While there were many curious people from around the city who visited the Kinshasa Temple open house, the majority of the visitors were already members of the Church. Some were long-time members who had been eagerly anticipating a temple in Kinshasa for decades. Other, newer members, having lived thousands of miles from the nearest temple came to see and begin to understand the temple for the first time in their lives.
One day, as I was walking to our apartment building, I was hailed by two brothers I didn’t know. They said they had been active members of the Church for a long time — five years. They told me about their callings in their ward and how happy they were to see the temple here at last. I asked them whether they had seen their bishop yet for a temple recommend interview, and one of them replied, “What’s a temple recommend?” We had a wonderful conversation about the temple for the next five minutes, and both of them promised they would make an appointment to see their bishop on Sunday.
The eighteen video vignettes in this week’s collection express only the “smallest part” (Alma 26:16) of the great joy and gratitude that was expressed by open house visitors. The individuals they feature represent a variety of ages (e.g., children, youth, adults, elderly), personal situations (e.g., single, married, widowed, new converts, long-time members, leaders, lay members), and stories (e.g., family history, ordinances for the living and deceased, gratitude and joy, blessings for the DR Congo as a whole). Each one typically lasts about one minute.
Main Features (French with English subtitles)
4A — The Temple Has Brought Us Peace. An aged brother comments on the remarkable peace that has come over the country since temple construction began and reminds us of the Savior’s command, “Love one another.”
4B — A Great-Grandfathers’ Dream. The temple is the fulfillment of a great-grandfather’s dream to perform ordinances for his younger brother and to be sealed to four generations of his posterity.
4C — We Felt Peace and Joy. Three little girls, all sisters, share the joy of their temple visit.
4D — I’ve Already Imagined This Moment. A couple tries to imagine what it will be like to have their seven-month old girl sealed to them.
4E — I Keep Her in My Heart. A husband whose wife passed away after they attended the temple groundbreaking ceremony together still carries her with him in his heart.
4F — The Lord Said, “I’m Coming to You.” A bishop and his wife have waited twenty-seven years to receive their temple blessings.
4G — All That God Has Created Is a Marvel To Me. Twin girls and a young woman give a personal witness of the spirit of the temple.
4H — Almost Five Generations. A big sister brings her younger brother to the temple. His impressions of the temple, and her prayerful dedication to family history. They are the only members in their family.
4I — Even If I Am Alone, I Know That I Am Not Alone Any More. A widow recalls the joy of doing temple work for her deceased husband and for other members of her own family.
4J — I Felt the Holy Ghost — and Confidence. A young girl beams as she explains baptism for the dead and sealing.
4K — I Had a Personal Feeling That Brought Me To Tears. Early Congolese converts visit the temple at last and experience a very personal witness.
4L — I Never Expected To Be Able to Come Here. A stake Young Women secretary bursts with joy after her visit to the temple.
4M — It Was As If I Touched the Hand of God. A young man is prompted to visit the temple. He prays for his mother to return to the faith to which she introduced him.
4N — My Husband Is in the Military and Is Often Deployed. A temple in Kinshasa means that the father and mother and their six children can now be sealed as a family.
4O — Now My Parents Will Only Have To Pay For Local Transportation. A young man, preparing to leave soon as the first missionary in his family, expresses his gratitude for a temple in Kinshasa, following the struggle for his parents to go to a temple elsewhere in Africa.
4P — The Temple Is Going To Help Us Invite People To Learn About the Church. Three senior sisters, each endowed in South Africa in 2015, share their joy and anticipate how the temple will help them share the Gospel.
4Q — Today, I Brought Nearly Every Member of My Ward To Visit the Temple. A bishop of a ward in a distant part of Kinshasa wants to give his members the desire to receive temple recommends and to participate in temple ordinances.
4R — When I Was Inside I Said Some Things To God. A wife relates her desire to be baptized for her younger brother, and a husband is grateful for the peace and security the temple has brought to the DR Congo.
Description of the Series
Over the next several weeks, we will trace the temple’s history from its announcement to the completion of the temple building. And from its completion as a sacred building to its dedication and use as a House of the Lord by the Latter-day Saints in this choice part of the world.
Those interested in a more details about the Church in the DR Congo and its new temple may consult or download an in-depth history that is posted at the Southeast Africa Area website:
- https://africasoutheast.lds.org/church-history-drc-kinshasa-temple?lang=eng-za (English)
- https://afriquedusudest.lds.org/histoire-de-l-eglise-rdc-temple-du-kinshasa?lang=fra-za (French)
Many of the video supplements in this series will complement and personalize the written history: early members will tell fascinating stories of the challenges and blessings of the coming of the Church to the country, some will talk about their roles in temple construction and operation, and others will describe how having a temple in Kinshasa will bless their lives.