My husband and I had a hard time getting married in the temple—and not because we didn’t want to! There were many things that kept preventing us from making this sacred covenant.
But through this journey of hardship, growth, and love, I have gained a greater testimony of the temple and the blessings that sacred place can bring into our lives.
Things were hard soon after we got engaged. For a while, a lot of unfortunate circumstances prevented us from moving forward to marriage in the temple. So after what seemed like forever, we finally set our endowment and sealing dates for May 2020. Almost everything was planned out. This was finally the time!
But then the world was hit by the COVID-19 pandemic, and our country, South Africa, went into full lockdown.
Once again, the temple and our marriage were postponed.
I started to think I wouldn’t ever be able to enter the temple. And I wondered if it was even worth all the effort. My husband and I still hadn’t even received our endowments, and I felt discouraged because after preparing for most of my life to be worthy to go, things still weren’t working out.
But I thought of everything that prophets had taught about the importance of attending the temple and the many blessings we receive when we make covenants with the Lord. President Russell M. Nelson taught that “the supreme benefits of membership in the Church can only be realized through the exalting ordinances of the temple.”1
So I was still determined to go when the time was right.
Over the next few months, my husband and I fasted, prayed, and exercised faith that we would remain worthy and be able to get married in the temple. And miraculously, in September 2020, the Johannesburg South Africa Temple had a limited opening that allowed my husband and me to receive our endowments.
Words can’t express how much closer I felt to Heavenly Father and the Savior inside the walls of the temple. It was a spiritually intimate moment that I will never forget. And it was worth the wait.
Soon after, my husband and I were finally able to get sealed for time and all eternity in the Lord’s house.
Our sealing day was so sacred. We were the only couple in the temple at the time, making that eternal covenant to each other and the Lord. I was beyond happy. I felt as if the Savior were sitting beside both of us, saying, “I’m pleased with your faith—you finally made it!”
And we are excited to start a new journey together, in which we can return to the temple again and again.
Although temples aren’t readily available to us all, when we prioritize visiting the Lord’s house and strive to stay worthy of a temple recommend, we can invite blessings into all areas of our lives.
As Elder Quentin L. Cook of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles taught: “I pray that each of us will honor the Savior and make any necessary changes to see ourselves in His sacred temples. In doing so, we can accomplish His holy purposes and prepare ourselves and our families for all the blessings the Lord and His Church can bestow in this life and eternity.”2
Whenever I think of my temple covenants or attend the temple, I feel closer to Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ and am able to let go of the things of the world and invite peace into my life. Because of the blessings of the temple, my husband and I have been able to look back and see Heavenly Father’s hand directing our lives and have increased our faith that He is guiding us every day.
I’m grateful for the temple endowment, which helps us know how to return to Heavenly Father, and for the chance that we have to be sealed eternally to those we love—an indescribable blessing that we have because of the Atonement of Jesus Christ.
We can all be worthy of those blessings as we prepare ourselves and follow the Savior’s example—despite whatever challenges or setbacks might come our way.
Getting there is worth every effort. Believe me.