Sydney Australia Temple

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Announced: April 2, 1980.

Location: In suburban Carlingford, 15 miles northwest of downtown Sydney; 756 Pennant Hills Road, Carlingofrd, NSW 2118; Australia; phone; (61) 2-9841-5471.

Site: 3.06 acres.

Exterior finish: Precast panels, white quartz finish, terra cotta roof tiles.

Temple design: Modern.

Architect: Emil B. Fetzer, Church architect, and R. Lindsay Little.

Construction adviser: D. Crosbie and Richard Rowley.

Contractor: J.P. Cordukes Pty. Ltd.

Rooms: Baptistry, celestial room, three sealing rooms, two ordinance rooms.

Total floor area: 30,067 square feet.

Dimensions: 145 feet by 115 feet, statue of Angel Moroni added to top spire.

District: 11 stakes and 11 districts in Southern Australia and Papua New Guinea.

Groundbreaking, site dedication: Aug. 13, 1982, by Elder Bruce R. McConkie of the Quorum of the Twelve.

Dedication: Sept. 20-23, 1984, by President Gordon B. Hinckley; 14 sessions.


Dedicatory Prayer

Done by President Gordon B. Hinckley

Our Father in heaven, Thou great Elohim, we Thy thankful children, come unto Thee in prayer on this solemn occasion. We approach Thee in the name of Thy Beloved Son, our Savior and our Redeemer, the Lord Jesus Christ.

Our hearts are filled with thanksgiving on this day when we dedicate Thy holy house.

We praise Thy name. We worship Thee in spirit and in truth. We love Thee, Father. We love Thy Son. We thank Thee for His matchless life, the only perfect man who ever walked the earth. We thank Thee for His teachings, which we accept as the law by which to govern our lives. We thank Thee for His redeeming sacrifice. We know that He suffered and died for us. Praise be to His holy name now and forevermore.

We thank Thee that after centuries of darkness, Thou and Thy Beloved Son visited the boy Joseph Smith, appointing him a prophet to open the dispensation of the fulness of times. We thank Thee, Almighty God, for the restoration of Thy work with the holy priesthood and all of the powers appertaining thereto, for the firm unshakable foundation on which Thou hast established it, for the great eternal mission which Thou hast declared for it, for prophets, seers, and revelators through whom Thou dost speak for the guidance of Thy people.

We thank Thee for the strength of Thy work in this great nation of Australia, for the hospitality accorded Thy servants who have come here over a century of time to teach Thine everlasting gospel, for all who have received it, and for the confirming witness of the Holy Spirit in their hearts.

Father, bless the land and the citizens of Australia. May this choice nation remain free from bondage and may its people enjoy liberty and prosperity, now and in the generations to come. May they so live as to merit Thy divine favor. May Thy work grow among them, touching for everlasting good the hearts of an ever-increasing number of truth seekers. May the people of Thy Church be recognized as men and women of integrity, of industry, and of faith. May the example of their lives lead others to seek Thy divine truth, and may Thy work roll on in majesty and power in this land and among all people.

Bless Thy faithful saints. Open the windows of heaven, and pour out Thy blessings upon them. May Thy peace reign in their homes and in their lives. May they walk in faithfulness before Thee, and in honor before all men. Prosper them as they live honestly with Thee in the payment of their tithes and offerings. Bless the youth, the young men and the young women. May they grow in virtue and in knowledge and in love for Thee. May they go forth from this Thy house to declare the glad tidings of the gospel to the people of the earth. Wilt Thou speak through them with power into the hearts of those they teach.

May Thy saints here covenant with Thee to walk in Thy ways and follow after Thy pattern. At the time of marriage may they kneel at the altars of this Thy house, pledging their love and loyalty before Thee, angels and witnesses, and here, under the authority of Thine everlasting priesthood, may they be sealed for time and eternity according to Thy great plan.

“Confound, and astonish, and bring to shame and confusion” the enemies of Thy work. May their efforts come to naught and may regret canker their hearts and lead them to repentance from the folly of their ways and the evil of their designs.

Father, we thank Thee for Thy living prophet, Spencer W. Kimball. Comfort him in his old age. Sustain him by Thy power. May he know of the great love of Thy people for him.

