Liahona
Temple Work Blesses All, Living and Dead
previous next

“Temple Work Blesses All, Living and Dead,” Liahona, October 2021

Temple Work Blesses All, Living and Dead

The author lives in Gauteng, South Africa.

In 2018, I made a goal to receive a temple recommend. One year later, my fianceé and I were sealed in the temple for all eternity.

Johannesburg South Africa Temple

Johannesburg South Africa Temple

Photograph by Fernando Bragança

When temple visits for my branch were announced, I attended. Even though I could not yet enter the temple, I often walked the temple grounds. I prayed to Heavenly Father expressing my deepest desires to one day enter the temple. Some of these visits were only 10 minutes, but they had a profound impact on my spirit.

On one particularly cold and rainy evening, I arrived at the temple late. Although the grounds were closed, temple security allowed me a few moments on the grounds. I had with me a copy of the temple’s dedicatory prayer. I was impressed to read it.

I was filled with emotions as I read the following words: “Wilt Thou whisper peace to Thy people by the power of Thy Spirit when they come here with burdened hearts to seek direction in their perplexities. Wilt Thou comfort and sustain them when they come in times of sorrow. Wilt Thou give them courage, direction, and faith, when they gather, as to a refuge, from the turmoil of the world. Wilt Thou reassure them of Thy reality and divinity, and of the reality and divinity of Thy resurrected Son.”1

I knew then that my visits to the temple grounds meant something to the Lord, even though I was not inside the temple.

My Goal to Attend

My desire to attend the temple began one morning in December 2018. I sat in bed reading an April 1999 general conference talk by Elder Richard G. Scott (1928–2015) of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. He spoke about the importance of being worthy to enter the temple. He said the temple “is a place of peace, solitude, and inspiration. Regular attendance will enrich your life with greater purpose.” He went on to add this stunning statement: “Go to the temple. You know it is the right thing to do. Do it now.”2

I highlighted this passage, looked at my 2019 stake calendar, and noted that my branch was scheduled to visit the Johannesburg South Africa Temple every second Friday of the month. I made a goal to go to the temple grounds at least once a month either with my branch or by myself, even though I did not yet have a temple recommend.

Worthy to Enter

In early January, I spoke with my branch president about receiving a recommend and eventually entering the temple. I was eager to achieve this goal.

In August, I obtained a limited-use recommend and was able to visit the baptistry with the youth of my branch. I was baptized for my two uncles and maternal grandfather. I also started taking the temple preparation class in anticipation of receiving my endowment. Until then I continued visiting the temple and participating in baptisms.

Finally, on November 2, 2019, I entered the temple with my fiancée, and we walked out as husband and wife, sealed together for time and eternity. Words cannot express the spirit that attended this great occasion. My wife and I continued to attend the temple. We had many precious and sacred experiences until the worldwide temple closure in 2020 due to COVID-19.

Eternal Marriage

Sister and Brother Mncwabe (center) on the day of their sealing, with family members.

Photograph courtesy of the Mncwabe family

The Temple Is for All

My mother’s sister is not a member of the Church, but she had come to the temple for our sealing. Afterward, she shared an experience she had after visiting the temple grounds. She had a dream that she was again at the temple for our sealing, but this time all my family members (including those I had performed baptisms for) were with us. “Your mother was also there,” she said, “but she kept saying, ‘I can’t see my son. Why can’t I see my son?’”

I sobbed after hearing this, and I knew why my mother could not see me. She had passed on in 2002, and I had been procrastinating having her ordinances done for her in the temple. I resolved to do this as soon as possible. Soon I was privileged to perform her baptism and say her full name as I baptized the young woman who was acting as proxy for my mother.

I have a strong testimony that the temple is the house of God. We can access His power when we are there. I also know that the temple offers blessings to all of God’s children, whether living or dead.

Notes

  1. Gordon B. Hinckley, Johannesburg South Africa Temple dedicatory prayer, Aug. 24, 1985, ChurchofJesusChrist.org.

  2. Richard G. Scott, “Receive the Temple Blessings,” Ensign, May 1999, 26–27.