Elders Bednar and Rasband recently led the first visitors on a tour through the newly completed Rome Italy Temple, which included political leaders and journalists from across Europe. Both apostles posted about the experience on Facebook, sharing how this new temple of the Lord has impacted them.
Elder Bednar wrote:
"I was grateful to spend time at the Rome Italy Temple today with media from various parts of the world to explain why The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints builds these glorious temples.
"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."
Elder Rasband shared:
"Being here in Rome and seeing the beautiful temple makes me excited for our Italian friends who will soon have an operating temple in their midst.
"For Melanie and I, attending the temple has always been an important part of our marriage. This year we will celebrate our 46th anniversary. I still remember well the day we were sealed to one another in the Salt Lake Temple by Elder LeGrand Richards. . . .
"As I consider families here in Italy, I think about the opportunities they will have to be sealed to one another for eternity as they come to the temple. What a tremendous blessing.
"I would recommend to you today that temple worship is an important pattern for each of us to set—individually and as families. Consider your own areas of focus and attention as you put in place the firm foundations of temple worship in your life. The Lord will bless you as you do."