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Castles and Kings Can’t Compare to the Temple

A 10 year-old German boy named Christoph went with his family to visit one of the most famous castles in the world: Neuschwanstein in Bavaria or the “Sleeping Beauty Castle.”

He climbed up the suspension bridge overlooking the castle and he was absolutely stunned by the beauty he saw there. Even though he was only a boy, he was so impressed by this experience that he decided that one day this would be the place he would ask a girl to marry him.

Neuschwanstein Castle in Bavaria. Photo by Jacek Dylag on Unsplash

Fast forward to 2014, when it finally came time for Christoph to pop the question, he ended up getting engaged at an entirely different kind of castle.

I was the lucky girl he asked to marry him, but not in front of Sleeping Beauty’s Castle. We got engaged in front of the Freiberg Temple in Germany. Looking back, I’m so glad that he chose to take me there rather than Neuschwanstein. While fairytale castles are enchanting, temples mean more to us than all the “real” castles on earth.

Temples matter to us because they are symbols of eternity. My husband and I would later marry for time and eternity in the Salt Lake Temple.

Our engagement in front of the Freiberg Temple in Germany in 2014.

A New Temple in Germany

On Sunday, my family and I were thrilled to hear the Prophet and President of the Church of Jesus Christ announce that a new temple will be built in Hamburg, Germany. It’s been over 30 years since a temple was built in Germany! We are ecstatic to hear the news.

I’m so grateful for all the life-changing experiences I’ve had at temples, but temples in Germany will always hold a special place in my heart.

Visiting the Frankfurt Temple in Germany with my family.

Banished from the Kingdom

Madisen Clark’s great-great-great grandfather was banished from Germany (then Prussia) in the 1850’s for trying to proselyte as a missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Photo courtesy Madisen Clark.

I’m not the only one who was elated to hear the news Sunday. Madisen Clark, a friend of mine who served with me in the Germany Berlin mission, recently posted this story on Facebook (posted with permission):

“My great-great-great grandfather Jacob Houtz served a mission to Prussia with Orson Spencer in the mid-1850’s. They tried to commission a meeting with the king of Prussia to discuss proselytizing and furthering the growth of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in that area. They did not have a chance to meet with the king and instead were banished from the country. ‘You, Orson Spencer and Jacob Houtz, are hereby commanded to depart out of this kingdom to-morrow morning, under the penalty of transportation; and you are also forbidden ever to return to this kingdom hereafter, under the penalty of being transported.’

Over 150 years later, I was called as a missionary to the Germany Berlin Mission. To me, that was a HUGE link to my ancestors and really opened my eyes to the power of the priesthood and the Gospel-so much had changed and so many hearts had been softened in the years between my grandpa and I visiting the same area of the world.

And now, a TEMPLE is being built in Hamburg! From being banished from the country, to a temple… I am in awe at the hand of God in the lives of his servants!”

I loved reading this! Thanks Madisen!

Proof of God’s Love

As Easter Sunday approaches, it is humbling to think of God’s love for us. He loves us so much that he works miracles in our lives. He made it possible for me serve a mission in Germany where I met the love of my life. He made it possible for Madisen Clark to serve a mission in a land where her ancestor was once banished.

Now, God is building more temples around the globe as a testament to the biggest and best gift God ever gave to humanity: His beloved Son Jesus Christ.

Happy Easter everybody!

With blessings,

Justina #NauvooBlogger

Learn more about LDS Temples.

Read about Orson Spencer and the Prussia Mission.

Watch President Russel M. Nelson’s temple announcement.

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