Temple moments: 'I needed to be there'

To many residents of the coastal Northwest, the worst freezing rain storm in memory occurred last Feb. 3. The day's rain also contributed to devastating flooding in the area that later forced thousands from their homes.

Bob and Diane White of the Woodland Ward, Longview Washington Stake, remember that day for another reason. That was when they were sealed in the Portland Oregon Temple. Very early in their association with the Church the temple became part of their lives. After they were baptized, they traveled to the temple in ward youth temple excursions and were baptized on behalf of her ancestors."Right from the first, I felt like I needed to be there," said Brother White, a tax accountant. "Feelings came over me, and I didn't want to leave."

The Whites looked forward to being sealed as an eternal couple. Big plans accompanied the big day. They announced a reception and ordered cake to feed 100 people. They invited ward members to share their happiness.

But the reception never happened. On Feb. 3, rain fell and continued falling. Temperatures dropped and the weather grew more ominous, but the Whites persevered. Just to be sure, they left early for the Portland Oregon Temple and arrived by noon, plenty early for their scheduled 4 p.m. session.

As the afternoon wore on, they were disappointed that only a handful of friends had come. Then a temple worker announced that a freezing rain storm had developed. Workers and patrons were invited to come back another time in better weather.

Only a few left. Among those who remained were the Whites. Some of the staff stayed and helped the Whites receive their temple blessings. Their sealing was performed by Don Lind, former astronaut and now a temple sealer.

For a time they forgot about the weather. "It was truly a moment to remember, a wonderful experience," he said.

The trip back was an ordeal on ice-sheeted highways. Severe flooding began shortly. Through it all, the Whites had the calming assurance of being an eternal couple.

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