Freiberg Germany Temple

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Announced: Oct. 9, 1982.

Location: In Freiberg, Hainichener Strasse 64, D09599 Freiberg, Germany; phone: (49) 3721-35960.

Site: 1 acre.

Exterior finish: Exterior white German stucco over 24-inch thick brick walls, blue gray slate stone slab roof.

Temple design: Modern design with German influence; two high arches, reminicent of Gothic style, are parallel with front of building and bisected by two similar arches to form a single spire.

Architect: Emil B. Fetzer, original; Rolf Metzner, contractor/architect director of Bauakademie of Dresden.

Rooms: Celestial room, one ordinance room, two sealing rooms, baptistry.

Total floor area: originally 7,840 square feet; 13,500 square feet after remodeling.

Dimensions: Originally 94 feet by 75 feet; 94 feet by 112 feet.

District: Three stakes, 15 districts in Eastern Germany, Czech Republic, Romania, Hungary, Ukraine, Bulgaria.

Groundbreaking, site dedication: April 23, 1983, by Elder Thomas S. Monson of the Quorum of the Twelve.

Dedication: June 29, 1985, by President Gordon B. Hinckley; 7 sessions.

Rededication: Sept. 7, 2002, by President Gordon B. Hinckley, in one session.

Dedicatory Prayer

Done by President Gordon B. Hinckley

Almighty God, Thou great Elohim, in the name of Thy Beloved Son, Jesus Christ, we bow before Thee in prayer and thanksgiving. On this day of dedication our hearts turn to Thee. We thank Thee for this holy temple in this land and nation. We thank Thee for all who have made possible its building—the officers of the government who have given encouragement and made available land and materials, the architects and the builders, and all who have made possible this glorious day of dedication. We are grateful unto Thee that it is now complete and that we may present it to Thee, our beloved Father, and to Thine Only Begotten Son, the Savior of the world. Wilt Thou accept it as the offering of Thy grateful sons and daughters.

Thou knowest we have long prayed that we might have a temple in our midst. Thou knowest that we love Thee, and that we love the ordinances and blessings of Thy house. We thank Thee that we are able to worship Thee in spirit and in truth. We thank Thee that we may now come to this sanctuary and feel of the hallowed influence here to be found.

We are grateful that prior to this dedication tens of thousands of the people of this land visited this sacred edifice. They partook of its beauty and its influence. We humbly pray that their coming may have brought them to greater appreciation for the good and the beautiful elements of Thine everlasting truth. We are met here today as people of various nations bound by a common love for Thee our Father and Thy Son, the Redeemer of all mankind. We thank Thee for the peace which makes this possible and for the hospitality of this nation in permitting us to join together in this house of sacred worship. Our hearts are touched by the bond of fellowship we feel one with another. Strengthen that bond, and may we reach out in a spirit of love and appreciation and respect for one another. This gospel, which so deeply touches our lives, is the gospel of peace. May we grow in knowledge and understanding of Thine everlasting plan for Thy children, Thy sons and daughters of all nations.

We thank Thee for the consecrations of Thy people which have supplied the means for the building of this sacred house. Bless them each one. Smile with favor upon them and may they feel of Thy divine love. We pray that all who have contributed to this sacred undertaking shall be blessed of Thee with the good things of the earth and the divine things of heaven, and that all shall live with gratitude unto Thee and thanksgiving for Thy great beneficence.

Father, we thank Thee for the measure of peace to be found in the world, and pray that it may continue and grow that men and women everywhere may use their time, their talents, and their means for good. May understanding and respect increase between the nations of the earth.

Comfort and sustain the widow and her children. Soften the loneliness of the bereaved husband who has lost his companion. May each know that through Thy divine providence the sacred bonds of marriage may be made eternal and everlasting. Thou hast restored the priesthood which will be exercised in this house, binding in the heavens as it binds upon the earth, sealing together husbands and wives, parents and children, in generations of families united eternally.

