My dear brothers and sisters and investigators, thank you for being here with us today. I convey to you the love of President Monson, the First Presidency, and the Quorum of the Twelve. I am very grateful to President Monson for asking us, my wife, Kathy, and me to be here on this important day.
Today is a sacred day, a holy day, a day that will long be remembered in the records kept in heaven and by the saints of God here in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
We know that angels often have the opportunity to rejoice with us on earth during major events. Sometimes they join us in singing our praises to God. Of course, we have heard a heavenly choir today and I do not hesitate to say that angels rejoice with us as we begin the construction of a house of the Lord.
The construction of a holy temple takes place only when the Lord reveals to His prophet that there are a righteous people prepared and ready for its sacred purposes. The building of this temple means that the restored kingdom of God will be established here in Kinshasa and throughout the Democratic Republic of Congo until the Lord returns to the earth, and that there will be a covenant people here to receive Him when He returns. This holy house will also bless the country and people who surround it whether or not they are members of the Church. It will be a light upon a hill, and the glory of the Lord will be upon it.
The people of Africa and of the Democratic Republic of Congo are a special people. They trust in God and they pray to Him. Our Heavenly Father loves His sons and daughters here, and answers their prayers.
The restored gospel is established for a relatively short time in this beautiful country. It has only been thirty years that missionaries are there. But the Lord's hand is at work and we now have over 40 000 members and 145 congregations.
I was pleased to hear the expressions of faith of the Saints today. Let me add to my talk the testimonies of three generations. First, the testimony of Antoine Kasuangi Mutombo. I quote: “I was baptized on June 22, 1986. In 1988, I had a dream and in that dream, I saw a house whose cleanliness and brightness could not be compared because I had never seen such a house in my lifetime or in my country or elsewhere. The following day, I went to see the missionary couple to tell them about my dream and the couple confirmed to me that such a house exists and it is the temple (a holy place). The announcement of the construction of the temple in Kinshasa filled my heart with joy and gratitude because it is the fulfilment and answer to my prayers.”
Then, the testimony of Kasuangi Thierry Mutombo, Antoine’s son: “I heard about the temple since my childhood during our family home evenings with my parents and since then I have been doing everything in my power to never lose sight of the true meaning of this sacred house and to be worthy of it. I know this is the only place where the generations that were, that are and that will be, receive the blessing of being united for eternity. I love the temple and I know that having it close by will help me as well as my family progress with joy toward eternity.”
And finally, the testimony of Jason Kalombo Mutombo, Thierry’s son: “I love the temple because I know this is the Lord's house. I am sealed to my parents. I testify that the temple means to me commitment to remain worthy to live forever with my family. I am happy to know that I am a child of the covenant, and my prayer is that I can endure in Christ.”
Blessing Mutombo Luamba (daughter and granddaughter): “I know that the temple is the house of God, the best place in the world where we can feel God's love for us His children, a place where He blesses us and teaches us from on high. I love the temple; I will go to the temple when I grow up. I love the Lord and I love the temple because it is His house.”
I want to thank the Mutombos and you all for your full commitment to the gospel.
The building of a temple is a testimony to the immortality of the soul. God, our Eternal Father, lives and He has a plan to bless His sons and daughters of all generations. His beloved Son, Jesus Christ, makes this plan possible through His life, atoning sacrifice, crucifixion on the cross of Golgotha, and resurrection on the third day. Life beyond the grave is as certain as the sun rising each day in Kinshasa. As we believe in Him and are faithful to His teachings, we will live eternally in the celestial kingdom.
There are good people, faithful husbands and wives, and devoted Christians in many religious denominations. We have respect for good and virtuous people of the world wherever they are, and we acknowledge that there is much we can learn from them. We humbly declare, however, without apology that the power and priesthood and keys of authority have been restored to earth and will be exercised in the holy house of the Lord.
Jesus said to Peter: “I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven1.”
With humility, but also with a voice of truth and honesty, we announce that the authority to bind on earth and in heaven, the authority that was taken away during the first centuries following the death of the Apostles, was restored on earth. Jesus Christ himself, Peter, James and John, John the Baptist, Elijah, Elias, and Moses returned to earth as resurrected beings and restored the sacred power that will be exercised in this House of the Lord.
In the next two years, we will watch the construction of the temple. Only the best materials will be used. The best of woods, metals, glasses and fabrics will come from around the country and the world to adorn the house of the Lord. Craftsmen will not be hurried, because if their work is not the very best, they will be asked to begin again.
We will ask for near perfection in materials and labor.
Let it be a pattern for our lives. Let us devote ourselves during these months of construction to the better shaping of our character and soul so that we will be ready to enter the dedicated temple at its completion. Let us be better husbands and wives, better children; let us be more true to following the Savior. Jesus said, “If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross [daily], and follow me2.” Jesus said, “If ye love me, keep my commandments3.” Let us pay an honest tithe and offerings. Let us be kind and generous with those around us. Let us pray with humility and real intent.
As we do our best, and as those building this beautiful temple do their very best, we will meet again in a few months, prepared and worthy in every way to enter the house of the Lord.
I now invite you to bow your heads down and close your eyes: I will pray for the construction of this holy house.
Our beloved Heavenly Father
We love Thee, Heavenly Father, and we love Thy Son. We thank Thee for the wonderful blessing that is Thy holy house which will be built here, in this place, in Kinshasa. We thank Thee for the restoration of Thy gospel on earth, and that through the goodness of Thy sons and daughters here in the Democratic Republic of Congo, as well as the blessing of Thy missionaries, Thy kingdom was established in this beautiful country. May Thou, Father, bless this country, and its leaders, so that it can be peaceful and prosperous.
Our Father, may Thou bless this sacred ground. Protect it. Bless the workers so that they feel the importance of what they are doing, and so that they have additional skills needed to do their work the best they can.
Father, bless us as members so that we can prepare ourselves and prepare our families. Help us come closer to Thee. Help us find our family members, living and dead, who need the blessings of the temple. Help us purify our lives. Help us share the gospel with others.
Again, we express our love for Thee and pray for Thy blessings in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.