The year 2020 was an interesting year for us as a couple. Earlier that year, we already laid out plans for our temple marriage. Our initial target date for our wedding was October 2020, just in time for Nestly’s brother to come home from his mission. We already decided on that date and thought that the timing would be perfect. Because of the pandemic, unexpected news of her brother’s repatriation arrived. He will just wait for reassignment. With a lot of prayer and discussion, we changed our date to the soonest one available.
Surely, there were challenges that arose when we decided to be married at an earlier date. First, we had to complete the legal documents required for us to get a schedule for our marriage. We almost gave up coming back and forth of the city hall. We also had to revise our 'after-wedding' plans and adjust everything we initially planned. We decided to get married on August 12, 2020 but just a few weeks after our decision, the local government announced a lockdown and it will last for another 7 days. So again, we needed to change our date.
That was a little bit frustrating. With more prayers, we finally decided that it will be on August 19, 2020 and whatever happens, we will get married on that date. We had faith that Heavenly Father will make it all possible. But above all, these challenges helped us to be more united in our decisions and draw us closer to God.
It is so rewarding to be married. Marriage is wonderful.Elder Richard G. Scott
As we did our best to prepare for that special event, the Lord provided the very things that we needed. We also received so much help from our friends and family although they were also affected by the pandemic. They offered financial assistance, and hands-on help through acts of service. I want to mention our co-workers in the MTC, friends and family members who helped us to have simple wedding photoshoots, decorations, a virtual Zoom reception and even food contributions. It wasn’t the wedding I imagined, but it was the wedding that really changed my perspective about the true meaning of marriage.
It gave us the opportunity to see the bigger picture of being united and preparing for our eternal family. One of the preparations that we did was to watch and study General Conference talks about marriage. One particular message that really inspired us was from Elder Richard G. Scott: “It is so rewarding to be married. Marriage is wonderful. In time you begin to think alike and have the same ideas and impressions. You have times when you are extremely happy, times of testing, and times of trial, but the Lord guides you through all of those growth experiences together.”
Despite the pandemic, everything fell into place. We know that we can achieve our righteous goals as we trust in the Lord and do our best. We always believe that hardships can make us stronger and wiser. We know that we can always be happy even though bad things happen. Elder D. Todd Christofferson said something that really helped us during our preparation: 'Marriage is more than your love for each other… In your love you see only your two selves in the world, but in marriage you are a link in the chain of the generations, which God causes to come and to pass away to his glory, and calls into his kingdom. In your love you see only the heaven of your own happiness, but in marriage you are placed at a post of responsibility towards the world and mankind. Your love is your own private possession, but marriage is more than something personal —it is a status, an office. Just as it is the crown, and not merely the will to rule, that makes the king, so it is marriage, and not merely your love for each other, that joins you together in the sight of God and man. … So love comes from you, but marriage from above, from God.”
That quote helped us to always center our relationship in God, realizing that this covenant that we will make will be one of the greatest gifts that we will receive from Him. We know that through the Gospel of Jesus Christ we can be guided by the Holy Ghost in deciding whom we should date or marry and how. Have the courage to take the first step to eternity. Definitely, it is not going to be easy, but it will be worth taking. Remember to always trust the better plan and timeline that Heavenly Father has prepared for each of His children and enjoy the journey. ◼︎