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Elder Renlund Encourages Filipino Saints to Be Temple-Ready People

With four temples under construction and two more announced, soon there will be eight temples in the Philippines

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By Sydney Walker, Church News

With six new temples either announced or under construction in the Philippines, Elder Dale G. Renlund of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles encouraged the Filipino Saints to be a temple-ready people.

Teaching at six member devotionals on three different islands June 8-20, Elder Renlund stated, ”As hard as it is to build a temple, it’s harder to build a temple-ready people.”

Elder Renlund described five ways to prepare for the temple:

  1. Remember your divine identity.
  2. Focus on Jesus Christ and his teachings.
  3. Pay tithes and offerings.
  4. Serve others and prepare to serve in the temple.
  5. Find the names of your ancestors.

“This is a hinge point in the Philippines,” said Elder Renlund. “The Lord is blessing this land and its people by making temples more available to more members.”

In addition to the existing Manila Philippines Temple and the Cebu City Philippines Temple, temples are currently under construction in Urdaneta, Alabang, Davao City and Bacolod. Temples have been announced for Cagayan de Oro and Tacloban City. These temples will bring the total number of temples in the Philippines to eight.

Elder Renlund observed: “The people here are so desirous to secure temple blessings for themselves and their families. These temples will be a blessing now and for generations to come.”

Elder Renlund visited the Philippines with Sister Ruth L. Renlund. They were accompanied during their stay by the Philippines Area presidency: Elder Taniela B. Wakolo, Elder Steven R. Bangerter and Elder Yoon Hwan Choi, all General Authority Seventies, and their wives, Sister Anita Wakola, Sister Susann Bangerter and Sister Bon Kyung Choi. They also participated in leadership meetings and special stake conferences.

While in the Philippines, Elder and Sister Renlund moderated a panel of parents who spoke to all parents in the area. Elder Renlund emphasized the doctrine on families contained in “The Family: A Proclamation to the World.” Parents on the panel addressed concerns such as helping children to increase their faith and making gospel teaching simple and fun.

While there are challenges that come with parenting, he said these doctrines, “when correctly understood, will motivate us to become good parents:”

  • All children are spirit sons or daughters of heavenly parents and have a divine nature and destiny.
  • The family is central to Heavenly Father’s plan.
  • Our children obtained physical bodies and accepted God’s plan to come to earth to become heirs of eternal life eventually.
  • Parents have a solemn responsibility to love and care for each other and their children.
  • Happiness in family life is most likely to be achieved when founded upon the teachings of Jesus Christ.

Elder Renlund also emphasized that parents should encourage their children to fast and pray, as found in Isaiah 58. Sister Marissa Noynay commented that she and her husband invite their children to have testimonies of their own by doing simple acts such as Book of Mormon study and attending the Church’s seminaries and institutes program.

In addition, Brother Reggie Ariola shared his thoughts: “Sometimes we should teach the gospel not just by our words but also through our actions. I was reminded that even when we teach our children correct principles, we also need to act and live these principles.”

Elder Renlund explained that while parenting is difficult to do in the right manner, this also means that heavenly help is available. He taught: “It is the most challenging task and requires the most out of us, the most inspiration from heaven to do it. And it’s because of how God set it up to be.”

Elder Renlund also met with missionaries in seven missions. The Church in the Philippines began with four missionaries in 1961. The area now has 23 missions and over 830,000 members.

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