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YSAs in Thailand invite and share Bangkok temple open house

More than 375 young single adults meet with Elder and Sister Gong in devotional prior to Aug. 26 tour of the new house of the Lord

More than 375 Thai young single adults from Bangkok and across Thailand gathered at the Bangkok Thailand Temple to walk through the House of the Lord, then share photos, impressions and testimonies, and invite families and friends to the temple open house on social media.

Elder Gerrit W. Gong of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles and his wife, Sister Susan Gong, met with the participating YSAs in a devotional in the stake center next to the temple. As the young single adults prepared to enter the temple, Elder Gong expressed his hope that they would have a spiritual experience.

More than 375 young single adults from across Thailand gather for a photo with Elder Gerrit W. Gong and Sister Susan Gong.
More than 375 young single adults from across Thailand gather for a photo with Elder Gerrit W. Gong of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, and his wife, Sister Susan Gong, following a tour of the Bangkok Thailand Temple, Aug. 26, 2023. | The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

“The Lord is waiting to meet you in His holy house,” the Apostle said. “We don’t go to the temple. We come to Jesus Christ in the house of the Lord.”

The special tour for YSAs across Thailand was first reported — with photos and videos — on ChurchofJesusChrist.org.

Held Monday, Aug. 28, the temple’s media day kicked off a series of special-guest tours that will continue daily until the public open-house tours begin Friday, Sept. 1, and continue through Saturday, Sept. 17, excluding Sundays.

Elder Ronald A. Rasband of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles will dedicate the Bangkok Thailand Temple in two sessions — at 10 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. — on Sunday, Oct. 22. The dedicatory sessions will be broadcast to all units in the Bangkok Thailand Temple district, which includes Thailand, Laos, Myanmar, Vietnam and other parts of Southeast Asia. Currently, the closest operating temple for Church members in Thailand is the Hong Kong China Temple.

The Bangkok Thailand Temple at night.
The Bangkok Thailand Temple at night, photographed in the summer of 2023 in Bangkok, Thailand. | The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

What the Gongs taught in Thailand

Elder Gong quoted President Russell M. Nelson, who said, “Everything we believe and every promise God has made to His covenant people come together in the temple.”

Elder Gerrit W. Gong speaks to young single adults from across Thailand.
Elder Gerrit W. Gong of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles speaks to a gathering of young single adults from across Thailand prior to touring the Bangkok Thailand Temple on Aug. 26, 2023. | The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

The Gongs were young adults themselves when they first visited Thailand in 1980 — on their honeymoon after their marriage. And they have returned a number of times since, includimg a time a decade ago that Sister Gong recalled during the devotional.

“Ten years ago, Elder Gong and I were here in Thailand, and we just felt that the blessings of God were ready to be poured out upon the people,” Sister Gong said. “And it’s happening. A temple is such a beautiful thing to have right here in the middle of Bangkok. It will be a light to the world. I am grateful for your goodness and sacrifice, which helped make it possible.”

Sister Susan Gong speaks to more than 375 young single adults in Bangkok.
Sister Susan Gong, wife of Elder Gerrit W. Gong of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, speaks to a gathering of more than 375 young single adults from across Thailand in Bangkok on Aug. 26, 2023. | The Curch of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Elder Gong said “peace,” “purity” and “purpose” are three words that describe what the temple means to him. “Peace is something that we’re all seeking,” he explained. “Purity is something that we value. And we are looking for purpose.”

The Apostle invited the young adults to share the three words they would use to describe the temple through social media and other opportunities.

Thai young single adults gather for a photo with Elder Gerrit W. Gong and Sister Susan Gong outside the Bangkok Thailand Temple.
Young single adults from across Thailand gather for a photo with Elder Gerrit W. Gong of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles and his wife, Sister Susan Gong, following a tour of the Bangkok Thailand Temple on Aug. 26, 2023. | The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

What the YSAs were saying

Jeeranan Sawasdeenaruemon said her three words — as invited by Elder Gong — are “holiness,” “family” and “eternity,” adding she knows “that through the temple, families can be together forever. … I feel that the temple is really the house of God and He was there.”

After walking through the temple, Pariwat Sengpoung of Rangsit, Thailand, said: “I feel closer with God, and Jesus really [is] closer.”

Thai young single adults pose for a photo outside the Bangkok Thailand Temple.
Thai young single adults pose for a photo outside the Bangkok Thailand Temple. YSAs from across Thailand gathered for a devotional with Elder Gerrit W. Gong of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, and his wife, Sister Susan Gong, prior to touring the temple on Aug. 26, 2023. | The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Suchawadee Prasithichai of Bang Khen, a district of Bangkok, said: “This is my first time to see Elder Gong. This is my special day. And I learned a lot about him.”

Surakrit Cherdchaiyaphum, also of Rangsit, said: “I [would] really like to invite everyone to come and to see what we have and what Jesus Christ wants us to know.”

A young woman takes a selfie with Sister Susan Gong, with Elder Gerrit W. Gong in the background.
A young woman takes a selfie with Sister Susan Gong, with Elder Gerrit W. Gong in the background, following a tour of the Bangkok Thailand Temple on Aug. 26, 2023. | The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Additional photos

Elder Gerrit W. Gong greets a Thai young adult at  the Bangkok Thailand Temple.
Elder Gerrit W. Gong of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles greets a Thai young single adult in the courtyard plaza of the Bangkok Thailand Temple on Aug. 26, 2023. | The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
Young single adults take a photo with Elder Gerrit W. Gong and Sister Susan Gong at the Bangkok Thailand Temple.
Young single adults from across Thailand gather for a photo with Elder Gerrit W. Gong of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles and his wife, Sister Susan Gong, following a tour of the Bangkok Thailand Temple on Aug. 26, 2023. | The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
Young single adults gather for a photo prior to  a tour of the Bangkok Thailand Temple on Aug. 26, 2023.
Young single adults gather for a photo prior to a tour of the Bangkok Thailand Temple on Aug. 26, 2023. | The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
Young single adults from across Thailand gather for a photo prior to a tour of the Bangkok Thailand Temple.
Young single adults from across Thailand gather for a photo prior to a tour of the Bangkok Thailand Temple on Aug. 26, 2023. | The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
Young single adults from across Thailand gather for a photo at the Bangkok Thailand Temple.
Young single adults from across Thailand gather for a photo following a tour of the Bangkok Thailand Temple on Aug. 26, 2023. | The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
A young single adult takes a selfie with Elder Gerrit W. Gong and Sister Susan Gong at the Bangkok Thailand Temple.
A young single adult takes a selfie with Elder Gerrit W. Gong of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles and his wife, Sister Susan Gong, following a tour of the Bangkok Thailand Temple on Aug. 26, 2023. | The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
Young single adults from across Thailand gather for a devotional with Elder Gerrit W. Gong.
Young single adults from across Thailand gather for a devotional with Elder Gerrit W. Gong of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles and his wife, Sister Susan Gong, prior to a tour of the Bangkok Thailand Temple on Aug. 26, 2023. | The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
Young single adults from across Thailand gather for a devotional with Elder Gerrit W. Gong.
Young single adults from across Thailand gather for a devotional with Elder Gerrit W. Gong of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles and his wife, Sister Susan Gong, prior to a tour of the Bangkok Thailand Temple on Aug. 26, 2023. | The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
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