President of the Accra Ghana Temple of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, President George Bondze Afful has encouraged members of the Adenta Stake in Ghana to focus much attention on their participation in temple activities.
Speaking at the Stake’s Conference on Sunday June 1, 2014 on the topic ‘Temple Work and Ordinances’, President Afful affirmed that “the temple is a special and essential school” and that “it is a place where spiritual concerns and problems are resolved.”
The Sunday session of the conference which was on the theme: “And He shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children….” (Malachi 4:6) was preceded by a Stake Family History Fair the previous day (Saturday Session) which saw 360 adults and youth participating.
The fair offered participants the opportunity to fill in family history information through the use of computers connected to the internet. Volunteer stake members with computer know-how assisted in the exercise.
President Afful asked: “After family history fair what next?”-apparently, to lay the premise for his next remark: “Make a plan, stick to the plan, and don’t let small things prevent you from receiving the blessings of the temple.”
President Afful supported his remark with a quote by Elder Richard G. Scott of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles: “Because I love you, I am going to speak to you heart to heart, without mincing words. I have seen that many times individuals have made great sacrifices to go to a distant temple. But when a temple is built close by, within a short time, many do not visit it regularly. I have a suggestion: When a temple is conveniently nearby, small things may interrupt your plans to go to the temple. Set specific goals, considering your circumstances, of when you can and will participate in temple ordinances. Then do not allow anything to interfere with that plan. This pattern will guarantee that those who live in the shadow of a temple will be as blessed as are those who plan far ahead and make a long trip to the temple.” Temple Worship: The Source of Strength and Power in Times of Need.
In conclusion, President Afful declared, “Family history and temple work go hand-in-hand” and urged members of the congregation to read the text of Church hymn #288 “How Beautiful Thy Temples Lord” and ponder over its words.
How beautiful thy temples, Lord!
Each one a sacred shrine,
Where faithful Saints, with one accord,
Engage in work divine.
How beautiful some aid to give
To dear ones we call dead,
But who indeed as spirits live;
They’ve only gone ahead.
How beautiful thy message, Lord,
The gospel, pure and true,
In these our days to earth restored
And taught to men anew.
How beautiful its faith and hope;
All mankind it would save,
Including in its aim and scope
The souls beyond the grave.
How beautiful thy promise, Lord,
That we may grow in truth,
And live, exalted by thy word,
In endless, glorious youth.
With loved ones sealed in holiness
By sacred temple rites,
Worlds without end we may progress
From heights to greater heights.
Text: Frank I. Kooyman, 1880–1963. © 1948 IRI
Music: Tracy Y. Cannon, 1879–1961. © 1948 IR