Safely Navigating Twenty One Years

On December 19th, 2010 [yesterday] Mr. MoSop [aka Peeps] and I celebrated Twenty-One Years of Marital Bliss.

But. . .not precisely.

I suppose the correct term would be “commemorated” – or simply “acknowledged” our 21 years – since the last I checked, “celebrate” tends to imply throwing a party, or at least actually doing something together to mark the passage of time!

Since the birth of this blog, I have commemorated four wedding anniversaries. Our 18th Anniversary blog post was lost to a server failure. I redeemed myself the following year with 19 Years Living Happily Ever After , a post where I even shared photos and a few memories, but by the next year, I was back to simply wishing Peeps a Happy 20 Years during Nativity Revealed: Jesus’ actual Birthday and Other Fun Facts.

And that brings us to the fourth try, and the true story of our 21st Anniversary:

We both woke up at 5:30 am in a rush because it was a Sunday morning – and, as usual for a Sunday morning – our busiest day of the week – this meant I was hurrying to get out the door for an early morning Choir rehearsal/performance downtown [plus, an extended Christmas concert event]. Meanwhile, my man was hurrying off to an early morning Bishopric meeting at our local chapel. Needless to say, we were like “two ships passing” in the proverbial night.

Our customary blowing of kisses and hollering “bye-bye, love you!”  can’t honestly be stretched into the definition of “celebrating” – especially since both of us had completely forgotten the day held any special significance! The only thing I did remember – vaguely – as I walked out the door was that it was “Sunday” and [most important] it was “the very last major concert in this year of my crazy-busy performing schedule…and afterwards I can actually begin to think about Christmas!“.

About two hours later, [as I listened to an organ solo to be exact] it “hit” me. Right about the same time, it was “hitting” Peeps as he sat in Sunday School:


Oops. The inconvenient truth of our “anniversary revelation” was that neither of us would even see, nor be able to communicate with each other for several additional hours, [more of our crazy Sunday reality]. But, the good news was that after 21 years of life together, we knew we would be laughing with each other about it. Obviously, neither of us had planned ahead with little gifts or special surprises. So, we mutually agreed to take a “reincheck” on gifts/dinner/celebrating…for “later” [and hopefully, “later” will not extend into another year]

I was curious to see what the ‘wedding experts’ say people married for 21 years should be giving each other. The top two options appear to be ‘Brass’ and ‘Brushed Silver’. Seriously? I can’t imagine anything more boring or impractical. However, I was partial to the gemstone option recommended for a 21st gift;  iolite! This sparkling violet stone, is also referred to as the “water sapphire“, or corelite. According to one wedding site:

The Vikings used the iolite as a secret navigation tool. By experimenting with thin slices of this gemstone, the Vikings actually discovered that the iolite possessed polarizing properties. They were then able to determine their exact position in the sea and safely navigate!” – Carol S. Rothchild

OK,  now I was intrigued! For one thing, I do not remember ever hearing about this “secret Viking gemstone” before. [Why do they always skip these kind of cool things in History Class?!?] So, after about three hours worth of googling, reading, snooping, watching videos, listening to audio clips, and wandering all over the World Wide Web filling my brain with fascinating, if completely irrelevant, information. I learned:

  • The Vikings were not only excellent ship builders and warriors, they were expert navigators. In fact, they discovered America [which they called “Vineland“] in approximately 1000 AD – long before Chris Columbus ever ‘sailed the ocean blue’.
  • Without maps, compasses, or GPS these Nordic pioneers were able to successfully find their way around the globe and back home again – in all kinds of inclement weather conditions – So, how did they do it? What was their “secret”?
  • Enter Exhibit A: The Viking Sunstone. “Ooohh, Ahhh!” Although there seems to be a bit of debate on the actual gemstone used, the techniques involved, and the sticking point of a lack of clear scientific proof, the overall consensus is that Vikings used gemstones to assist in their nautical navigation
  • I don’t have a clue how to explain the physics or science involved. Basically, looking through the Sun Stone allowed a sailor to determine his correct bearings by finding the sun, and following the light.

As usual, I contemplated the symbolism attached to this new information – a guiding gem – and I thought it was very applicable to my marriage.

Twenty-one years ago Mr. Mo and I launched ourselves into the wide-open sea of matrimony, for “Time and All Eternity“. It was a joyous day, and there have been many joyous days along the way – however, the journey we’ve been taking together has not always been smooth sailing, and definitely involved a lot of effort and teamwork! What has helped us through the storms? What saved our ship from sinking? Like the Vikings, we too have our own”secret navigational tool“.

Temple Sealing Room

When Peeps and I were married, we had the joy of being a part of a special sealing ceremony in the Salt Lake City LDS Temple. We were blessed with the opportunity to have our marriage, and the family our union would create, last beyond death. There has been a lot of “What Is Marriage?” debate in the public sphere. For Peeps and I,  marriage is not only meant as a partnership for this lifetime, but a sacred bond that will extend into the next life, and beyond. . .forever linking our ancestors and future generations together. At the moment of our temple sealing, we entered an eternal partnership not only with each other, but with our Savior Jesus Christ;. It is His power, love and light that has been our “secret navigational tool”.

Over the past 21 years, we have survived some very rough “storms” and circumstances – however, I believe it is because of our partnership with the Savior –  having His Powerful Hand at the wheel, combined with our joint desire to follow His direction – that has kept us staying in the same boat & moving forward! The precious Temple blessings and promises help us know our purpose in life, and our potential if we do our part. Peeps and I are navigating by “seeking the light” and using the pure gem of the Gospel of Christ to adjust our bearings regularly, and steer the course. The magnetic force of the Savior’s love and guidance is more powerful than any nautical steering device. The Master who calmed the waves and walked on water has promised to protect us from the storms of life, and guide us home to safe harbor. With that in mind, we rejoice and look forward to the next 21 Years!

Enjoy this beautiful short video of a modern Viking Ship voyage

Interesting Articles & Videos


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