News Story

Thai Young Single Adults Tour the Bangkok Thailand Temple

Elder Gong and his wife, Susan, greet the group in the new house of the Lord

Traditionally, members of the news media and other invited guests get the first peek at a new house of the Lord. In Bangkok that first look was given to young adults from across Thailand on Saturday, August 26, 2023.

Elder Gerrit W. Gong of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles and his wife, Susan, greeted each of the more than 375 young adults as they entered the temple.

“This is my first time to see Elder Gong,” said Suchawadee Prasithichai of Bang Khen, a district of Bangkok. “This is my special day. And I learned a lot about him.”

Prior to entering the house of the Lord, the Apostle and his wife held a devotional for the group in a stake center next to the temple.

“Ten years ago, Elder Gong and I were here in Thailand, and we just felt that the blessings of God were ready to be poured out upon the people,” Sister Gong said. “And it’s happening. A temple is such a beautiful thing to have right here in the middle of Bangkok. It will be a light to the world. I am grateful for your goodness and sacrifice which helped make it possible.”

Elder Gong, quoting teachings given by Church President Russell M. Nelson, said “everything we believe and every promise God has made to His covenant people come together in the temple.”

Young single adults (YSAs) from across Thailand attend a devotional with Elder Gerrit W. Gong of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, and his wife, Susan on August 26, 2023. They then took a tour of the Bangkok Thailand Temple.2023 by Intellectual Reserve, Inc. All rights reserved.
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The Apostle said peace, purity and purpose are three words that describe what the temple means to him.

“Peace is something that we’re all seeking. Purity is something that we value. And we’re looking for purpose,” Elder Gong said.

He invited the young adults to share the three words they would use to describe the temple through social media and other opportunities. Jeeranan Sawasdeenaruemon said hers are “holiness, family and eternity.” She said she knows “that through the temple families can be together forever.”

Twenty-two of these young adults joined together to sing “I Love to See the Temple” at the devotional. Due to the sheer distances separating the participants, they never had the chance to practice together in-person until the day of their performance. They traveled more than 10 hours on a bus overnight to get there. 

For the two weeks leading up to the devotional, each participant learned the music on their own. When the bus arrived the morning of the devotional, the choir had time to practice together just once before they performed. Despite feeling unprepared, choir director Brother Mankong said, “When I conducted, I could see everyone smile; they were happy to sing. They sing with their spirits!”

As the young adults prepared to enter the temple, Elder Gong said he hoped they would have a spiritual experience.

“The Lord is waiting to meet you in His holy house,” the Apostle said. “We don’t go to the temple. We come to Jesus Christ in the house of the Lord.”

A young man takes a selfie with Elder Gerrit W. Gong and and his wife, Susan, follow a tour of the Bangkok Thailand Temple, August 26, 2023.2023 by Intellectual Reserve, Inc. All rights reserved.
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After walking through the temple, Pariwat Sengpoung of Rangsit, Thailand, said, “I feel closer with God, and Jesus really [is] closer.”

“I feel that the temple is really the house of God, and He was there,” added Sawasdeenaruemon.

Surakrit Cherdchaiyaphum, also of Rangsit, said, “I [would] really like to invite everyone to come and to see what we have and what Jesus Christ wants us to know.”

The public is invited to tour the temple from September 1 through 16, 2023, except for Sundays.

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