A fine article.When I was a Temple worker about 16 years ago at Jordan River,we
had a Brother Fetzer come and join with us at a group cook out at Brother Dave's
home. He spoke about numerous MIRACLES in conjunction with this Temple.The
greatest to me was the taking of sacred Temple materials through East German
customs without being "inspected".I wish I could find all he spoke about in
Addition to "short history lesson": May be an urban myth, but as I heard it at
the time, the Church representative expected to meet with the E. German
authority to negotiate for a simplified procedure for E. German members to
travel to the Swiss temple, nothing more. Quite unexpectedly, the German
official asked, "Why can't you just build a temple here in East Germany?". Not
all decisions are based on numbers. Sometimes God drops one in our laps. It's
called "Divine Revelation".
A very short history lesson for better understanding: The "Berlin Wall" went up
overnight and "imprisoned" many saints who probably would have left East Germany
had they known what was ahead. As it was, they were "trapped" and could only
attend the Swiss temple after getting specific permission from the government.
The members were watched very closely. Finally, the East German government came
to the church and asked them what it would take for the church members not to
have to leave East Germany. They wanted to know about the temple. After
talking with the church leaders and learning about it, they (the East Germans)
asked if a temple could be built in East Germany. The saints wouldn't have to
leave. It was that government’s technique to keep control. The Freiberg
temple was built, having little to do with numbers, but a lot to do with a
promise given to the E. German saints that if they were faithful they would have
all the blessing of membership. Did blessings flow? Definitely. The Berlin
Wall was torn down only 4 years later. The temple always brings blessings
Wow! Isn't it great that the Lord has blessed Germany with another temple! Do
numbers really matter to us when the Lord chooses to build a temple anywhere we
should be grateful. He sees what we don't see. Isn't it wonderful to watch the
windows of heaven continue to open?!
After looking over a couple of the previous comments, it looks like somebody was
having a bad day. Remember what Thumper's mom said.... If you can't say
somethin' nice, don't say nothin' at all. :) It also sounds like good
people of the LDS faith in Germany are doing their best and having a wonderful
time while they're at it!
@the_dewk - From my experience in mormonism, there would need to be several
wards in the surrounding area in order to justify having a temple in the first
place. The church isn't in the habit of supplying temples for free, where there
isn't much tithing income to support it. So some of those 9 wards you mentioned
were probably already in existence at the time of temple construction.
Additionally, you need to define the word "large". I saw no list of membership
for Freiberg Germany on any search that I did. And wow, Freiberg went from 1
branch to 1 ward in the space of 25 years. So they had probably 100 members
total, with maybe 40 active at most (most wards and branches outside the U.S.
are around 30-40% active) in 1985, and perhaps as many as 300 now (with about
120 active). So that area has grown by roughly 200 members (80 active) in 25
years. That's an average of 8 new members per year (3.2 active). When you take
into account some of that growth is births within the membership, that's not
much convert growth at all.
I'm a Mormon and grew up in SLC and though I've moved away I still call the
beautiful Catholic Cathedral of the Madeline, "My Catholic Church!"
A simple search will show that Freiberg has a *large* ward, and there are 9
additional wards within an hour of the temple. Sounds like nice growth to
me, especially if you compare it to other European nations/areas.
So the temple has been in Freiberg for 25 years, and undoubtedly the church had
a presence in that area several years proir to that (enough to justify temple
construction). And the church still only has a single branch in that area. Wow!
Look at that amazing explosive growth of the church! The temple, as small as it
is, still doesn't have a full schedule.@Deserata - your comment
about the area around temples prospering is unfounded. The church specifically
chooses affluent neighborhoods to build temples, so the prospering already took
place before the temple was there. Look at some neighborhoods were temples have
been for several decades, Los Angeles for example. The neighborhood around that
temple was very high class before, but it has actually become quite run down in
What a great article!Such dedication for those member to travel for
so long to attend the Temple!Isn't it wonderful when non-members and
members get along so well...(Need a little more of that around here, I be
I went to Freiberg several years ago while on a vacation. We stopped some local
residents and asked them how to find the LDS Temple. They immediately responded
with "our temple" is in a certain direction. They called it their temple and
were very excited about it being in Freiberg. There are city erected signs
directing traffic to the temple. The city and citizens love "their temple".
Everywhere there are temples, the area around them prospers, why not?
Acceptance is a great thing and those who respect and take ownership of "their"
temple are doubly blessed. Thank you for a great article and
sharing the progress over the last 25 years. The Ukraine will also prosper and
have much to be thankful for having temple in their midst. The missionary work
must be very fruitful for their harvest has brought those faithful Saints a
House of The Lord to them. They are all to be commended for their
efforts for it all to come to pass in their day.