Now, beloved Father, in the authority of the Holy Priesthood in us vested and in the name of Jesus Christ, we dedicate unto Thee and unto Thy Son this the Freiberg DDR Temple of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. We dedicate it as Thy holy habitation. Wilt Thou accept of it, dear Father, and wilt Thou sanctify it that all who come here may feel the presence of Thy Holy Spirit. We consecrate it for the great and holy work which will be performed herein. May it be as a bright and shining star to Thy faithful sons and daughters. May the truths herein taught and the ordinances herein performed be accepted with thankful hearts by those who love Thee as our Father and our God.

Bless this house, we pray Thee. May Thy watchcare be over it. May it be preserved from the storms of nature and from any defiling hand or act of man. May it be a place of holiness, a house of peace, a sanctuary of righteousness. May those who enter its doors come with clean hands and pure thoughts. May they leave with joy and peace in their hearts, and sing songs of thanksgiving and worship unto Thee.

Bless the fathers and the mothers among Thy saints that they may be examples to their children, and nurture them with love and truth. Bless the children that they shall honor and respect and love their parents. May Thy peace abide in the homes of Thy people. Smile with favor upon them and grant unto them Thy rich and cherished blessings. May none go hungry or naked or without shelter from storms that blow about them. May knowledge of Thee and Thy ways grow in their hearts and minds. May their love for Thee strengthen. May they reach out with love to their fellowmen, walking in righteousness and faith as becomes the saints of God.

To Thee we lift our voices in anthems of praise. To Thee we pledge our love. To Thee we pray with faith and gratitude. May this day long be remembered in the annals of Thy Church. May it be recalled with gratitude and appreciation. May it mark the beginning of a new day of gladness for Thy people. May their tears turn to smiles. May their burdens be lightened. May their cares be lifted. May the assurance that Thou art near strengthen every heart.

Eternal Father, accept of our thanks. Hear our prayer. Smile with favor upon us. Forgive our sins and shortcomings. Shelter and protect us from evil. Accept of our offering of this house. Bless it from the footings to the top of the tower, its walls, its roof, its halls and rooms and altars, and all the furnishings and fixtures thereof.

As we dedicate this house we dedicate ourselves anew to Thee and to Thine eternal purposes. O God, Thou great everlasting Father, for these things we pray as Thy thankful children and bear testimony of Thee and Thy Beloved Son, in His Holy Name, even the name of the Redeemer of the world, the Lord Jesus Christ, amen.

Polish members undaunted by distance

Attending temple worth the struggle

WARSAW, Poland — More than 50 members of the Church boarded the train from Warsaw to Dresden on Dec. 13, making this the largest group of Polish members to attend the Freiberg Germany Temple.

Freiberg Germany Temple
Freiberg Germany Temple | Intellectual Reserve Inc.

The journey began in northeastern Poland where members of the Bialystok Branch boarded the train shortly after work. They were soon joined by Bartek Zak, a young man from the only member family in the town of Pulawy.

More members boarded as the train stopped in Lodz, Ostrow and Wroclaw on its way to Germany. Sitting in the open compartments of second class, members renewed friendships and spent the night conversing.

"Many people told me that when we are just about to go the House of the Lord, Satan strives to disturb in many ways," said Karol Zaluski, who joined the train in Warsaw, "They were right. I had a very bad time a week before the trip. It seemed all was going wrong. It was hard and I prayed a lot. Two days before the trip everything changed and I was overcome by great, warm feelings."

Before dawn, members boarded a bus at the Polish border town of Zgorzelec. Some 16 hours after beginning their journey, they arrived in Freiberg. Anticipation grew as the bus wound its way through the narrow streets, following signs marking the way to the temple.

For many, this was their first trip. "I could not wait to get there," said Brother Zaluski. "It was my first time to the temple and I brought names of my family, including the name of my mother. I prayed to be ready to do the work for them."

"The temple is truly a place where you can experience the presence of God," said Joanna Seif, who was among those who received their endowments that morning. "The peacefulness, purity and love emanating from that place and from the people who work there overwhelmed me and my heart."

Others in the group began that morning by being baptized for the dead. "Each time I was submerged, I felt a growing peace. I knew I was in the right place," continued Brother Zaluski.

