This is the video of the complete Rome Mormon Temple Groundbreaking Ceremony held in Rome, October 23, 2010.
A few parts are only in Italian but most of the talks were given in English, including obviously the final talk by President Thomas S. Monson, president of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormon Church).
President Thomas S. Monson was accompanied by Church officials including Elder William R. Walker, Executive Director of the Temple Department; Erich W. Kopischke, President of the Europe Area and his two counselors, Elder Gérald Caussé and Elder José A. Teixeira; Elder Alfredo L. Gessati, Area Seventy; President Massimo De Feo, Rome Italy Stake President; and President Raimondo Castellani, Bern Switzerland Temple President. Numerous government officials were also in attendance including Mr. Giuseppe Ciardi, vice mayor of Rome, and Senator Lucio Malan.
In his remarks, President Monson emphasized the unique and historic nature of the temple’s construction, which has significance extending beyond the borders of Rome and Italy. He thanked the Saints for their faithfulness and commitment to follow the example of Jesus Christ, urging them to be good citizens. He said, we love, honor and obey the laws of the country, and we love, honor, and obey the laws of God.
All Italian Saints are now hoping to see the temple completed according to schedule, before the end of 2013.
Two years ago, in October, my family and I went to watch the General Conference of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormon Church) at the closest Stake Center. We had recently cancelled our subscription to cable TV and we were not used yet to use the Internet to watch conference. Therefore the Stake Center was our best option.
That morning very few people were with us in the chapel, and when President Monson started talking and announcing the plans for new temples constructions we were surprised – as many in the audience – by his announcing the construction of the Rome Temple.
When we heard that announcement, we could not refrain from jumping on our feet and shout, as many Italians would do when their favorite soccer team scores a goal!
Now, two years after that historic announcement, on Saturday, Oct. 23, 2010, President Thomas S. Monson presided over the groundbreaking ceremony of the future Rome Italy Temple, now being built on a pastoral site in the northeast corner of the city.
When in Rome last November, I had the privilege to visit that site with the Rome Mission president, and I was amazed at the thought that a temple could be eventually built in Italy, and especially in Rome. Thinking back to the time when I had been baptized, in 1985, I remembered how hard would have been at that time to think of being able to see such a day. But the Lord works miracles and His work moves forward.
On Saturday, he shared remarks and counsel before offering a prayer of thanksgiving and dedication on the temple site and construction project.
Following the prayer, President Monson stepped down from the podium, gripped a shovel and turned the maiden load of dirt to commence the construction of the temple.
Now some 25,000 Mormons here look to the years ahead when Italy’s first temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints will open.
But the church leader reminded them of those pivotal, essential moments from their nation’s past that cannot be forgotten.
The ancient apostles Peter and Paul were missionaries here,” he said. “Approximately 1,800 years later, in June of 1850, (Mormon apostle) Elder Lorenzo Snow and two companions, Elder Stenhouse and Elder Toronto, traveled to the valleys of the Piedmont Mountains in northeast Italy, where they began missionary efforts in this dispensation.”
He also paid tribute to the LDS Italians -- the local pioneers -- who proved faithful over many years by traveling across international borders to worship and serve in the Bern Switzerland Temple.
“Such devotion to temple work has contributed to the wonderful blessing which will soon be ours -- that of having a temple; a house of the Lord -- here on this spot in this beautiful city. Members throughout Italy, and indeed the entire Mediterranean area, will be able to come here, no longer needing to travel such long distances, often at great expense.”
I love the Temple, and I still remember the many trips we took to the Swiss temple, when we still lived in Italy. In one of those trips my first son Luca was born, two months in advance, and it was a great blessing, and probably it saved his life, to be born in that particular place and time.
I know that the Rome Mormon Temple will bless the life of thousand of people, bringing them closer to the Lord.
I love to go to the temple. I have recently moved and now I live very close to one of the beautiful Mormon temples. Everything that there is or that we do in the temple is a symbol of Jesus Christ and his life and atonement.
Recently I was reading from the scriptures while in there and I was struck by this scripture in the New Testament, John 12:27:
Now is my soul troubled; and what shall I say? Father, save me from this hour: but for this cause came I unto this hour.
When troubles come and problems seem to overcome our confidence in the Lord and in what we are trying to do, this is a good verse to remember. The Lord Jesus was troubled. So, it is acceptable to be troubled, it is normal to have really bad moments in our lives, but “what shall we say? Father save us from this hour?”
Troubles and problems are part of lives and are important for our progression, therefore we should better ask for strength to endure and overcome them, instead of praying to avoid them.
In the previous verses (24 and 25) we are taught that
Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit.
He that loveth his life shall lose it; and he that hateth his life in this world shall keep it unto life eternal.
It is easy to forget these principles, especially when everything seems to go well in our lives and over time we start thinking that someway we are almost entitled to those blessings because we are keeping the commandments.
