After four years of renovation the Frankfurt Germany Temple has be rededicated by Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Elder Uchdorf is a German native.
The rededication took place in the temple on Sunday, October 20, 2019; a youth devotional was held the day before in a nearby meetinghouse.
“When you come to the temple, always think of Jesus Christ because he is the center of our doctrine. We are the Church of Jesus Christ and you are the Latter-day Saints,” Elder Uchtdorf told the youth. “You are a blessing to this part of the world. God loves you, he trusts you. Please, have trust in him, too.”
The temple will mainly serve members of the Church living in West Germany, Austria, Bahrain, United Arab Emirates, Croatia, Serbia and Slovenia. There are over 35,000 members of the Church in Germany in 152 congregations.
The Frankfurt Germany Temple closed in 2015 to accommodate a renovation and enlargement of the temple, including a new underground baptistry. It was originally dedicated in August 1987, being the fifth temple built in Europe and the second built in the current boundaries of Germany, following the Freiberg Germany Temple.
There are currently 217 temples worldwide that have been announced or are operating, under construction or being renovated.
A Little Bit of History
Interestingly, the Freiberg Germany Temple (on the east side of Germany) was initially dedicated two years before the Frankfurt Germany Temple, in 1985, by President Gordon B. Hinckley, who was second counselor in the First Presidency of the Church at that time.
In those days, Germany was split in two countries and the Freiberg Germany Temple was built in the German Democratic Republic, the first Temple of the Restored Church of Jesus Christ ever built in a communist state.
This amazing accomplishment was possible because of the way the members of the Church followed their beliefs. In fact, according to Wikipedia
“The Stasi’s (the official state security service of the German Democratic Republic) close monitoring of East German members over the years gave the church credibility, as the government came to see Latter-day Saints as citizens of good character who, in keeping with the 12th Article of Faith, did not conspire against the nation.
Those dedications happened just a few years before the historical Fall of the Berlin Wall, that took place on 9 November 1989, one of the pivotal event in modern world history.
Soon after the Fall of the Berlin Wall, on October 3, 1990, East and West Germany were unified, and Germany became the second country outside of the United States to have more than one temple, after Canada.
In those years I was a recent convert to the Church and I was still living in Italy. I vividly remember watching on the television the stunning images of the fall of the Berlin Wall, while I was in my lunch break with a friend.
Some of the images of those historical events are shown briefly in the video of the Temple dedication and they reminded me of those days when something that seemed impossible just a few year earlier, actually happened in front of our eyes, with profound positive consequences for all German people, including the members of the Church.