Joy is something that people have a hard time holding in. We saw a lot of it coming out last weekend at the dedication of the Tegucigalpa Honduras Temple.
One man I had the opportunity to interview explained it this way. When he was young, members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints had to travel from Honduras to Mesa, Arizona, to attend a temple. It was a costly, two-week journey by bus. Then there was a temple in Mexico, and it was a journey of several days. The coming of a temple in Guatemala made the trip just a day’s journey. But now—now they can visit the temple every day if they want. And many of them want to do just that.
I can understand. There are two things I enjoy about spending time in a temple. First, as a house of God, it is an extension of His kingdom of heaven, and therefore filled with the peace of God. Second, there is joy in service—knowing I am giving a gift to someone who has passed on from this life and could not enjoy certain blessings without the help of someone living.
For most of my adult life, I have lived where there is a temple close by. Not so for my brothers and sisters in Honduras. I can remember those times when a temple was only a distant dream for most of them. When I served as a missionary here in the mid-1960s, for some of them a trip to the temple meant selling possessions, even sacrificing the tools or means of their livelihood. Many willingly offered those sacrifices.
Now they can feel the peace and joy of serving in the temple regularly, without being required to pay such a high economic price. All it requires is the broken heart and contrite spirit that God asks of the obedient and penitent.
No wonder they can’t keep their joy inside.
I rejoice with them, and for them.
Elder Searle, thank you for sharing this with us. It’s so wonderful you and your wife could be there as witnesses.