"Some time later I had the chance to see one of the sisters be baptized in behalf of my mother. I had been waiting a very long time for that moment. I could feel she was grateful for what had been done, and for my membership. It was one of the most fantastic moments of my life. Being the only member of the Church in my family, I felt something had changed, that I was not alone any more, and in the future, we would be together."

Temple workers accommodated the desires of the group by working longer that day to give everyone a chance to participate in all the ordinances. Everyone was pleased. Members spoke of special feelings they experienced as a result of serving in the House of the Lord.

"Being there I made a promise to always be worthy to enter the House of God," said Roksana Maslyk from Wroclaw.

At the end of the day, members gathered to return home. When they reached the Polish border, they noticed how the temple had changed them. They eagerly spoke of their experiences and feelings.

"I received many wonderful and unexpected blessings from the Lord," said Sister Seif. "After returning to Poland I see how all the blessings start to grow."

After spending the evening in a hostel, they took the morning train to Wroclaw where temple participants joined the branch in a special testimony meeting. The small facilities required that many stand, which they willingly did. The meeting lasted longer than scheduled and was interrupted only by the need to catch the next train.

Members traveled the remainder of the day with the last one arriving home at 10 a.m. the following morning.

"My faith grew and now I am waiting for the next time," said Marcin Kmita.

Examples of faith from behind the wall

By John L. Hart

Jacques Eric Nkwonkam, 30, found the gospel from an unlikely source: an atheist.

Brother Nkwonkam of Cameroon in West Africa traveled to Europe in 1988 to gain an education not available in his homeland.A promising student in high school, he was among those selected by his government to travel abroad to study. His assignment was to become a civil engineer and learn to build roads.

"I know I came to study how to build roads, but I also want to build roads you cannot see," he said. "I am studying to build spiritual roads."

He was reared in a religious home where his family held family prayer, often read the Bible, avoided alcohol and tobacco, and paid tithing.

"I went to different churches, but while studying the Bible, I discovered many things. I asked questions that other churches could not answer. I felt the need to find something more," he reflected.

His mother was concerned about his studying in East Germany because it was then an atheistic country. "She told me to take my Bible and pray, and that God would lead me and guide me."

In the German Democratic Republic, he investigated many churches.

"I already knew not to use tobacco and alcohol," he said. "I wanted a church with at least the standards I already knew. But I wanted to know more. I wondered, "How do I find the Church of Jesus Christ?"

He spoke with another student about his search.

"I told her there was a God, but she quoted from Marxism and Leninism, and said religion was the opiate of the people. We didn't come to an agreement. But one day, two young missionaries gave her a copy of the Book of Mormon. She brought it back to her dormitory and, knowing that I would be the only one interested, later showed it to me. It was the first time in my life I had seen the Book of Mormon."

Her description of the missionaries - two young men - confused him; the missionaries he knew in Africa were older people. However, his interest in the book led him to attend a meeting in the Tiergarten Ward, Berlin Germany Stake. There, he met the two young missionaries and asked many questions.

He was invited to receive the first missionary lesson but declined.

"I'd had many discussions with other churches and didn't want to be led in a way that I didn't know," he explained.

Instead, he asked for pamphlets that he carefully studied. He later was well-prepared when he received the lessons. During the lessons, missionaries asked him to be baptized. He answered that he had already been baptized by immersion.

"They told me to pray about it and left. I prayed and received an answer that I should be baptized, even though I didn't understand."

He said he was baptized in 1990, and then was invited to receive the priesthood. He studied all about that, as well.

"I joined the Church and found it was the will of the Lord. Many things confirmed that this was the true Church."

He was called as a Sunday School teacher, then as counselor in the Sunday School presidency, then to the bishopric, and is now an assistant to the high priests group leader in the Dresden Ward. He is an ordinance worker in the Freiberg Germany Temple.

"I am also active in the Cameroon community," he said. "I am president of the Cameroon Club. The club is to bring all Cameroonians together. We have many dialects in Cameroon, so we speak French or English. What I am doing as president is emphasizing that we are all brothers and sisters and we must love each other."

Now completing his doctorate in civil engineering at Dresden University, he plans to eventually return to his homeland, where there is only one branch of the Church.

"What will happen in Cameroon depends upon the Lord," he said. "But we need to be a light to the world."

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