Elder Renlund invites youth in DR Congo to dedicate their ‘whole life’ to the Savior

Elder Dale G. Renlund underscored the importance of the temple during a Saturday afernoon youth devotional held in anticipation of the Kinshasa Democratic Republic of the Congo Temple dedication.

“The blessings of the temple are found in the ordinances performed therein,” said Elder Renlund of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. “When we are endowed, we covenant to follow Jesus Christ’s example and dedicate our whole life to Him.”

After it is dedicated in three sessions Sunday, April 14, the Kinshasa temple will become the 163rd operating temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Précieuse Mbayo, one of the youth who spoke during the youth devotional, said, “I know that the temple is the house of God. When we go there, we find peace.”

A pair of young women share an embrace prior to the Saturday, April 13, 2019, youth devotional in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo with Elder Dale G. Renlund of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles.
A pair of young women share an embrace prior to the Saturday, April 13, 2019, youth devotional in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo with Elder Dale G. Renlund of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles.

Elder Renlund, who has visited DR Congo nearly 40 times since being called to the Africa Southeast Area presidency in 2011, is joined in Kinshasa by his wife, Sister Ruth L. Renlund; Elder Kevin S. Hamilton, a General Authority Seventy; and his wife, Sister Claudia K. Hamilton; and Elder Larry Y. Wilson, a General Authority Seventy and executive director of the Temple Department.

Also participating are the members of the Africa Southeast Area presidency and their wives: Elder S. Mark Palmer and Sister Jacqueline A. Palmer; Elder Joseph W. Sitati and Sister Gladys N. Sitati; and Elder Joni L. Koch and Sister Liliane M Koch.

The leaders also participated in a morning missionary meeting at a meetinghouse neighboring the temple, followed by late-afternoon leadership meetings at various stake centers throughout Kinshasa.

The temple will be dedicated Sunday by Elder Renlund in three sessions, with a public-facing cornerstone ceremony part of the first session. The three dedicatory sessions will be broadcast to meetinghouses across the DR Congo.

The Kinshasa temple will be the fourth on the continent of Africa, joining the Johannesburg South Africa, Accra Ghana and Aba Nigeria temples.

Youth file into a meetinghouse neighboring the Kinshasa Democratic Republic of the Congo Temple for an afternoon devotional with Elder Dale G. Renlund of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles on Saturday, April 13, 2019.
Youth file into a meetinghouse neighboring the Kinshasa Democratic Republic of the Congo Temple for an afternoon devotional with Elder Dale G. Renlund of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles on Saturday, April 13, 2019.

Five additional temples in Africa are either under construction or in various stages of planning — the Durban South Africa and Abidjan Cote d'Ivoire temples are under construction, the Kenya Nairobi and Harare Zimbabwe temples are awaiting official site announcements, and a second temple for Nigeria — in Lagos — was announced in October 2018 general conference.

With the temple announced in October 2011 general conference by President Thomas S. Monson, Elder Neil L. Andersenof the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles presided over the groundbreaking ceremonies held on Feb. 12, 2016 — 30 years to the day after the Church was granted official recognition in the country, then known as Zaire.

Last month, the open house for the temple in Kinshasa drew more than 11,000 visitors over the period of several weeks. The Africa Southeast Area presidency also hosted a one-day “special guests and media” day, in which media representatives and leaders of government, business and other faiths could tour the temple and visit about its purpose and use with Church leaders in attendance.