Menu
In the News

Scott Taylor: An Apostle’s prayer for the Praia temple and ‘the miracle of the rain’


Soon after returning home from the Praia Cape Verde Temple dedication, I was at the Provo Missionary Training Center covering the second day of the 2022 Seminar for New Mission Leaders.

Chatting with attendees between the Friday, June 24, seminar sessions and mentioning my previous Cabo Verde assignment, I heard the same responses: “Ah, the miracle of the rain.”

It surprised me. I knew of the Praia temple’s dedicatory prayer offered by Elder Neil L. Andersen of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, who included a plea for rain for the drought-stricken, 10-island nation off the coast of west Africa. The drought dates back to 2017 and has magnified food insecurities in Cabo Verde.

No media reports mentioned both the Sunday, June 19, dedicatory prayer and the rain that fell in the capital city that day. Until I was flying home, I hadn’t even thought about writing a future follow-up, linking Elder Andersen’s prayer and the rain in Cabo Verde.

Elder Neil L. Andersen of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and his wife, Sister Kathy Andersen, greet those outside the Praia Cape Verde Temple prior to the first of three dedicatory sessions on Sunday, June 19, 2022.

Elder Neil L. Andersen of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and his wife, Sister Kathy Andersen, greet those outside the Praia Cape Verde Temple prior to the first of three dedicatory sessions on Sunday, June 19, 2022.

Credit: Scott G Winterton, Deseret News

So how word of the prayer and the Praia rain had made its way so quickly to Provo, Utah, was beyond me.

I soon learned why “the miracle of the rain” became a common refrain that day at the MTC. Sister Kathy Andersen, Elder Andersen’s wife, had related the experience during their seminar presentation the day before. She recounted how Elder Andersen humbly asked the Lord in his temple dedicatory prayer to bless the people with the rain they desperately need.

In Portuguese — the nation’s official language — and after dedicating the temple and blessing the members and temple leaders and workers, Elder Andersen directed his prayer for the Republic of Cabo Verde.

“We thank Thee, Father, for the many blessings that have come to Cabo Verde since Elder Dallin H. Oaks first blessed this land nearly 30 years ago. We bless this land, as President Oaks did previously, that the land may bring forth abundantly for its people, that the clouds may produce rain, that the ocean may yield its fruit, and we bless the people of this land that they may have vision, energy and freedom, light and knowledge, ambition and hope, all strengthened by obedience to Thy commandments.”

Two boys play in the rain water pooled on the side of the road on Cabo Verde on Monday, June 20, 2022.

Two boys play in the rain water pooled on the side of the road on Cabo Verde on Monday, June 20, 2022.

Credit: Scott G Winterton, Deseret News

When the Andersens walked out after the temple’s final dedication session, rain was falling — and continued through the following morning, Sister Andersen said. It was an immediate response to an Apostle’s prayer, when the region typically receives less than 1 millimeter (.039 of an inch) of rain in the month of June. 

The Andersens’ driver in Praia called the rain “a miracle.” President David J. Wunderli of the Cape Verde Praia Mission told them that in his two years serving in Cabo Verde, he’s only seen rain in the months of August and September.

Cynics will say, “Of course, it rained — rain was in the day’s forecast.” But “the miracle of the rain” had many facets.

1. “The miracle of the rain” can’t be seen just in that moment or that day. An Apostle of the Lord had been pondering Cabo Verde’s people and predicament while preparing the dedicatory prayer for several months, finishing it well in advance of the dedication. The prayer for moisture wasn’t a convenient, last-minute addition timely tied to the day’s forecast, but rather a well-thought, sincere and advance plea to bless and sustain.

Kids walk in the rain water on the side of the road on Cabo Verde on Monday, June 20, 2022.

Kids walk in the rain water on the side of the road on Cabo Verde on Monday, June 20, 2022.

Credit: Scott G Winterton, Deseret News

2. “The miracle of the rain” came in its timing. Praia’s June 19 forecast called for rain beginning by midmorning, which would have hampered not only dedication attendees throughout the day but the outdoor cornerstone ceremony soon after the start of the 9 a.m. first session. Beyond a few scattered droplets at the temple site before 9, the rain began to fall in earnest after the conclusion of the final 3 p.m. session.

3. “The miracle of the rain” was in its duration. Rather than a quick, one-off storm, the rain continued through the night and on into Monday. Deseret News photographer Scott Winterton and I drove around Santiago Island, looking for scenic images; instead we saw more rain, fog, low-hanging rainclouds, Cape Verdeans walking with umbrellas and children splashing in puddles. When we left Praia on June 21, rain was projected for additional days that week.

Overlooking Cabo Verde’s Praia Port at dawn June 21, 2022. The lit dome of the Praia Cape Verde Temple is the farther-left light in the image.

Overlooking Cabo Verde’s Praia Port at dawn June 21, 2022. The lit dome of the Praia Cape Verde Temple is the farther-left light in the image.

Credit: Scott Taylor

4. “The miracle of the rain” was also in its intensity — or lack thereof. Two days after the dedication, a local man — not a Church member — told me of his gratitude for the precipitation being a softer, steady and soil-soaking rain and not a torrential downpour. Past heavy rains in Cabo Verde have resulted in massive floodings, deaths and substantial highway closures from rocks and boulders falling from saturated roadside inclines.

While the rains on and after Praia Cape Verde Temple’s dedication day won’t immediately resolve the lingering drought, it’s a start.

I return from Cabo Verde having seen how the Lord acknowledges His approval on the temple dedication and an Apostle’s dedicatory prayer.

I am a witness of “the miracle of the rain” — or better put, “the miracles of the rain.”

The Praia Cape Verde Temple at night, as shown in a YouTube video announcing the temples open house and reservation system on Cabo Verde’s ChurchofJesusChrist.org website.

The Praia Cape Verde Temple at night, as shown in a YouTube video announcing the temples open house and reservation system on Cabo Verde’s ChurchofJesusChrist.org website.

Credit: Screenshot, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Newsletters
Subscribe for free and get daily or weekly updates straight to your inbox
The three things you need to know everyday
Highlights from the last week to keep you informed