The Primary theme this week is about temples, and we are honored to have a guest post by Nicole Bender, one of the creators of LDS Temple Cards. (To find out more about these wonderful cards for children, visit the link at the end of this post.) Thank you, Nicole, for bearing your testimony of the temple and sharing an amazing story about one of the Angel Moroni statues used on temples.
A few years ago our bishopric challenged our ward to attend the temple. He wanted to get children, teenagers, whole families involved in going to the temple. They set out a jar full of marbles and another empty jar next to it. Whenever someone in the ward attended the temple, they could put a marble in the empty jar. The goal was for the jar to be filled by the end of the year. We had a twelve-year-old girl at the time, and she was excited to go do baptisms for the dead so she could put a marble in. We decided to do a family night activity and walk around the temple grounds with our other children who were not old enough to go inside. They were excited when they too were able to put their own marble in the jar. My youngest son was soon obsessed and always wanted to go see new temples. It got the rest of us excited too! In Utah, we are blessed to have so many temples near us. We have made an effort as a family to “attend” as many temples as we can. We walk around the grounds and talk about the different things we see at each new temple and try to find out interesting facts and information about each temple we go to. It has become a fun family tradition for us to go see and explore new temples and hopefully strengthen our children’s testimonies of the temples and why they are so important to us.
Finding interesting facts about each of the temples has become something I really treasure! It has been so fun to hear people share their stories and their own excitement and love for the temples. One of the cool stories we learned about came from very close family friends. Here is the story in my “Aunt” Hazel’s own words:
Dwight served a mission in the Japan Central mission from 1967 through 1971. At that time foreign missions were 2.5 years as they learned the language in the field, not at the MTC.
During his mission they were constructing the site of the 1970 World’s Fair in Osaka, Japan.
Because Dwight was able to learn the language so quickly and he was able to communicate with the Japanese people on topics other than religious, he was asked by his mission president, President Ed Okazaki (yes, Sister Chieko Okazaki was his mission mom) to translate for the brethren when they traveled to Japan to inspect the progress on the Mormon pavilion. During one of the visits with Elder Bernard P. Brockbank (the assistant to the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles), the question of gold leafing the angel Moroni came up. There was some concern as they didn’t know where to go to find someone who could accomplish this task. Dwight suggested that if he would be given permission to call the states and talk to his father, he was confident that he could accomplish the task at hand. Permission granted, Dwight called his father, Heinz Rimmasch, and was able to glean all of the necessary information to gild the statue. The gold leaf was sent to Japan from the church headquarters here in Salt Lake. The gold arrived but there was no sizing for the gold. That caused a problem. Dwight was able to find an elderly Japanese man who could sell him some sizing for the project. Much to Dwight’s surprise and delight, the sizing was Hastings, made in Philadelphia, PA. That is the only sizing that Dwight had ever used when he worked with his dad on a few other gold leafing jobs.
As you can see from the photos, Dwight was given the task to gold leaf the angel Moroni which adorned the Mormon pavilion during the World’s Fair that year. After the completion of the fair, Moroni was shipped to Salt Lake and was stored for several years. Then in 1977 it was re-gilded and was sent to be placed on the Seattle Temple which was dedicated in 1978.
Written on the back of the photo with Dwight standing in front of the Angel and the Christus, he has written, “850 sheets of gold, 4 1/2 days work, $250.00 for the gold.”
As we learn of the work that goes into the temples, as well as the miracles and the blessings that come as a result from making the temple part of our lives, these buildings become more than beautiful buildings. They represent something personal to each of us and help us connect with our Father in Heaven, and Savior Jesus Christ.
My family is stronger because of the role the temple has played in our home. There are so many stories to learn about each temple. Sit down with your kids, find out what they want to know about these amazing temples, and make them your own!
—Nicole Bender, Card Creations, LDS Temple Cards, www.ldstemplecards.com