Kinshasa Youth Celebrate New Temple, Elder Renlund Speaks of Temple Blessings

Contributed By Scott Taylor, Church News managing editor

  • 15 April 2019

With the Kinshasa Democratic Republic of the Congo Temple in the background, youth pose for a photo prior to an afternoon devotional with Elder Dale G. Renlund of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles on Saturday, April 13, 2019.

Article Highlights

  • Youth in the Democratic Republic of the Congo celebrated their new temple in a devotional on April 13.
  • The Kinshasa Temple is the 163rd operating temple of the Church.
  • Temples bring blessings because of the sacred commitments made there to the Savior.

“The blessings of the temple are found in the ordinances performed therein. When we are endowed, we covenant to follow Jesus Christ’s example and dedicate our whole life to Him.” —Elder Dale G. Renlund

Elder Dale G. Renlund underscored the importance of the temple during an April 13 youth devotional held in anticipation of the Kinshasa Democratic Republic of the Congo Temple dedication.

“The blessings of the temple are found in the ordinances performed therein,” said Elder Renlund of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. “When we are endowed, we covenant to follow Jesus Christ’s example and dedicate our whole life to Him.”

After its dedication in three sessions on Sunday, April 14, the Kinshasa temple became the 163rd operating temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Précieuse Mbayo, one youth who spoke during the youth devotional, said, “I know that the temple is the house of God. When we go there, we find peace.”

Elder Renlund, who has visited Democratic Republic of the Congo nearly 40 times since being called to the Africa Southeast Area Presidency in 2011, was joined in Kinshasa by his wife, Sister Ruth L. Renlund; Elder Kevin S. Hamilton, a General Authority Seventy; Elder Hamilton’s wife, Sister Claudia K. Hamilton; and Elder Larry Y. Wilson, a General Authority Seventy and Executive Director of the Temple Department.

Also participating were the members of the Africa Southeast Area Presidency and their wives: Elder S. Mark Palmer and Sister Jacqueline A. Palmer, Elder Joseph W. Sitati and Sister Gladys N. Sitati, and Elder Joni L. Koch and Sister Liliane M. Koch.

The leaders also participated in a morning missionary meeting at a meetinghouse neighboring the temple, followed by late-afternoon leadership meetings at various stake centers throughout Kinshasa.

The temple was dedicated April 14 by Elder Renlund in three sessions, with a public-facing cornerstone ceremony part of the first session. The three dedicatory sessions were broadcast to meetinghouses across Democratic Republic of the Congo.

The Kinshasa temple will be the fourth on the continent of Africa, joining the Johannesburg South Africa, Accra Ghana, and Aba Nigeria Temples.

Five additional temples in Africa are either under construction or in various stages of planning—the Durban South Africa and Abidjan Côte d’Ivoire temples are under construction, the Kenya Nairobi and Harare Zimbabwe temples are awaiting official site announcements, and a second temple for Nigeria—in Lagos—was announced in October 2018 general conference.

With the temple announced in October 2011 general conference by President Thomas S. Monson, Elder Neil L. Andersen of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles presided over the groundbreaking ceremonies held on February 12, 2016—30 years to the day after the Church was granted official recognition in the country, then known as Zaire.

Last month, the open house for the temple in Kinshasa drew more than 11,000 visitors over the period of several weeks. The Africa Southeast Area Presidency also hosted a one-day “special guests and media” day, in which media representatives and leaders of government, business, and other faiths could tour the temple and visit about its purpose and use with Church leaders in attendance.

Young women gather on the grass of the Kinshasa Democratic Republic of the Congo Temple grounds Saturday prior to an afternoon youth devotional with Elder Dale G. Renlund of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles on Saturday, April 13, 2019, a day before the dedication of the temple there.

Young men sit on the Kinshasa Democratic Republic of the Congo Temple grounds Saturday prior to an afternoon youth devotional with Elder Dale G. Renlund.

Young men gather prior to an afternoon youth devotional with Elder Dale G. Renlund of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo, on Saturday, April 13, 2019, a day before the dedication of the temple there.

A pair of young women pause for a photo prior to the Saturday, April 13, 2019, youth devotional with Elder Dale G. Renlund of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles.

Young women look at scriptures on a smartphone during the Saturday, April 13, 2019, youth devotional in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo. Elder Dale G. Renlund of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles presided at the meeting, which was held the day before the dedication of the temple in Kinshasa.

Youth file into a meetinghouse neighboring the Kinshasa Democratic Republic of the Congo Temple for an afternoon devotional with Elder Dale G. Renlund of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles on Saturday, April 13, 2019.

A pair of young women share an embrace prior to the Saturday, April 13, 2019, youth devotional in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo.