this is the view of the apia, samoa temple from the main road. it is right there, right in your face as you drive past. in fact, it is used frequently as a landmark for directions - and is mentioned as a "must-see" in every guide book on the island.
the original temple, on this same lot, was dedicated in 1983, but was destroyed by fire in 2003. the church rebuilt and the temple shown was dedicated in 2005, it is believed the fire was caused by an electrical fault, as it was during the routine maintenance that occurs on every temple around the world each year.
the building is stunning and is known by everyone in the islands. the beautiful placement allows it to stand proudly at the front of the church owned land, which contains the mission buildings, the distribution centre, temple accomodation, staff housing and of course pesega college - the church owned college here in samoa.
mum and dad's house is less than a five minute walk from the temple, all through the church grounds... you can see moroni standing proudly on the spire reaching heavenward from their house... and this became incredibly apparent to me when i got up to use the bathroom in the middle of the night our first night here and happened to glance out the window and see him right there. what a wonderful blessing, to have a temple within walking distance.
it was a lovely time, being able to wander through the gardens at our own pace, the evening before we were leaving to return to australia, as a family. to be able to take photographs... and to simply stop and look at the effort and beautiful workmanship that goes into each and every temple that the church constructs.
it makes me so happy to know that there are temples built in all four corners of the globe. my favourite "mormon message" which brings me to tears every time i watch it, tells of the struggle of a family living in polynesia, to make it to the temple when they earned such a meagre living. you can watch it here. as more temples are built throughout the world, more people are able to obtain the blessings held within and i know there is nothing better on offer in this world, than to know i am able to spend not only time, but eternity - with my family.
a friends mother wrote in our wedding card, "any of you would go around the world for the sealing ordinance if you knew its importance., if you realized how great it is. no distance, no shortage of funds, no situation, would ever keep you from being married in the holy temple of the lord." (pres. spencer w. kimball - october 1979 ensign first presidency message.)
how true it is. the lord's house is where we need to be. there is no greater possible joy to be with one's family for time and all eternity and the sealing ordinance has made it possible for all worthy members of the church of jesus christ of latter-day saints to enter in and partake of that blessing.
my camera certainly got a workout today... i hope you enjoy the pictures! ♥
e paia i le alii
o le maota o le alii
the house of the lord
holiness to the lord
i love this photograph of madeline, she can't wait until it's her turn to go in.
all the windows of the apia temple are set with polynesian inspired artwork. what a beautiful place for the islanders who enter therein. built to suit this gorgeous place.
please if you have time, read a talk entitled, "god's gifts to polynesia's people" by elder thomas s monson 1966. it tells of the faith and love of these amazing people, who love their lord.