I was overjoyed when it was announced that we would have a temple in South Africa, especially when I realised that the temple would be only 9 km from my home. I was the Elders’ Quorum president in my ward at the time, and kept the members updated on the progress of the building of the temple through a publication, Quorum News, which I edited.
When it came time for the temple to be dedicated I was part of the “Chair Parade” – we were assigned to transport chairs to the temple for the dedication. During the dedication we were assigned chairs in the baptistry where we had a good view of President Gordon B Hinckley as he dedicated the temple. What I felt cannot be expressed in words. The significance of my seating arrangement only became apparent to me when I was assigned to work in the baptistry from 1989 to 2009.
I would have liked to serve a temple mission, so I promised the Lord that I would attend the temple every week. I have been able to do that for the most part for the last 30 years. I have been an ordained temple worker for 26 years and have been performing sealings for the past 19 years. For the last 15 years I have been preparing the baptistry every Saturday morning before the members come to perform baptisms for the dead. This equates to working in the temple for more years than I have lived!
The feelings I have had, and the miracles that I have witnessed in the temple, have left me without doubt that this is the true church and the Lord’s work. Many years ago I was privileged to meet President Spencer W Kimball in the temple when he held a meeting for all the temple workers. As we officiate in our callings in the temple, we are open to the manifestations of the Holy Spirit.
When working in the baptistry we need a certain number of endowed priesthood holders. Often we would not have the required number of brethren to help us, and yet brethren would just arrive and ask if they could help in the baptistry, so we always had sufficient workers. The temple is the Lord’s house. He knows when we need assistance and sends it. Faith always precedes the miracle.
The temple ordinances are the only way we can fulfil the words of Elijah, “You cannot be saved without your dead, nor can they be saved without you.”