You have no idea how happy I was when I heard that temples were opening back up for sealings. This ordinance is essential in order to inherit eternal life, and I couldn’t bear the thought of my friends and family not being able to experience it. Just this last week, two of my favorite couples got married. I have to tell you what it was like to be sealed during COVID-19!
When interviewing my friends, I first asked about the logistics. I wanted to know what exactly was being done differently inside the temple when you are sealed during COVID-19.
For starters, as of the time I’m writing this, only 16 guests are allowed to accompany the couple inside. All 16 of those guests must arrive at the same exact time and no one is allowed in until the whole party is there. This makes sense because of the very limited staff at the temple.
Also, the bride and groom had to arrive at the temple in their white temple clothing. For safety, they aren’t allowed to use the dressing rooms inside the temple. This means no leaving in your wedding dress or with a bouquet.
When finished with the sealing, you are allotted 20 minutes on the temple grounds to take pictures with your group. No professional photographers are allowed inside the gates unless they were in the sealing with you.
While those logistics might seem like downers, my friends still found a lot of joy in being sealed during COVID-19. They said it allowed them to cherish the temple more. After not being allowed inside for such a long time, entering the building was even more special. Their sealing is truly something they will never take for granted.
Being able to say that you had the entire temple to yourselves is definitely unique. “It made the ordinance feel very individual and I wasn’t worried about logistics or other people,” said one of the grooms.
They also mentioned that they really enjoyed being engaged during this unprecedented time. It gave them more time to spend with each other! One bride said, “We got to know each other faster than we would have otherwise.”
Of course, there were some negative aspects of getting married during a worldwide pandemic. I’ve already told you about the biggest one (the number of guests allowed inside the temple with the bride and groom being severely limited). It’s definitely hard when certain friends and family can’t be present during these sealings.
COVID-19 also caused a lot of stress on couples. There were many days when they weren’t sure if they would be sealed at all. The wedding date had to be moved around multiple times and there was a lot of uncertainty.
However, everyone I interviewed said that in the grand scheme of things, it didn’t really matter. The important thing is that they were able to be sealed for time and all eternity in the house of the Lord!
Answers to Prayers
With all of the uncertainty, came a lot of prayers. My friends prayed for a miracle every single day. They hoped and asked God to allow them to be sealed in the temple. One of my friends recounted,
When they announced that our temple would be opening, I cried tears of joy. I dropped to my knees to thank God. It made me realize what a blessing it is to be sealed. I will never take my eternal marriage for granted.
Not only did this strengthen their testimonies regarding the power of prayer, but it was also a big faith-building experience. These couples simply had to hope that Heavenly Father would make everything work out. When it did, they gained the knowledge that God truly knows our struggles and will help us in His time.
Overall, these couples said that they felt immense peace surrounding their weddings. They said it was especially peaceful to be inside the temple when the outside world feels so chaotic. I cannot wait to go back!
Having such a unique marriage helped these newlyweds put the temple sealing into perspective. When your sealing is almost taken away from you, you realize just how precious it is.
I am actually an ordinance worker at the Provo City Center Temple and have been receiving letters from the presidency members during this time of closure to the public. They have mentioned that thanks to the change in focus right now, they have realized many ways in which they can simplify temple procedures.
I pray that as we are spending more time at home, we too can ponder on ways that we can simplify our lives and draw closer to Heavenly Father. Use this time to prepare yourself for re-entering the temple! I hope to see you there soon!
Do you know anyone that was sealed during COVID-19? Tell us about it in the comments below!