The Symbolism of Clasping Hands
Salt Lake Temple

Matthew Cowley  Quorum of the Twelve Apostles
October 1952 General Conference

What a beautiful sermon, [President Daviod O. McKay] standing at the side of his wife, where he has stood for lo these many years, and in the presence of his mother, who also stood at the side of her companion for many years! There flashed in my mind when he briefly related that experience the symbol which is over the long narrow window on the east and west end of that great temple, the symbol of the clasped hands. How important that symbol is in the lives of all of us! We men of the priesthood who have knelt at the sacred altar and on that altar clasped the hand of a sainted companion and have entered an eternal triangle, not a companionship of two but of three the husband, the wife and God-the most sacred triangle man and woman can become a part of. But my heart sinks in despair when I witness so many who have and are withdrawing that hand from one another. They don't do that until they first divorce God from that triangle, and after divorcing God, it is practically impossible for them to stay together side by side. We pledge eternal fidelity to one another as we kneel at the sacred altar, and the words we hear are not "until death do you part," nor "for as long as you both shall life," but "for tie and for all eternity." (Conference Report. Oct. 1952, pp. 26-27)