Between the Mirrors

Ben and I on our wedding day standing in front of the temple doors.

I stood beside Ben a little over seventeen years ago in the Salt Lake Temple. That beautiful building was the place where my parents, grandparents, and great grandparents were married. Together, dressed in our wedding and temple clothing Ben and I looked into a large mirror on one wall of the ceiling room. On the other side was another large mirror, so that the reflections seemed to stretch in a shadowy corridor into infinity. It was a powerful metaphor to teach us the vital importance of our place at that time, between the mirrors.

As I return to that memory, I can almost imagine my ancestors dressed in white, standing in the shadows, watching.  Always watching.  Also, my children, their wives and their children, watching.  Because what happens between the mirrors is what is important.  It is where everything changes.

Eternal things don’t change.  Temporal things change.  When we come to this mortal world, we fall, as Adam and Eve fell into a place where things are in a constant state of flux, being born and dying in an ever changing cycle.  Nothing lasts, nothing stays the same, everything dies.  Where we came from, it was not this way.  Where we go after this life, it will not be this way.  This life is the time to prepare to meet God, to find the Savior and own him our Lord.  That is our one task while we enter the realm between the mirrors.

Edwin Harris Cutler, my Great Grandfather

Last night I couldn’t sleep.  As the clock went from eleven o’clock, to twelve o’clock to one, I started to pray as I often do when I can’t sleep.  The silent stillness of the night seems to make my prayers reverberate and ascend to heaven more swiftly.   My mind went to my great grandfather Edwin Harris Cutler.  I had been reading about him that night on Family Search.  He was a school teacher like me.  He died when I was one year old, almost to the day.  I have no memory of him, and I often get him confused with the many other Edwin Cutlers in his line.  I got the distinct impression that although I don’t know him, he knows me very well.  “You are in the arena,” he said, “We all see you, and our hopes and prayers are with you.”

I imagined myself leaving this life and entering the mirror shadow corridor to take my place with the others.  There I will watch my descendants enter the space between the mirrors, see them take my place, bear the burdens that I bore, struggle with the genes I struggled with, battle the enemy I fought.  I will pray for them always.  I will cry with them, I will stand beside them when they are too weary to go on.  I will guard them from harm and warn them of danger.  Of course I will.  I will hope beyond hope that perhaps they will get it right.  Perhaps they will realize at last, the potential that I know is in our DNA; the potential that has been hampered by sin and false traditions, by pride and weaknesses that I strove to overcome while I was between the mirrors.  I will see in them, the sins I am guilty of and their devastating consequences.  That will be my hell.  I will see in them, the virtue I possessed and passed on.  That will be my heaven.

And so I live another day between the mirrors.  It doesn’t feel like the work I do, tending sick children, wiping noses, making peanut butter sandwiches, and teaching life lessons, is very significant.  It is of little consequence to this world, but it is eternally significant.  I live between the mirrors and I have the opportunity to bless my future family by the decisions I make today to trust in my Savior, follow his commandments, and draw strength from his love.  They watch me and they cheer for me, my guardian angels.  I can’t see them, but they are there and I can feel their love, blended with His love.  My Savior and Redeemer, the source of my hope and my salvation!

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