Temple sealings, weddings affected by COVID-19

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Couples around the world had to quickly rearrange plans for sealing and endowment ordinances following The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saint’s announcement of temples being temporarily closed.

Kala Schvaneveldt and her fiance Scott Childs. (Kala Schvaneveldt)

Kala Schvaneveldt and her fiance, Scott Childs, were supposed to get sealed in the Payson Utah temple on April 3, but now they’ve decided to wait until June.

“Although they were still doing live ordinances and we could still be sealed, we wanted family there; especially family that would’ve been at risk and shouldn’t be going out at all,” Schvaneveldt said.

After fasting and prayer, Schvaneveldt and her fiance decided postponing their wedding is their best option.

“At first it was a hard choice because we have been preparing for this day for a while, but we are more happy and comfortable with it as of now,” Schvaneveldt said.

Sa’Bryn Lester and her fiance Nick Atkins. (Sa’Bryn Lester)

Sa’Bryn Lester and her fiance, Nick Atkins, are both students at BYU—Idaho and their sealing was scheduled for April 11 in the Las Vegas Nevada Temple.

“We found out about the temple restrictions exactly a month before we were supposed to get married,” Lester said. “We were initially so upset. We imagined that day as the happiest day that we got to celebrate with family and friends, including those involved in our sealing.”

After many tears, Lester and Atkins made the decision to move forward with their sealing on April 11 but to reschedule their reception.

Shortly after they made the decision to continue with their sealing, they found out the Las Vegas Temple closed completely. Lester said they decided to get married civilly and be sealed later.

Lester and Atkins are working to reschedule their sealing and celebration but say it’s hard because they don’t know what date to reschedule for. They are doing their best to be patient and wait for this to pass so they can celebrate with their loved ones.

“I’m hoping in 10 years I’ll look back on this time and look at it as a trial that I went through that helped me grow and become more appreciative of everything I have,” Lester said.

Elizabeth Erickson and her fiance, Colton DeLaMare. (Elizabeth Erickson)

Elizabeth Erickson and Colton DeLaMare planned on being sealed in the Kansas City Temple on April 10, However, in fear of the temple shutting down completely, they moved their date to March 28.

They had to reevaluate for a second time when they heard the Kansas City Temple would be shut down completely. They decided the best option was to be married civilly on March 28 and then be sealed when the temple reopens.

They originally moved their date to March 28 in fear that the temple would shut down completely, and were still planning on being sealed on March 28, but then found out the Kansas City temple was shut down completely before they could make it.

“I’ve been very frustrated,” Erickson said. “Everything was panned down to the minute, and now that’s all completely out the window. I won’t be getting my fairytale wedding.”

Noah Christian, a student at Thomas Jefferson University, and Halea Walker, a Utah State grad residing in Lehi, planned to be sealed in the Oquirrh Mountain Temple on April 10 during Christian’s spring break.

Noah Christian and his wife, Halea Walker. (Noah Christian)

Those plans changed quickly once they realized that temples were being closed and everything else was being canceled. When Christian found out that his school would be moving to online, he and Walker decided it would be a good opportunity for him to pack up and get to Utah sooner and spend more time together.

After having to change his flight a total of seven times due to complications, Christian finally made it to Utah, and he and Walker were sealed in the Draper Utah Temple on March 24.

Even though it’s been a wild ride, Christian said it’s been nice that they got to be sealed sooner than expected, and that he gets more time with his new wife.

“Halea has been incredible through this process; patient, shooting from the hip and turning on a dime,” Christian said. “I’m ecstatic to marry her and have someone like that at my side into the eternities.”

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