Our marriage ceremony in Las Vegas pales in comparison to the warm glow of our being sealed to one another for all eternity.

  • Diana Berry writes the ward bulletin in the Meridian Third Ward, Meridian Idaho Stake, where her husband, Rich, serves as bishop.