“(Temporarily) Changing My Plans for a Temple Marriage,” Liahona, May 2020.
The author lives in Utah, USA.
Last year, leaders of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints announced a change to the Church’s marriage policy. If a couple was married civilly, they could now be sealed in a temple immediately, without any waiting period between the two ceremonies. I had no idea then that this change in policy would one day have a dramatic effect on my own wedding plans. Today, thanks to my recent pandemic marriage adventure, my testimony of our living prophet and of God’s timing is stronger than ever.
I met the love of my life in September, and we were engaged two months later. (I realize that’s fast, but when you know, you know!) We planned on being sealed in April in a temple for time and all eternity. I’d been dreaming about a temple marriage since I was a little girl, so I was very excited.
At first, the wedding plans came together really well. We reserved a sealing date in the temple. We found a venue for the reception. I picked out a beautiful dress. Almost everything was ready …
… and then COVID-19 came along.
The tragic news unfolding in other parts of the world was shocking. I didn’t want to believe that this new virus could affect my life in a personal way. But then things started changing, and changing quickly. Before I knew it, the event I had been looking forward to all my life was now in question altogether.
Before I go any further, let me be clear—I realize that a change in wedding plans is a small price to pay to keep people safe. But wow, was it hard for me! Family members could no longer join us for our special day. As the Church announced that temples were closing, and as the reception venue canceled, I felt lost.
“Why is this happening now?” I kept asking myself. I had looked forward to this righteous desire my entire life. Now it wasn’t going to happen! At least not the way we had so carefully planned. The reality of the situation was hard to accept, but eventually we took a look at moving forward in a different way.
My fiancé lived four hours away, but he had planned to move to my city after the wedding. So we decided to get married sooner so we could be together and have more stability as soon as possible. We made a plan to have a civil ceremony in my parents’ house, with just a few family members and close friends with us.
It all seemed like a daunting whirlwind of changes—marrying very soon, starting our lives together with very little, and even having new daily routines because our schools were closed. (I’m a teacher, and he’s a college student.) Most of all, we weren’t getting sealed right away. Honestly, it was hard to feel happy.
One day when we were together, we decided to kneel and pray specifically to ask God for the confidence to move forward. As we prayed, peace washed over us. I remember feeling comforted, and I knew we were making the best decisions. One day I would have a beautiful sealing in the temple—it would just require some patience to get there. Until then, I’m blessed to still be able to marry the love of my life.
I feel like I’ve learned a lot from this experience. I believe that the leaders of our Church are inspired by God to make changes in policies and guide us with their messages. I believe that when hard things happen, we can view them as opportunities to focus on what is most important. And most of all, I believe that God is mindful of each one of us and that we can trust His timing for our lives.