In part this may be true, we receive many blessings because we keep the commandments. However, we are never so obedient that we do not need correction once in a while to help us move to a higher level, and even more important, there are things we can only learn through adversity. Moreover,
(our) adversity and (our) afflictions shall be but a small moment (D&C 121:7)
and as the Lord told Joseph Smith in a very difficult moment of his life,
The Son of Man hath descended below them all. Art thou greater than he?" (D&C 122:8).
Properly Elder Holland responded to this question in his talk Lessons from Liberty Jail
No, Joseph was not greater than the Savior, and neither are we. And when we promise to follow the Savior, to walk in His footsteps, and be His disciples, we are promising to go where that divine path leads us. And the path of salvation has always led one way or another through Gethsemane. So if the Savior faced such injustices and discouragements, such persecutions, unrighteousness, and suffering, we cannot expect that we are not going to face some of that if we still intend to call ourselves His true disciples and faithful followers.
A few days ago a friend from Italy sent a message to another one where she was saying that her religion was simple, no need of temples or other complications.
I believe that many people feel that way, because they do not understand the purpose of temples, and they think they are just places of rituals without substance. But the truth is that temples are necessary. The ordinances we perform in the temples are essentials for our salvation, and the peace and feelings we have when we are inside those temples make a great difference in our daily lives.
Filed under: Mormon Temples, Mormon Videos, Videos
Throughout history, the Lord has commanded His people to build temples. Temples are literally houses of the Lord. They are holy places of worship where individuals make sacred promises with God. Mormons are well known for their temples, now more than 130 around the world. Temples are a very important in Mormon Theology but their purpose is often misunderstood by many who are not familiar with the LDS or Mormon Church.
I personally love to go to the Temple often, especially now that I live so close to several of them. A Mormon temple is a place of peace, inspiration, and beauty. God meant those temples to be a blessing for all mankind, not only for a few people, but similarly to the receiving of a university degree, there are some requirements to be met before we can access those temples.
It was a blessing yesterday to be able to go to the Oquirrh Mountain Temple Dedication with my wife and my children. Thanks to the blessing of satellite technology we only had to cross the street to the closest chapel to our home to be able to participate in the event.
The Spirit of the Lord is particularly strong in those meetings and I was thinking how fortunate are my children to participate in a temple dedication while so young (actually it is the second time for them in a few months).
When I was their age, I did not know anything about mormon temples and the blessings associated with them. I did not know anything about the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (or Mormon Church) and I really did not know what was the purpose of life. They are really blessed to grow up knowing those truths, but at the same time they are responsible to use well this knowledge, because with great knowledge comes great responsibility (or as in the Spider Man movie, with great power come great responsibility, since knowledge gives power).
Follow the link if you do not know yet Why Mormon Build Temples
Filed under: Mormon Doctrine, Mormon Temples, News & Politics
This is really a funny story but it is reason for concern for many. According to the Salt Lake Tribune
Mormons have not only posthumously baptized President Barack Obama’s mother into their faith, but they may have performed the ritual for the president’s ancestors as well, including his father, grandfather and great-grandfather, according to researcher Helen Radkey.
I understand that it may seem something a little strange to perform baptisms for people who are deceased, unless someone does understand a little bit the doctrine and practices of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormon Church), and especially the spirit that permeate this work.
In the Mormonwiki we read that,
Because all on the earth do not have the opportunity to accept the gospel during mortality, the Lord has authorized baptisms performed by proxy for the dead. Therefore, those who accept the gospel in the spirit world may qualify for entrance into God's kingdom" (See Guide to the Scriptures). One thing that should be made perfectly clear about baptisms for the dead is that when a baptism is performed for a person, he has the option to accept or reject it. There is nothing in Mormon doctrine that says that the person who is being baptized by proxy must accept this ordinance. However, doing baptisms for the dead does at least give the person the ability to make a choice.
LDS Church spokesman Scott Trotter had previously said that it rans counter to the faith’s policies for a member fo the church to submit names for baptism for people they are not related to. In short, we are supposed to submit only names of our ancestrals.
However, Scott Trotter reportedly said that
While the vast majority of names submitted by church members fall within applicable guidelines, it is virtually impossible to ensure that no improper submissions will be made
Mormons believe these proxy baptisms give people in the spirit world a chance to reject or accept the gospel. But the practice has created controversy in the past, particularly with Jewish organizations that have objected to the baptisms of Holocaust victims.
I know that I am a Mormon, and therefore I may be suspicious, but I have a hard time to understand why people get so upset for these proxy baptisms. I mean, when I will be dead, if some of my descendants ask a priest to perform a special mass for me, I will probably appreciate their good intentions. Since I do not believe that their ceremony has any real effect, why should I be so concerned? Similarly, if these people think that Mormons are misguided, they should simply ignore what they do, as a complete waste of time, but perhaps appreciate their good feelings of helping others. What is more important than offer salvation to people? According to Mormon doctrine, by doing a proxy baptism for a dead person (who is actually spiritually alive, and it does not look like the Pirates of the Caribbean), this person is given a chance, but not the obligation, to accept the truth. So, where is the problem? Just in case, a reasonable person would accept to have an extra chance, where nothing can be lost.
