Fifty-eight years ago today, Elder Spencer W. Kimball of the Council of the Twelve Apostles performed the first sealing ceremony or temple marriage in the newly dedicated Swiss Temple. It was, very likely, the first such sealing in Europe in this dispensation. (Certainly it was the first in a temple, since the Swiss Temple was the first temple dedicated in modern Europe.)
The bride had come from Utah to join the groom, who had been drafted into the United States Army after having served as a missionary in Aotearoa, “The Land of the Long White Cloud” (aka New Zealand), where he had come under the lasting spell of the Maori. He was now serving in Germany — or, as he puts it, “keeping western civilization safe from the threat posed by the Soviet Union and its Eastern European ‘evil empire’ allies.”
“Whatever happened to all of that?” the groom asks, reflecting on the former Soviet Union. ”Well, it went away, just as academic experts had not been predicting for many years.”
My heartiest congratulations on this day to my historic friends Louis and Ireta Midgley, deservedly beloved by very, very many.