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.
“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.”
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.
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.”
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.”
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.
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.”
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.”
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