Elder Rasband prays the scourges of Africa be replaced with ‘honesty, brotherhood and goodwill’

Following is the text of the prayer offered by Elder Ronald A. Rasband of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles to dedicate the Durban South Africa Temple on Sunday, Feb. 16, 2020.

Our glorified and eternal Father in Heaven, we, Thy children, come before Thee in earnest prayer in the name of Thy Beloved Son, our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, at the completion of this holy temple in Durban, South Africa. We pray Thou wilt accept this offering of our love and devotion to Thee. 

On the outside of this beautiful structure is the inscription in gold letters, “Holiness to the Lord.” May “Holiness to the Lord” also exemplify the inner feelings of our hearts, the thoughts of our minds, and the labors of our very lives. With gratitude and humility, we offer our dedication to Thee and Thy Son and to the restored gospel. We testify of our resurrected Lord, our Savior Jesus Christ, and His Atonement, the singular act that broke the bands of death, set in place the covenant path, and opened the gates of salvation.

At the direction of President Russell M. Nelson, today by divine design, with the authority of the priesthood which comes from Thee, and in the name of our Savior and Lord, Jesus Christ, we dedicate this temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Durban, South Africa. May it stand as a pinnacle of hope and salvation, of Thy restored priesthood and purposes here on the earth. May it prepare us to join Thee for all eternity.

We dedicate the ground on which this temple stands and the surrounding gardens, the unseen footings and foundation, the walls and windows and the beautiful dome with the crowning figure of Moroni. We dedicate the baptistry, the areas for initiatory ordinances, the endowment room, the glorious celestial room, the sealing room and the altar and every other part of this hallowed house.

The sunsets on the Durban South Africa Temple in Umhlanga, South Africa, on Feb. 13, 2020.
The sunsets on the Durban South Africa Temple in Umhlanga, South Africa, on Feb. 13, 2020. Credit: Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News

To this prayer of dedication, we add the words of Thy chosen servant, our beloved prophet, President Russell M. Nelson, that “the crowning jewel of the Restoration is the holy temple. Its sacred ordinances and covenants are pivotal to preparing a people who are ready to welcome the Savior at His Second Coming.” Wilt Thou continue to bless, guide and inspire President Nelson and those who serve with him in the councils of the Church.

We pray Thou wilt watch over this temple and protect it. May it withstand tempests and turmoil, destruction and defilement. We bless the additional buildings of this temple complex that they, too, will be watched over by guardian angels that their structures will grace this holy site.

May the influence of the Holy Ghost be unrestrained within these walls and may the temple serve as a beacon of everlasting light to all who see it and a sanctuary to all who enter in. We pray for those who attend the temple of any age. May they feel strengthened to live their covenants with determination, patience and discipline. Wilt Thou bless them with insight, steadfastness, and forgiving hearts. 

We dedicate this holy temple as a house of learning, righteousness and prayer — and a house for those on both sides of the veil. May our love for Thee mature as we ponder the divine providence of being in the temple and receiving truths of everlasting importance. 

Bokang and her sister Awande Tshabalala attend the Durban South Africa Temple dedication in Umhlanga, South Africa, on Sunday, Feb. 16, 2020.
Bokang and her sister Awande Tshabalala attend the Durban South Africa Temple dedication in Umhlanga, South Africa, on Sunday, Feb. 16, 2020. Credit: Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News

We are grateful for the tithes and offerings of Thy people all around the world, brothers and sisters devoted to the gospel of Jesus Christ. From their consecration this holy edifice has been built and is presented to Thee.  

May we recognize the importance of being tied together as families for eternity under priesthood authority and may the blessings of making sacred covenants be the culmination one upon another of our righteous living. May our ancestors who have waited for baptism, endowments and sealings be encircled with Thy promise of eternal life through our efforts on their behalf in the temple. 

May our youth — young men and young women — feel the spirit of this work which will give them the strength to resist the temptations of the adversary that could lead them astray. May they take to heart the conviction expressed by Nephi to “go and do” Thy bidding and may their “doing” be worthy of temple service as they advance in their lives.

May this temple provide refuge from the storms, tensions and confusions that beset us on life’s journey, and may we have the resolve to stand strong as witnesses of Thee and Thy Son. May Thy Spirit be poured down upon all who come to this temple weighed down with heavy hearts and sorrows. May the divinity and reality of our Lord and Savior fill our souls as we worship in this holy house and may our Savior’s love be our constant source of joy, peace and plenty. 

We pray for blessings upon those who shall preside here, including the temple president and his counselors, the matron and her assistants, and all those who serve now or will serve here in the Durban Temple in the years ahead. Grant them vitality, compassion and solace in Thy service. May all who serve in this temple, whether they be workers or patrons, express reverence and respect for those who attend and those for whom work is being completed. We gratefully acknowledge the trained hands that so beautifully completed this temple beyond standards of the world.

A view from behind the Durban South Africa Temple on its dedication day in Umhlanga, South Africa, on Sunday, Feb. 16, 2020.
A view from behind the Durban South Africa Temple on its dedication day in Umhlanga, South Africa, on Sunday, Feb. 16, 2020. Credit: Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News

Bless the nations of this temple district, Mozambique, South Africa and Lesotho, O Father, that those who govern will do so in righteousness. Bless the leaders with courage to protect the religious liberties of the citizens and insight to enlarge opportunities that these people may be lifted from the bonds of poverty and disease and look forward to more prosperous living. 

We ask that the nations on this vast continent will be blessed by Thy merciful hand and that the scourges and plights of many will be replaced by honesty, brotherhood and goodwill. May teachings of the gospel help heal, fortify and strengthen each country.

And now we dedicate this temple as an abode for Thee and Thy Son. Wilt Thou accept this temple and wilt thou recognize our sincerity in placing it before Thee. May we, Thy children gathered in Thy name, merit Thy bounteous blessings and Thy watchful care, we pray, in the name of Thy Beloved Son, even the name of Jesus Christ, the Lord, amen.