I was a girl when I first saw my mother’s wedding dress. It was carefully wrapped inside a box, and I remember my mother unwrapping it tenderly so I could see it. How beautiful it was! I so much wanted to wear that dress when the day of my marriage arrived.
My mother gently put it back and promised to lend it to me in the future. She said the dress had been a special gift from my father. She looked so in love and beautiful in her wedding photographs. My parents, not members of the Church, were wonderful people.
I learned about the Church when I met the man who would become my husband. That meeting was unusual because, though he was not active in the Church, our meeting led to the story of the First Vision. I found the story amazing, but I was not ready to accept it.
After we had dated for 16 months, my dreams came true when I put on my mother’s wedding dress with its long tail and walked down the aisle toward my fiancé. I also was so in love. Many people said I looked just like my mother when she married.
Years passed, and we had two sons. When my husband tried to return to church, I hindered his efforts. Though I wasn’t active in the church of my youth, I had a hard time accepting another church.
That finally changed after 19 years of marriage. My husband returned to church, and a few weeks later I began to attend with him. My testimony grew rapidly, and I was baptized and confirmed. Soon afterward my greatest desire was to prepare myself to be sealed to my husband in the temple.
When the happy day of our sealing arrived, I wore my mother’s white dress again. A friend from church had adjusted it so it would be proper to wear in the temple. I have worn it there ever since.
By the time my father had passed away and my mother had entered her last days, she still wasn’t ready to accept the restored Church. But I told her many wonderful things about the Restoration. I also told her that when she crossed the veil, she was going to hear the message of the true gospel. I promised her that after a year, I would wear our dress in her behalf so she could vicariously receive temple ordinances and be sealed to my father. And I did.
My dress is old now, and I know that one day I will have to retire it. Until that day comes, I will continue to wear it with love—for my husband, for my mother and father, for family members I have served vicariously in the temple, for the true gospel, for my sacred covenants, and for my Heavenly Father and His Son, Jesus Christ.