Sunday, December 2, 2012
Promised a Temple
On June 12, 2000, President Gordon B. Hinckley became the first president of the Church to visit Thailand where he enjoyed a "pre-birthday" celebration hosted by Deputy Prime Minister Bhichai Rattakul. The next morning, President Hinckley also met with Bangkok Governor Bhichit Rattakul and Thailand Prime Minister Chuan Leepkai who thanked the prophet for all the work that Latter-day Saint volunteers had done for Thailand, noting in particular the 100 volunteers who had taught more than 300,000 English teachers and students over the previous three years.
Bangkok was the second stop in a tour of Asia and the South Pacific to dedicate four temples in Fukuoka, Japan; Adelaide, Australia; Melbourne, Australia; and Suva, Fiji. Before leaving Bangkok, President Hinckley addressed a congregation of over 2,600 members at the Thailand Air Force Convention Center. Some members had traveled 18 hours by bus to be in attendance.
In his remarks, President Hinckley recalled his first visit to the country in 1961 when there were just a half dozen members of the Church. "We went quietly in the morning into Lumpini Park, a small group of us, including Elder Marion D. Hanks of the Seventy, and there we lifted our voices in prayer. We prayed that the Lord would smile upon this land, that He would touch it by the power of His Holy Spirit, that the way would be opened for missionaries to come here, that the faithful would accept the truth, and that the Lord would do a great and good work here." He continued, "Now it's been a long time since I was here and I have seen a miracle, a very real miracle." He told the members that they were pioneers of the Lord's work in their country and promised that if they were faithful, the time would come when a temple would be constructed in Thailand. "The Lord expects so very, very much of you. He expects you to be the best people in all of Thailand, and you ought to be because you have a knowledge of His everlasting truth."