DVD helps deaf prepare for temple

A new Church DVD helps members of the Church who are deaf to better prepare themselves spiritually to enter the temple. "Preparing to Enter The Holy Temple" in American Sign Language offers members using ASL a "better understanding of the purpose of the temple — some simple things," said Doug Hind, manager of Special Curriculum in the Church's Curriculum Department.

"This DVD was something I thought the deaf people would benefit from," said Brother Hind. "This (DVD) only hits the surface, but it's done in their language."

Brother Hind is quick to explain that ASL is not English in sign language. American Sign Language is a language on its own. For those who are deaf who use sign language, English is a second language just as it is for those who speak Spanish or Russian or any other language.

Just ask Marco Kwao Nyarko, who uses both American Sign Language and Ghanaian Sign Language in his country, Ghana. A member of the Medina 2nd Ward, Accra Ghana Christiansborg Stake, Brother Nyarko told the Church News via e-mail that GSL and ASL are similar languages except for some differences in grammatical structure.

About the time he attended the Accra Ghana Temple for the first time on June 22, 2006, Brother Nyarko was shown "Preparing to Enter The Holy Temple" in ASL. Calling the day he entered the temple the "happiest day in my life," he related that the sign language video "helped me a lot. I understood every bit of it as I know the ASL.... It is still helping me a lot."

Speaking of DVDs for the deaf, Brother Nyarko added: "I can say that it's one of the best works the Church is doing. For me, it has been my only source to study the doctrine of the Church. Being the only deaf in my ward without interpreters, I took comfort in watching them and I can say that it will truly help the deaf throughout the world."

"Preparing to Enter The Holy Temple" in ASL includes a glossary of terms and 12 segments, including such titles as "Come to the Temple," "Worthy to Enter," "The Power to Seal," "Sacred Covenants," and "Toward the Veil." There is no audio, but the DVD includes English subtitles.

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