Friday, April 10, 2009
Hong Kong Part 2
The Hong Kong Temple is beautiful! Jason was mostly correct in his comment in part 1. The temple was dedicated in 1996 and the building currently doubles as a temple, a chapel and housing for the temple president (I guess that means it 'triples' in usage?). But the mission offices are currently in the Church office building in downtown Hong Kong (see map).
The door to the temple is the main door of the structure. You access the Chapel (which is on the second floor) through a secondary door just to the right of the main entrance. The chapel area is the part of the temple the Mongolian saints saw first as they attended Sacrament Meeting the morning after their arrival.
As you can see from the map, the temple is located on the north of Hong Kong and is nestled against one of many mountains in the area (see picture). It is, of course, beautiful! Every part of the building is exquisitely finished. Each year, Hong Kong picks one building which they recognize as the most beautiful building in the city. The temple was given that singular honor several years ago.
None-the-less, it is a small temple with only two endowment rooms, each of which holds about 28 people maximum.
The baptismal font is tiny, with just enough room for the worker and one proxy. There are a couple of small padded benches just in front of the font where those who are waiting can be seated. The font is built on the back of twelve oxen which can only be seen through mirrors arranged around the base.
Perhaps the most enjoyable part of our experience there was to be part of the sealing of families together. Elder Caldwell was given the opportunity to be witness for two of those. Nothing can compare to seeing a family sealed together for time and eternity in a temple.
These two young people actually considered this their wedding day, even though they had been "officially" married in UB before going to Hong Kong. Mongolia does not recognize a temple marriage and a couple must be married in country before the temple sealing. A marriage in Mongolia consists only of signing some paperwork. Once done, you are considered to be married. Following their sealling, these two had their 'honeymoon' in temple housing! They are members of our branch in Naliakh (it is very possible he will be our new branch president Sunday).
Next: More about the sights in Hong Kong.