Now, Almighty God, in the authority of the holy priesthood in us vested, even in the authority of that priesthood which is Thine and with which Thou hast endowed Thy servants, and in the name of Thine Only Begotten Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, we dedicate to Thee and to Him, this the Sydney Australia Temple of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, together with the land on which it stands. We dedicate the structure with all of its fittings and facilities and with all of its furnishings and appointments. We dedicate the grounds with the grass, the trees, the shrubs, the flowers, and all else which adds to the beauty of this Thy house.

Father, wilt Thou accept this temple as the gift of Thy thankful sons and daughters. Wilt Thou and Thy Son be pleased to visit it, and may Thy Holy Spirit be found here always. May it be used with reverence and love by Thy covenant children in accomplishing the sacred work for which it has been constructed. May it be as a beacon to Thy saints throughout the land. May it be as an anchor when the storms of life beat about them. May it be a place of holiness to which they may come, a house of sanctification, a house of prayer, a house of covenants.

May this temple with its grounds be a place of beauty to all who look upon it. May they be touched by Thy spirit as they do so, that there may come into their hearts a feeling of respect for Thee and Thy people, and an increase of love for Thee our God.

Father in heaven, bless The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints wherever it is established. may it grow in strength and in numbers, and may the doors of the nations and the homes of the people be opened to the messengers of Thine eternal truth.

Almighty God, hear the prayer of Thy covenant children and accept of our offering. Smile with love and favor upon us, we humbly ask as we pledge anew our love for Thee and Thy Son, and rededicate ourselves to Thy holy purposes, all of which we do in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.


Aborigines gather for temple work, meetings

BY AMANDA MEYER, Pacific Area Public Affairs Specialist

More than 40 Australian aboriginal Latter-day Saints attended a weeklong gathering here Jan. 7-14, during which most attended daily sessions at the Sydney Australia Temple. Other activities included cultural events, a testimony meeting, workshops on Church related topics and a dance.

Organized by Christine King of the Darwin 1st Ward in Australia’s Northern Territory, the event involved six aboriginal families from different parts of the country: Melbourne, Mt. Isa and Darwin, and from the island of Tasmania.Sister King, mother of four and a returned missionary, has been a member of the Church 20 years. She said the purpose of the gathering was for the aboriginal members of the Church in Australia to get to know one another and share their experiences, both as Aborigines and as Church members. During the week of daily temple sessions, the group completed ordinances for the whole of the Larrakee Tribe in the Northern Territory.

“The aboriginal people have always been a deeply spiritual people,” said Donna Ballangarry of the Liverpool 1st Ward, Sydney Australia Parramatta Stake, “and the Church provides an opportunity for us to express that spirituality. Our dreamtime legend says that the aboriginal people came to Australia from the waters the same way Lehi sailed to the promised land, and that’s one reason why we find it so easy to accept the Book of Mormon.”

She said that family history is another feature of the Church Aborigines accept readily. “Genealogy has always been an important part of aboriginal culture, and from a very early age aboriginal children start learning their family history.” Sister Ballangarry, who belongs to the Wiradjuri Tribe in central New South Wales, said she knows most of her family history by heart as do most other aboriginal Latter-day Saints.

At a special fireside in the Parramatta meetinghouse chapel, Elder Lowell D. Wood of the Seventy and first counselor in the Pacific Area Presidency, reassured the aboriginal Latter-day Saints that they are from the house of Israel.

Sister Ballangarry said there were many other parallels between aboriginal culture and the Church. For example, the aboriginals believe strongly in an afterlife, that the spirit lives on after the mortal body has deceased.


Members make historic trip to temple

BY ALAN WAKELEY, Pacific Area Public Affairs Director

We have come to the temple with joy and appreciation to our Heavenly Father. It has been a truly spiritual time for us.”

Vabia Rome, Papua New Guinea district president, spoke these words in his native “Pidgin” English to express the thrill of a historic trip to the Sydney Australia Temple.In two groups of 18 families each, 138 members from Papua New Guinea visited the temple for the first time recently. Prior to their visit, only Pres. Rome, his wife, Mauveri, and a few of their countrymen had received their endowments. The two groups flew from Port Moresby, the capital of Papua New Guinea, on consecutive weeks to spread the workload at the temple.

