Saturday, May 30, 2015

Johannesburg Temple

          Some things about living in big Johannesburg are challenging, but one thing that we’ve really loved about being here is that there is a temple, which means we have attended often. About six months ago, we were asked to serve as ordinance workers and began to work in the temple every Friday morning. By morning, I mean seriously morning. We get up at about 3:30 to be there at 5:00 for prayer meeting and then patrons start coming at 6:00. It is a small temple, but there it stays pretty busy and there is always a big variety of assignments depending on what individuals or groups are coming that day. Because Johannesburg is the only temple on this side of Africa, people will travel sometimes for days to get here, usually by bus or taxi (mini bus.) For those with little means, it is often the only time they will ever be able to come to a temple. Unlike in other temples where there may be a few new endowments on any given day, here there may be many because of the members who travel together to come for that purpose. Another challenge is language--there are so many languages spoken in Africa, and those from other African countries do not always speak English. There are language cards and headsets that help them follow the ceremony, but sometimes in addition to not understanding English, they don’t read, so you just hope that the spirit of the ceremony will transfer somehow. Something that is especially fun is seeing the little children come to be sealed to their parents. The picture included show only part of the many children and families that were sealed one day when we were working. We will definitely have fond memories of the Johannesburg temple. For those of you who may not know about temples, here’s a link to a page with a video that explains more. Why Mormons Build Temples
Everyone wears white inside the temple. Pictures aren't taken inside; this is in the foyer, just outside the temple.
The temple president's wife took this picture in the inside stairwell leading up to the foyer--a little bit of an odd angle, but you can see the angel Moroni on the spire through the glass ceiling.
This was part of a large group of families that were sealed one of the days we worked. They are waiting for everyone to gather so they can take some group shots. The little kids all look so cute dressed in white.
This is outside the temple. Just like in the states, ward primary programs bring their children to the temple so they can walk around the grounds and get to know the temple.
These little girls were waiting for the parents who were attending a sealing. I thought it was cute because Elder Davie wanted the big sister to put her arm on her little sister's shoulder. She thought he wanted her to touch her shoulders :) She probably thought, "white men are pretty crazy." :)

1 comment:

  1. Great post! Love the photos, especially the one with Moroni through the ceiling window