When Barbara Jones met Navy Lt. Kent C. Nelson last year, they were immediately attracted to each other. However, what looked to be a storybook courtship turned into a battle against delays.
They met in her Bridgewater, Mass., Ward for singles. Nelson, a returned missionary stationed in San Diego, Calif., was only in the area for a short naval training course.He returned to San Diego, but was able to come to Bridgewater a month later with an engagement ring. Then he was off to sea for six months. They corresponded, however, and planned to be married on Jan. 9 in the Atlanta Temple. After he returned from his cruise, she flew to meet him in San Diego.
When they boarded an airplane in San Diego for Atlanta Jan. 6, intending to be with family that afternoon, the weather was a little rough. However, when they landed in Dallas, Texas, the rough weather had developed into a severe winter storm that blanketed the area with snow. All flights out of Dallas, and into Georgia, were cancelled.
They spent all night standing in line, getting flights and then seeing the flights cancelled. The next day was the same - they waited as the blizzard roared around them. Dallas and much of the nation were at a standstill. When the weather showed no signs of improving on Jan. 7, Barbara's mother, LaRue Jones, who was wating in Atlanta, suggested by phone they go ahead and get married in Dallas.
The couple called the Dallas Temple and, with the help of an LDS lawyer in Dallas, made preparations to be married as planned - but in a different temple, a day sooner.
Obstacles just kept appearing. "We left at 6 a.m. but there was a huge accident on the freeway," she explained. "And then we took a wrong turn and went far from the temple." The couple finally arrived, breathless, at the temple at noon.
They still had forms to fill out. But Dallas temple workers helped them at every turn, and Barbara and Kent finally caught up with their storybook ending.
"It was a peaceful feeling. We thought, `We're finally here.' We missed our family and friends but we spent more time in the temple meditating and realizing how important it was to be married here. The events leading up to our marriage made it that much more special."