One member, the father of Pres. Rome, summed up the experience for all when he said: “This is a beautiful and peaceful place.” Pres. Rome was asked by the temple president, Donald Cummings, how his mother and father could understand the ceremonies. He replied, “By the Spirit.”

Such a simple faith and intense spirituality were witnessed by 50 Australian member families who housed the Papua New Guineans or associated with them during each group’s week-long visit. The hosts in Sydney remarked that their guests took their religion very seriously. Though young in the Church, the Papua New Guineans had a demeanor that suggested a real commitment to the gospel and an avoidance of frivolity in sacred matters.

Pres. Cummings noted it was a delight to be with the members from Papua New Guinea. “I couldn’t help but come out of the sealing room emotionally and spiritually drained,” he said. “I saw these very humble people, with their beautiful children, sealed for time and eternity; it was a most inspiring experience. Great sacrifices were made by many people for this to happen.”

Sacrifice was the case for almost every member of the two groups. For example, Gabriel Meta’s employer wouldn’t allow him time off from work. Knowing the Lord would bless him, he resigned from his job to be able to bring his family to the temple. A member just 14 months, Brother Meta is an elders quorum president; his wife, Lusi, is branch Relief Society president.

Avara Vivia baked scones and sold them at the market to pay transportation costs to the temple for her herself, her husband Kauri, and six children.

When Pres. Rome joined the Church in February 1981, there were just 50 members of the Church in Papua New Guinea. The majority of those members were children from just a few families. Since then, the Church has grown in the country at an astonishing rate. There are now 2,600 members and 15 branches in the district, which is part of the Australia Brisbane Mission. Ten of the branches are located in Port Moresby, while the remaining five are in remote locations some distance from the capital.

Despite the growth of the Church, there was one thing missing from the lives of the members. Two years ago, Hori Harvey, president of the Australia Brisbane Mission, felt that the saints in Papua New Guinea needed the blessings of the temple in their lives.

Pres. Harvey said: “Over the last 24 months, we have been carefully making the saints ready for this opportunity. We took them through temple preparation classes and familiarized them with Western customs, such as dress, food preparation and eating. Just one week before they were ready to leave for the temple, a ton of clothing – which had been donated by Australian saints – was distributed to the Papua New Guinean members.”

Prior to gaining independence in 1975, Papua New Guinea was a protectorate of Australia. Sharing the island of New Guinea with the Indonesian-administered Irian Jaya, the country is just 150 miles across the Torres Strait from the tip of northern Australia.

Papua New Guinea is a rugged, mountainous nation with a hot, tropical climate. Its population of 4.7 million are primarily Melanesians, hence, they have the same forebears as indigenous Fijians. There are some 10,000 white inhabitants who are mainly expatriate Australians who have been assisting in the country’s administration since independence.

The indigenous population is spread throughout the nation, with the capital, Port Moresby, having a population of only 200,000. Many town-dwellers are from villages located in the highlands, and they often return to their homes during holiday periods. It’s through this natural and regular movement from town to village that the Church is now spreading from place to place.

The branch now located on the island of Daru is an example of the phenomenon. Members of the Church from Port Moresby told one of the “onetalks” (family, friends, or people who speak the same language) who lived on the mainland near the island about the Church. Local villagers then began requesting for the missionaries to come and teach them the gospel. At the same time, Pres. Harvey felt that missionaries should be sent to the island.

They arrived last July. Just three months later, the Daru Branch had 160 members. During this short time, two full-time missionaries, Elders Brian Mott of Washington and Benjamin Lish of Ohio, were involved in the conversion of approximately 100 of the new branch members.

District Pres. Rome reports that there are a number of other villages just like Daru where villagers are asking for the gospel to be presented to them.

Although Papua New Guinea’s national tongues are English, Pidgin English and the indigenous language, Hiri Motu, there are 830 different dialects spoken by the population. Such an abundance of languages creates difficulty for Church administration. Pidgin, a combination of English, German and Motu, is probably the most common of the three national languages, and is the one into which the scriptures are soon to be translated. The only Church literature in Pidgin at present are “Joseph Smith’s Testimony” and “Gospel Principles.”