Since childhood, we both have had a desire to be married in the temple. We had prepared and kept ourselves worthy to enter into a holy temple one day. When we decided to get married, a great blessing came: another couple made it possible for us to go to the Hong Kong China Temple, so far away from our home in Indonesia, and we were sealed there on February 17, 2004.
We felt a great joy as we kneeled before the altar and had a surety that our love was eternal and that we would be a couple for time and eternity. We are grateful for experiencing the blessings of the temple. We are grateful for being able to be baptized in behalf of our ancestors and making it so that they can receive the endowment and be sealed as eternal families. There is no other happiness that can replace the joy of performing temple ordinances.
Edi and Lisa Rochadi, Indonesia
When I lived in Argentina, I traveled twice to the Buenos Aires temple—once to receive my own endowment and once to perform ordinances for the dead. Words cannot express what I feel when I am in the temple. What I can tell you is how far away from the world I feel there and how happy it makes me to think about going back to the temple. I can testify of the companionship, love, and comfort of the Holy Ghost. I know for a surety of the love our Heavenly Father has shown for me and my brothers and sisters by giving us the gospel and the prophets.
Norma Rodríguez, Israel
While I lived with my husband and two little boys in San Diego, California, I had the marvelous opportunity to visit the temple weekly. One time, as I was participating in temple ordinances on behalf of a deceased sister, I felt as if I were experiencing the ordinances for the first time. I sat with eyes wide open, soaking up everything I learned. My soul truly thirsted for everything being taught. It was breathtaking to think about the blessings promised to this sister and her posterity through the temple ordinance. The feelings of joy and gratitude that I had are almost impossible to describe. I wept openly. I wanted to shout for joy and hug everyone I saw!
As I returned to the dressing room, I hugged a surprised temple worker and told her of my feelings. I was surprised how literally I had been an instrument in bringing eternal truths to someone who had passed on.
Ritva Hokkanen, Finland
In August 2002, President Gordon B. Hinckley unexpectedly came to New York City and spoke to us, saying, “Today we want to announce to you that in two years you will have your temple. I hope to be here to see it.” Time went by, and our expectations grew. Finally, it was announced that the open house would begin in early May 2004. I put my name on every volunteer list I could find, and because I had accumulated vacation days at work, I was able to work for 11 uninterrupted days in the temple.
As a tour guide, I felt the Spirit on each tour, and the best reward was hearing visitors’ comments. I remember one stout man, who walked with a cane. After the tour, with eyes shining, he said, “I never thought I would find a place that emanated as much peace as I have felt here today.” The temple open house brought many miracles like this one. It moved many hearts and caused many to reflect and feel the very special spirit that reigns there.
One day I met a young lady from Chile working as an usher during the open house. She was very excited and offered to help wherever she was needed. She told me she was in the United States sightseeing for only a few weeks, and she would soon be returning to her country. I asked her how long she had been a member of the Church and was astonished when she told me she hadn’t been baptized yet.
She must have noticed I was speechless, so she told me her story. On the second day of her vacation, she had seen an ad in the newspaper announcing the temple open house. She was curious and decided to visit. During the tour she felt so moved by the beauty and peace she felt that she could not hold back her tears. When the tour was over, she asked the missionaries to tell her more about the Church. After being taught, she made the decision to be baptized. She had come here on vacation, and the Lord prepared a way for her to hear the gospel. And even though she wasn’t a member yet, she had asked to work as an usher for the open house!
Without a doubt, miracles go on in the temple, every time someone receives the endowment or is baptized on behalf of a deceased ancestor or a loving young couple are sealed for time and eternity. And even before the Manhattan New York Temple was dedicated, the Spirit dwelt there. In the words of President Hinckley: “This is a place of light, a place of peace, a place of love, where we deal with the things of eternity.”
Carlos González, Mexico