Missionaries from the Papua New Guinea Lae Mission visited the Sydney Australia Temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on 11 to 13 October.
This is the first opportunity the missionaries have had to attend the temple since the First Presidency of the Church announced in March 2020 the suspension of all temple activities Churchwide due to the pandemic.
The announcement had a profound impact on Church members worldwide but none more significantly than those preparing to enter the mission field.
Members of The Church of Jesus Christ believe that those who receive their temple ordinances leave the House of the Lord “armed with power and with His name upon them and His glory round about them.”
Suspending temple activity meant that missionaries who were called to serve would enter the mission field without the blessings of a temple endowment.
For the full-time missionaries serving in the Papua New Guinea Lae mission, these long-awaited blessings were made a reality in the Sydney Australia Temple.
With the lifting of COVID restrictions in Australia and through a coordinated effort overseen by the Pacific Area Presidency, 21 missionaries and seven companions travelled to Sydney to receive their own temple blessings, participate in family history research and receive instruction from the temple presidency and other Church leaders.
The Church teaches that families can be together forever through sealing ordinances performed in the temple.
After visiting the temple, one of the missionaries, Elder Mafu, expressed joy in being sealed to his parents.
“I was a kid when my mother and father passed away and I always wanted to spend my life with them,” he said.
Gia and Imelda Wari have been married for 40 years and their marriage was sealed for eternity during this visit.
Gia Wari shared, “We made some changes in our lives to prepare to come to the temple that really moulded us. We are going to be changed people when we return home.'
The goal of the Pacific Area Presidency is to provide the same opportunities to all worthy and eligible Papua New Guinea Saints until they have their own temple.