Yesterday in sacrament meeting in the Shanghai Branch (one of three meeting in Shanghai) a friend of mine shared the story of how his parents were married in the temple. It’s one of those stories where it seems like everything goes wrong at first for someone trying to get to the temple for the first time.
It was about 40 years ago when his parents-to-be fell in love and decided to get married in the temple, a goal that his mother especially insisted on, though it would be difficult. At the time the nearest temple was in Sao Paulo, over 3500 kilometers away. They were not wealthy, but both began saving diligently. Soon they had just enough to fly to Sao Paulo, when a huge currency devaluation occurred that suddenly put them far from their goal. They began saving again, and as they neared their goal, another currency devaluation set them back. They eventually had to settle for a lower cost route that involved many hardships and set backs. They finally got to the temple, but 3 days later than they had scheduled. But they were thrilled to finally be sealed for time and eternity in the House of the Lord. They were alone, without family or friends, but so grateful.
The way back was especially difficult, for they ran out of money completely in Bolivia. With his last bit of cash, the new husband paid for a room for the night, left his wife there, and then went to a private place outside and cried. He plead with the Lord for help to somehow find a way home. Both he and his bride were ill from the hardships of their journey. After his solemn prayer, he felt a rush of inspiration: go to the public square to beg for money. Ashamed at the thought of having to beg, he nonetheless went to the square, prepared to do what he could. As he entered it, he heard a voice call him: “Juan!” It was an old friend from Peru, another member of the Church. The friend had been backpacking around South America, taking odd jobs every now and then. When he learned of Juan’s story, he said, “Juan, I know what it’s like to be away from home with no money. I was just paid today. Here, take my money and return home with your wife.” And just like that, in his extremity, Juan received the assistance he needed to return home safely.
My friend bore testimony of the blessings of the temple in his life and in the life of his family, and said that the sacrifices it takes to receive those blessings are completely worth it. From my experience, I have to agree. The House of the Lord is such a wonderful blessing in my life as well.