Latter-day Saint Voices

A Temple Halfway around the World

By Robin Estabrooks

Virginia, USA

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In my late teens I joined the Church against the wishes of my family. When I was in my 20s, I began working on my family history after my father passed away. Soon after, I became a busy wife and mother raising young children, and the family history work stopped.

Because I didn’t have any family in the Church, I had a strong desire to research my family history. I loved doing it and always longed to have more time to work on it.

When I was 33, my life took an unexpected turn when my health began to decline. Where I once was able to hike with my family, taking a walk around the block became difficult. Cleaning house in two hours on a Saturday became impossible, and I was just happy if I could get through vacuuming. Where I once had a large circle of friends, now my circle of friends declined because I could no longer be there for them as I had in the past.

It was at this time that I began to take up my family history again. My daughter began doing research for her dad’s side and in one evening completed work that had taken me years to do. I completed several generations on my line and submitted the names to the temple for the work to be completed. I had always wanted to go through the temple for my family members myself, but my health and the distance from the temple made it impossible.

After submitting the names, I began to cry, feeling like I had let my family members down since I wouldn’t be there with them on the special day the ordinances were done for them. A week later as I logged on to FamilySearch.org to check the progress of their temple work, I saw something amazing. Not only was the work being completed, but members in the Accra Ghana Temple were doing the work! I was so surprised to see members halfway around the world completing temple work for my little family. I burst into tears again thinking of the sacrifices of the people in Ghana as they made their way to the temple for my family. I am so grateful for those members of the Accra Ghana Temple district who did what I could not: attend the temple and grant my family the blessing of temple ordinances.