"With this Garment I give you a New Name, which you should always remember, and which you must keep sacred, and never reveal except at a certain place which will be shown you hereafter. The name is Sarah," the nice lady smiled as she pronounced it.
"Sarah," I repeated. In my mind I was thinking of a friend of mine named Sarah who used to annoy me a lot. At least, I justified, I would always be able to remember it. Plus, it was a special, just-for-me name, and I really enjoyed Sarah in the bible. It would do. I would not protest.
As we finished our first endowment session, my husband (though not eternally at that point) stood behind the "veil" and repeated what the guy told him to say. I only can recall the part where I gave the First Token of the Aaronic Priesthood, or the New Name. I told Eric my new name and immediately wanted him to whisper what his was. But the temple worker kept on going with the ceremony. Then Eric, as the "Lord", guided me through the white polyester curtain. "Heaven" sure looked like a back-stage. A white one.
In my mind I kept stewing over Eric being the "Lord" in that scenario. But I tucked those thoughts down because the Celestial Room was pretty and I was concentrating on not letting my "robe" touch the floor.
It was dusk as we got in the car to leave. The sound of crickets and cicadas rang in our ears, and the horizon was a dull purple-blue. "Well that wasn't so bad," I declared.
"What'd you expect? Blood-letting?" joked my oldest brother.
I laughed, "Yeah sure. But the initiatory was weird. I didn't know she was going to touch me. Oh well, no biggie." My thoughts trailed off and we drove on with only superficial small-talk.
It wasn't until 5 years later, having removed my garments for the final time, that I remembered my first temple experience. Though it didn't stand out as traumatic, and I didn't realize anything awry at the time, I definately had an out-of-sync feeling that night. Quiet, yes it was. Peaceful, absolutely. Weird, you'd better believe it.