SEOUL, Korea — There was no temple near Seoul when Hyoung Kun Lee and Sook Ran Choi wanted to be married in 1978. Both were stalwart members of the Church, but unable to attend any other temple, they chose to be married in civil ceremonies in a traditional wedding hall.
It seemed an almost impossible prospect that a temple would be built in the area. Still, they prayed for the day when they might be sealed in the House of the Lord. They didn't know how a temple would be built, but they believed that God would provide a way.
Their patience and prayers were rewarded seven years later when the Seoul Korea Temple was dedicated by President Gordon B. Hinckley on Dec. 14, 1985.
They were sealed the next year to their two daughters, Ja Young Lee and Jung Min Lee.
Sister Choi (Korean custom holds that parents retain their family names, while the children take the family name of the father) remembers that day with teary-eyed joy, a memory of joy that still lingers. As they attended the temple, in her mind's eye, she envisioned her daughters in beautiful wedding ceremonies in that temple.
They consider it a blessing to live within a 20-minute drive of the temple. Such a close proximity, they feel, has opened opportunities to serve. For the past four years, they have served as temple workers on alternating Saturdays.
Their opportunity to serve came about when a missionary couple were unable to fulfill their assignments after suffering health problems. Known for their enthusiasm for the temple, Brother Lee and Sister Choi were called to serve. Their first assignment began at 5 a.m. the day following their interview.
"We really wait for those special Saturdays," said Brother Lee. "The temple is the most peaceful place in the world and it seems whenever we go, all of our troubles just take care of themselves."
Ja Young, now 17, recognizes some of the influence of the temple in her life. "Knowing where I came from, and that I can live with my family forever, brings peace and strength to my everyday life. It motivates me to live my life how Heavenly Father wants me to. Many people don't even know why they are here. That knowledge alone can direct one's life."
Jung Min, 16, was considering the blessings of the temple in her life recently after performing baptisms for the dead and said, "I try to make my decisions so that I can be worthy to attend the temple. I love the feelings I get there. The desire to go there affects my every decision."
"The Lord has blessed our family in ways that are uncountable," said Sister Choi. "The girls are very blessed to go to a school under favorable circumstances, where there are fewer temptations. Raising our children with confidence in the gospel has truly been a blessing."
"There has been nothing sacrificial about going to the temple or being a member of the Church," added Brother Lee. "It has been nothing but blessings. We are very happy. Why? Because we can go to the temple." — Earnest and Berna Jones