We received a text:
Elder and Sister Hall, my friend told me that yesterday Sister Salvador is having symptoms of having a baby. I do not know how you say it in English.
The writer of the text was in Cebu. Another translator was in the hospital. Another was at work.
We stopped by the family’s home. We called, “Ayo! Ayo!” which is the equivalent of knocking on a door. No one answered and the door was shut. We found the sister missionaries and asked them to go by the home with us.
A child looked out the window and the sister missionaries talked to her. The sisters turned to us.
She said we should come in.
We walked through the gate and into a very small room in a very humble home. The mother proudly showed us the newborn baby boy sleeping on the bed.
Oh, your baby is so cute! When was he born?
Yesterday about 4 pm.
Look at that beautiful black hair!
He is so little!
Sister, how are you feeling?
I am doing well. This is my 15th baby, you know.
So you will need to rest. We can change the appointment for the temple.
Oh no! We still want to go on Tuesday.
But sister, I worry about you. You just gave birth. Tuesday is only four days away. That will be a hard trip for you.
We have waited so long. We really want to go Tuesday. I want to go Tuesday. It will be alright.
We checked on the details for the trip.
My husband will get off work a 6. I will get up at 3 am to fix breakfast and get the children ready. When we get home, my husband will go to his work for another night.
That is what the faithful here do. They will make any sacrifice necessary.
On Tuesday, we sat in a beautiful sealing room as the mother and father entered into a covenant of marriage that ended with the promise that they will be together “in time and through all eternity.”[i]
Then ten of their children, looking like angels all dressed in white, were ushered into the room. It was a sweet and powerful glimpse of heaven.
As the children sat with their parents, the sealer talked to the family about the importance of the ordinance of sealing. He told them that unless children are sealed to their parents, the parents can have no claim, legally or spiritually, on those children in the eternities. He went on to explain that the whole purpose of this life is to create eternal families.
The mother and father looked at each other and held hands. Their daughter Marianne, who had died at age 21, would now also be sealed to them, by proxy.
Tears glistened in the eyes of a close friend of the family as she later talked of the experience.
When I held that tiny baby in my arms, and listened to the words that would bind on earth and in heaven,[ii] I felt that Marianne was there. I just cannot describe the joy…I just cannot describe the wonder…I just cannot describe the feelings of that special moment.
As the world prepares to celebrate the birth of the babe of Bethlehem, on the other side of the world, on a beautiful green tropical island, we experienced a special “white Christmas” as a family of princesses and princes, all dressed all in white, became an eternal family.
The current humble circumstances of that family are not who they really are.
The words of the Savior Jesus Christ echo through the ages.
Father, I will that they also, whom thou hast given me, be with me where I am[iii]