Just prior to heading to John F. Kennedy Airport for our return to Utah, Debbie and I were able to participate in vicarious sealings of couples and of children to parents in the Manhattan New York Temple. A number of those for whom we performed the ordinances had distinctly Dutch names, and they evidently lived in New Amsterdam, now known as New York.
New Amsterdam was the seventeenth-century Dutch colonial settlement on the southern tip of the island of Manhattan that served as the capital of New Netherland. It was renamed “New York” in honor of the Duke of York — who later became King James II of England – when English forces seized control of the Dutch colony, including Manhattan, in 1665. Wall Street (in Dutch, “de Waal Straat”) evidently derives its name from an earthen wall on the northern perimeter of the New Amsterdam settlement, a wall that was perhaps erected in order to protect against either encroachments by English colonists or attacks by native Americans.
Anyway, it was a moving experience to me to be able to officiate in these ordinances, which I believe to have impact beyond the veil of death and beyond virtually all of the seemingly important but transient phenomena of this world, in the midst of Manhattan. The temple there, virtually across the street from the Juilliard School of Music and Lincoln Center, is an island of light and astonishing quietude surrounded by stress, noise, ambition, consumerism, crowds, pollution, and bustle. It’s an oasis of beauty and peace, dedicated to the Permanent Things. I’m so grateful for temples. Wherever they are, they’re wonderful places for getting one’s bearings.
Posted from JFK Airport, New York City