The author lives in the United Arab Emirates.
I was born and raised in the Church, but I like saying I am a convert to the gospel. When I was just 10 years old, my family moved to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and has lived here ever since. Living in the UAE as a member of the Church is interesting because though we are a minority, the Church is growing a lot! I love the members here—they are really like my second family! I had just recently come home from my mission to France when President Russell M. Nelson announced in the April 2020 general conference that there would be a temple built in Dubai. What greater blessing could the Lord give than to announce a temple in the land my family has called home for more than a decade?
Throughout the years, I have grown to understand and appreciate the role of the temple in my life and in that of my family. I’m so grateful that God is so good to us and has prepared a place where we can feel so much closer to Him.
I think I have grown so fond of the temple because I haven’t ever been able to attend very often. It’s usually a long time between my visits. Growing up, I was privileged to attend the temple every summer when we would visit our family in Switzerland, but I was one of the lucky members of the Church in the UAE. Many of the other Church members have only been able to attend the temple once or twice in the last 10 years or more, through organized temple trips to the Philippines—which is the closest temple to us and is still a 13-hour flight away.
Let’s just say that we have always taken very seriously the invitation to be worthy of a temple recommend without being able to use it.
But now that there will be a temple built in Dubai, we are all completely thrilled! We were so excited when it was announced that we didn’t even know what to do with ourselves! The Dubai Temple is going to change the lives of the members living not only here in the UAE but also throughout the whole Middle East. The blessings of the temple will be more readily available to the members, and I know it will help bring some of God’s children back to His loving embrace, whether it be through less-active members returning or new converts to the gospel.
The Dubai Temple announcement reinforced my belief that nothing can prevent God’s work from moving forward. And I know that, in His timing, there will be so many more temples announced in so many different lands that need them. Though I may not be living here still when the temple will be built and dedicated, I know that the members in this region of the world will be forever blessed because of this house of the Lord—even before it’s built. There will be so many miracles that follow, and I am excited to see and hear of them and to rejoice with the Saints who live here.
I know that President Russell M. Nelson is the prophet of our day and that he was called and is inspired by God. I know that the temple is truly His home on the earth and that inside we can make sacred covenants that last for all time and all eternity. I am so grateful for the knowledge of the gospel, for the peace it brings into my life, and for knowing that Jesus Christ is my Savior.
I can’t wait to see more temples come to be.