The courtesy and friendship the couple have shown during courtship are vital on their wedding night. The first night requires nearly perfect courtesy, consideration, and, in many cases, a gentle sense of good humor. They must be the very best of friends on this first occasion when they are able to begin to know one another completely. They may be ill at ease, even awkward, and would do well to smile at their awkwardness. Each must remember that the other person is vulnerable to embarrassment. And, they must realize that the greatest passions of marriage lie ahead, to increase over the years through experience and growth.
Elder Holland famously stated that sex is a marital sacrament. He uses this insight to inform how we should go about sex: viewing pornography as a intimacy enhancement would be out of bounds.
But I’m just as interested in what sex being a sacrament tells us about sex. President Kimball says sex and good humor go together. C.S. Lewis warns about the danger of making sex a little deity and counsels that we shouldn’t take it too seriously. Most couples will discover that it takes a lot of effort not to have silly moments in sex. “Brother Ass,” as St. Francis would call it, is comic. In our world around us we see too much casual sex taken too little seriously but also sex made too much a religion, or a substitute for religion. Marital sex that is at times routine, at times spiritual, and at times funny feels right and proper.
So what does this tell us about sacraments? In an odd way, it illuminates the whole general LDS view of sacraments and ordinances. We don’t act like they are unnecessary and we treat them with reverence. But they are curiously informal too. They have a family feel, a workaday comfortableness to them. The weekly sacrament is performed by teenagers, in poorly-tucked dress shirts.
What about beyond that? It tells us that communion, with God and with each other, in sex and in sacraments, is a deep delight. It can be marked by happy laughter.