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Elder Stevenson Recalls the Moment in the Rome Italy Temple That Brought a Jesuit Priest to Tears

In January, Elders Bednar and Rasband led the first visitors on a tour through the newly completed Rome Italy Temple, which included political leaders and journalists from across Europe. But they weren't the only apostles to visit the Eternal City.

At the beginning of February, Elder Stevenson posted on Instagram sharing a touching experience he had with a Jesuit priest in a sealing room of the Rome Italy Temple:

"Last week, I returned from the Rome Italy Temple open house tours, which we conducted with leaders of government, interfaith, and humanitarian groups. While there, I had the special opportunity to visit with friends from a variety of faiths who had come to see the temple and participate in discussions about creating space for religious freedom and promoting human dignity. One of the main meetings was held at a Franciscan monastery in one of the great pontifical universities in the world. I was impressed by the diversity in the audience: Hindu, Muslim, Catholic, and other civic leaders in parliament.

"I shared how we are all united as children of God due to some of our basic beliefs. For example, we believe that human beings are created in the image of God, and that our dignity has its roots in that likeness. We are conscious of the God-given gift of freedom that is central to our dignity and allows us to make choices that can ennoble or degrade us.

"During one specific tour of the temple with a Jesuit priest, we sat together in the sealing room as I testified of the purpose of temple ordinances. This good man was grateful for our beliefs and the power of these truths – which brought him to tears. This experience, and many others, reminded me of how connected we are as brothers and sisters."

 





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Last week, I returned from the Rome Italy Temple open house tours, which we conducted with leaders of government, interfaith, and humanitarian groups. While there, I had the special opportunity to visit with friends from a variety of faiths who had come to see the temple and participate in discussions about creating space for religious freedom and promoting human dignity. One of the main meetings was held at a Franciscan monastery in one of the great pontifical universities in the world. I was impressed by the diversity in the audience: Hindu, Muslim, Catholic, and other civic leaders in parliament. . I shared how we are all united as children of God due to some of our basic beliefs. For example, we believe that human beings are created in the image of God, and that our dignity has its roots in that likeness. We are conscious of the God-given gift of freedom that is central to our dignity and allows us to make choices that can ennoble or degrade us. . During one specific tour of the temple with a Jesuit priest, we sat together in the sealing room as I testified of the purpose of temple ordinances. This good man was grateful for our beliefs and the power of these truths – which brought him to tears. This experience, and many others, reminded me of how connected we are as brothers and sisters.

A post shared by  Gary E. Stevenson (@garyestevenson) on

Elder Bednar also bore testimony of his experience at the Rome temple on Facebook:

"One important thing to understand about the construction of temples is that nothing is done by accident. The artwork, the architecture, and the surroundings are all carefully and thoughtfully designed.

"For example, the shape of the oval is found throughout the Rome temple. An oval has no beginning and no end and is a symbol of eternity. This is especially appropriate in Rome, which is known as the 'eternal city.'

"Also, the symbol of olive leaves throughout the temple and the olive trees on the piazza are a reminder of Gethsemane. And the stained glass mural in the visitors’ center contains more than 120 references to the mortal ministry of Jesus Christ, including symbolism from each of His parables from the New Testament.

"But most importantly, everything in the temple glorifies Him whose house it is. All we do and see in the temple bears witness of Jesus Christ as our Savior and Redeemer—the Son of God."

Lead image from Instagram
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