Last evening we attended a wedding reception for the son of our Mormon friends. A few years ago we attended the reception of their daughter. Since we are not Mormons we are not invited to attend the wedding itself if it is being held in the temple. Only Mormons with a 'temple recommend' from their bishop, who are worthy, are allowed to enter into the temple. Once a new temple is built they do hold an open house for the general public to attend, but that is a whole other blog. The young couple were actually married a month ago but because of different family things going on the reception wasn't scheduled until last night.
In our years here in Utah we have been to a number of wedding receptions. Most of them are very simple with cake and nuts and mints being served. Sometimes they might serve an eclair. Last evening's event was scheduled for 6:00 p.m. so I thought in the back of my mind there was the possibility for a little more substance to the food being served. I assured my husband we would be in and out in 30 minutes. Most times you make an appearance and say hello and visit with friends, etc and then you leave. Since we never know any of the people other than the parents and their children it doesn't take long to 'socialize' since they are in a receiving line.
We arrived and the scene was a little unorganized. I didn't see any food being set out. However there were about 20 to 25 round tables set up with chairs, decorated simply but very tastefully. Our friends, the parents of the groom, told us to go find a table to sit at and they would join us later. They were going to be serving a sit down dinner and then there would be entertainment. Imagine my shock! I looked at Jim and he looked at me and we both laughed together as we found our seats.
Our friends were never able to have children so they adopted three different nationalities of children. One daughter is Korean, their son is Filipino, and their youngest daughter is African American. Their son married a young lady whose father is from Australia and is a professor at Harvard and her mother is from the Philippines. The groom was very active throughout college in the multi-cultural club on campus, as was his new bride.
The food was very delicious. They served steamed rice, chop suey, shredded pork (with a fabulous sauce) a Samoan chicken (marinated in something very delicious) and salad with mandarin oranges. And of course, the wedding cake.
The entertainment was a highlight of the evening. The bride had been involved in dance with the multi-cultural club and many of their fellow friends from all different ethnic backgrounds gave them the neatest gift....different native dances from the different cultures, with the dancers attired in the native dress. There was the Pheasant Dance which the Iroquois Indians would do, there was the Hoop Dance which another Indian gal did. She explained that her grandmother taught her that the hoops represent different times of your life and you would need to go through those different times (hoops) to become the person you are meant to be. She had tons of hoops which she placed on the ground and began by picking up one with her foot as she danced. Then she kept adding more hoops, all the while continuing to dance. She would go through these hoops and interconnect them etc. Then there was the traditional Hawaiian hula performed by the bride and several of her friends for her new husband. There was a Polynesian tribal warrior dance that several of the men performed. There was a Mexican Hat dance, and several other island dances.
It was a wonderful mixture of cultures and very entertaining and enlightening. We did not expect anything Christian or any mention of God and there was none. Our evening was a delightful show with great food. And we did manage to find time to visit with our friends, the mother and father of the groom.
We are always amazed when we are with them and we are introduced to other people. We are always introduced as "G and L's best friends, Jim and Claire." Or people will come up to us and once we are introduced they will say, "Oh, I know who you all are. You are G and L's best friends." It takes us by surprise because we don't get together but every few months on a social basis and we have nothing in common as far as a spiritual relationship goes. For us, missing the depth of that common bond of Christ is huge. Jim and I continue to thank the Lord, however, for opportunities to share one on one with them and are ever hopeful that one day they may come to know the Christ of the Bible.