The Lord Smiled at Marikina That Morning03728_000_013
Marikina (pop. 120,000), a bustling town nestled between the heights of Quezon City and the foothills of the Sierra Madre mountain range in Rizal Province, had a bleak daybreak on August 9, 1975, a Saturday, as thick and dark clouds hung like a heavy pall over the valley and torrents of rain fell without let-up.
The dismal atmosphere dampened the will to start the day’s activities and kept many people indoors. At the far end of the main thoroughfare of Provident Village where a group was gathered under an improvised shelter, the situation was more appalling than elsewhere in the valley. That morning, at ten to be precise, groundbreaking for the third chapel of the Manila Philippines Stake was to take place—a predicament that made the guests and Marikina Ward members led by Bishop Roberto Cuizon restless as the appointed hour fast approached.
There were long breaks of silence as the group of Latter-day Saints kept track of time. Among them were Elder Smith Griffin (Regional Representative), Philippines Manila Mission President Raymond L. Goodson, former Philippines Manila Mission President Paul S. Rose and Sister Rose, Brother Frederick Samsel (Church building construction supervisor), President Ruben M. Lacanienta (2nd Counselor, Stake Presidency), and myself.
The rain kept falling without any indication of stopping for this very important Church affair, and it was decided that the symbolic groundbreaking be performed under the improvised shelter. The program, therefore, proceeded as scheduled.
Suddenly, after the speakers had finished and the shovels were about to be given, the rain stopped. An opening in the dark sky showed the face of the sun, and the morning became almost as bright as any sunny day. The ground-breaking ceremony started and was finished on schedule—and the rain started falling again immediately thereafter!—
• The rain continued without let-up, only to stop two days later upon the arrival in Manila of President Spencer W. Kimball and the other General Authorities for the Philippine Area Conference (August 11th and 12th).
• Augusto A. Lim, a Silliman University law graduate, member of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines and law practitioner, is the President of the Manila Philippines Stake.