News Release

Elder and Sister Renlund Emphasize Kindness During Temple Workers’ Devotional

“For a temple to be a house of the Lord, those who work there need to develop kindness,” said Elder Dale G. Renlund of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles during a devotional with more than 200 temple workers and volunteers on Sunday evening, 19 May 2019.


Held at the Aurora Meetinghouse of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Elder Renlund and Sister Ruth L. Renlund, his wife, shared messages of inspiration to workers and volunteers, both old and young, of the Manila Philippines Temple.

Elder Renlund, who is visiting the country on an assignment, emphasized kindness, warmth, generosity, and love as important attributes that those serving inside the temple should develop.

He then shared an experience he had with President Thomas S. Monson, former president of the Church, about a grandfather they met in a temple they were at, sitting on a chair downhearted.

He shared how the look of the grandfather’s face haunted President Monson. He retold that the grandfather had missed his granddaughter's temple wedding all because the ordinance worker wouldn’t let him inside the sealing room after being late to no fault of his own.

Since then, Elder Renlund would either wait or reserve a seat for a guest who will attend an important religious rite inside the temple.

The 66-year-old apostle emphasized that the temple is for the people and urged everyone in the room to be kind to one another, especially to the patrons. He conveyed that there is a balance between reverence and being kind and loving. “If. . . the most reverent temple is an empty one, then it serves no purpose,” he said.

Elder Renlund concluded by encouraging the temple workers to be kind, welcoming and accommodating to all patrons. “It’s in the temple that things should change us. As we make covenants, those covenants are intended to change all of us, to make us different people. . .”

Prior to Elder Renlund’s concluding talk, Sister Renlund also addressed the members. Her message focused on the purposes of temples and reminded everyone that the “House of the Lord is intended to provide a haven where people can be holy and to be a mirror of that which is holy, specifically the Holy One of Israel.”

Sister Renlund enumerated the factors that make a temple a temple and reiterated that a temple is a house of faith, learning, prayer, and order. She emphasized the need to do things the Lord’s way as well as incorporate the characteristics of love, charity, patience in one’s own character to help keep order in the temple.

Sister Renlund ended her message by sharing the ultimate purpose of the temple, which is “to prepare the people for the second coming of Jesus Christ.”

Elder Carl B. Cook, a General Authority Seventy, and his wife Sister Lynette Cook, who accompanied the Renlunds during their Philippine visit, also shared their testimonies.

Sister Cook reminded the audience that “something special happens to those who serve in the temple...” She also shared a quote from Bishop Dean M. Davies saying, “Through sincere and heartfelt worship, we blossom and mature in hope, faith, and charity."

“And through that process, we gather heavenly light into our souls that infuses our lives with divine meaning, abiding peace, and everlasting joy.”

Elder Cook, who has visited the country twice already together with his wife, shared the experiences he had with President Russell M. Nelson, current president of the Church, especially the lessons he has learned about the importance of temple work.

One lesson he picked up from President Nelson during one of their temple visits was how the 94-year-old prophet would slow down, think what he was doing and enjoy the process while inside the temple.

During the devotional, a choir of temple volunteer workers provided the music while President Victorino A. Babida, the new Manila Philippines Temple president, conducted the spiritual gathering.

The Manila Philippines Temple opened in 1986 and is the first temple in the Philippines. It has over 100 volunteer workers serving in different capacities. Currently, there are two operating temples in the Philippines. The second one is located in Cebu City while a third one is under construction. Three other temples have already been announced.

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