A 2013 Mormon Newsroom article led two Ontario natives and members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, separated by thousands of miles, to meet each other and marry.
A few months before serving an 18-month voluntary mission for the Church in Missouri, Ariana Limas was asked to provide Mormon Newsroom with a photo of herself preparing for her mission. The photo was included in an article reporting the response of Canadian Mormon youth to the lowering of the missionary age. Alex del Mundo read that article and saw Ariana’s picture while he was serving his two-year mission in the Philippines. He was struck by Ariana’s photo enough to look her up when he returned home.
In August 2015, eight months after they formally met, they were married in the Church’s Toronto Ontario Temple. Members of the Church believe that marriages performed in temples are “sealed” or blessed to last for eternity and that the family unit can continue beyond the grave as a conscious, loving entity.
“Because we believe in being sealed for eternity,” says Ariana, “we don’t take a decision to marry lightly. We’ve been preparing for eternal marriage our whole lives. Eternal marriage was a goal we made before we met, and it continues to be our goal.”
Although their courtship might have seemed brief to some, Alex and Ariana were confident in marrying when they did because of their mutual desire to build a marriage founded on the teachings of Jesus Christ. Alex explains, “The reasons we heard in opposition to marrying quickly were temporal reasons — we should finish our education, have better employment, etc. — rather than spiritual reasons. We knew it would take a lot of faith and not be easy. But I believe that if two people live their lives according to the commandments and gospel principles, they can have a healthy, eternal marriage.”
“The Family: A Proclamation to the World” teaches that “happiness in family life is most likely to be achieved when founded upon the teachings of the Lord Jesus Christ” and that “the family is ordained of God. Marriage between man and woman is essential to His eternal plan.”
Ariana and Alex believe this counsel is as important today as it was when it was first given 20 years ago. “God’s plan never changes,” says Ariana. “His plan is for us to come to Earth, gain bodies, grow and learn and hopefully return to His presence. We help other spirits come to Earth as we create earthly families. We then have a responsibility to help those spirits learn of God’s plan.”