I can only understand that there is a problem if people are supersticious or if they believe in a really weird God who would allow people to “steal souls”. In fact, I was reading in a blog where the author says,
The president (Barack Obama) finds out a few months ago that the Mormons tried to steal his dead mother’s soul, and no one mentioned it?
Truly nobody can still souls, especially in the after-life. I think these guys should have a little more faith in the power of God! What would be the purpose of believing in a God who can be fouled so easily?
I am glad that President Obama is smarter than that, and accordingly there were no comments from the White House. He has more serious and real issues to worry about.
Follow a good video about what the practice of the baptism for the dead really is…so if you are curious just watch the video and you will see that there is nothing to be worried about!
Yesterday I had the privilege of attending the dedication of the Draper Mormon Temple. That was the second time I had such opportunity. It was a great experience and I was glad that my kids were able to be there with me and my wife. I wish people could understand better the blessings connected with the temples. Too many people outside the church have wrong ideas about them and many in the church do not take enough advantage of the blessings of regularly attending the temple.
For me to go regularly to the temple has become almost a necessity, to be able to keep my eternal perspective in place, to avoid being dragged by life problems to the point of losing such perspective. The temple is a place of refuge and peace, where we can learn the things of eternity and receive inspiration for our lives.
I really love temples.
Filed under: Mormon Families, Mormon Temples
A few weeks ago I went to the Draper temple open house with my three kids (those who still live at home, since the oldest is now serving a mission). It was a very nice experience to go through those rooms with them. I have been in many Mormon temples already, and therefore, in spite of the small differences found in each temple, nothing was particularly new to me.
However, it was different for my kids, who had only been inside a temple to perform baptisms for the dead, and therefore they were only familiar with the area of the temple where those baptisms are done.
I noticed how curious they were, and how that visit helped them to feel, at least in part, the great spirit of a Mormon temple, where ordinances for the living and the dead are performed daily, after the temple is dedicated.
It is really a good opportunity for us to take our children, or our friends of other faiths, to see those temples, before they are dedicated, so that they too can feel that great spirit and become a little more familiar with this most important aspect of Mormonism.
The general public is invited to tour the new Draper Utah Temple during the open house, which will be held Mondays through Saturdays from January 15 to March 14. Reservations are required and are available free of charge.
Filed under: Mormon Church, Mormon Temples
It has been suggested by some that Mormons (and other Christians) hate gays because they worked hard to support Proposition 8 in Califronia, but this is not a fair accusation and misses completely the point.
Mormons believe in loving all mankind and to do well even to their enemies. However, loving our enemies does not mean to agree with wrong ideas, even if they are popular or politically correct. This is the reason because the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter- day Saints decided to support this legal fight to protect marriage.
I quote below a few parts of a very interesting article from Meridian Magazine written by Paul Bishop, a thirty-one year veteran of the Los Angeles Police Department who describes what happened after Proposition 8 was voted in California
The controversy in California regarding Proposition 8 built to a frenzy in the days leading up to Tuesday’s election and then exploded into anger and violence in the aftermath of Prop 8′s slim passage into law (52.5% to 47.5%)…. Exit polls showed the proposition was supported by 7 of 10 Black voters, a majority of Latino voters, and by people with children under the age of 18 still at home. Clearly, it was supported by all people who believed marriage is a special and protected institution.
Many supporters of Proposition 8 were members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormons) and they worked hard to promote their cause - not out of homophobic hatred, but out of a love of Christ and a belief in the sanctity of traditional marriage.
Many of those who opposed Proposition 8 reacted to the defeat by accusing Mormon of hatred. However, Mormons simply believe that marriage was instituted by God and that should be between a man and a woman and used legal means to defend their belief (and they were not the only one, or the only church involved, by the way).
On the other hand, some of the demonstrations against the Church by supporter of gay marriage seem to be motivated by hatred and they singled out the Mormon Church.
These are a few pictures taken outside the Mormon temple that illustrate well this point.
Challenges to our faith are not new. Nor are they likely to go away anytime soon. But, as Elder Hales reminds us,
True disciples of Christ see opportunity in the midst of opposition. We can take advantage of such opportunities in many ways: a kind letter to the editor, a conversation with a friend, a comment on a blog, or a reassuring word to one who has made a disparaging comment. We can answer with love those who have been influenced by misinformation and prejudice - who are ‘kept from the truth because they know not where to find it’ (D&C 123:12). I assure you that to answer our accusers in this way is never weakness. It is Christian courage in action.
I agree with Paul Bishop that there are several lessons that can be learned from the current unrest:
Tolerance is not agreement and should not be a one way street. However, we must still remain tolerant of those who are intolerant of us.
Recognize the adversary at work here – making good seem bad and evil seem good.
We can only be disciples of Christ when we respond to adversity in a Christlike manner. To do less opens our actions to the influence of the adversary and hurts us even more.
We should never take for granted the opportunities we have to gather together in worship. We should never put off the opportunity to attend the temple. For these valuable things can be disrupted and possibly even closed to us – if not permanently, then at least on a temporary basis.
Pray. Often. Don’t forget to include those who are set against you.