FAITH

Haitians say new Haiti temple will usher in a better future

Sep 3, 2019, 8:05 AM | Updated: 3:57 pm
Haiti temple...
© 2019 by Intellectual Reserve, Inc. All rights reserved.

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti — Haiti is a nation of noise, color, heat, and movement this weekend, as the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints dedicated the nation’s first temple.

Haiti has been devastated by disasters, poverty and crime, which is why church members are excited for the temple. They say it will bring peace, purpose and strength to their nation.

There is a stillness and peace that can be found on the temple grounds, members said. A peace that Marie Claire Jean-Jacque desperately needed last July when there were riots in the streets and her husband could not get home.

Bernado and Marie Jean-Jaque stand outside their home in Haiti | Photo Mary Richards KSL Newsradio

“I said to myself, if the temple had been there, I would have gone to the temple and spent the day in the House of God and felt peace. It was the only place where I could feel peace,” Jean-Jacque said.

Bernado Jean-Jaque also believes the temple will bring the nation more peace.

“The temple will affect every part, every part [of the country],” he said.

Before this temple that now sits in Port-au-Prince, Williamson Sintyl says church members would make an expensive trip lasting anywhere between 8 to 12 hours across the island to the Dominican Republic. For many members of the church, they made that trip traveling by crowded bus or in the back of a pickup — options that have grown more dangerous and more expensive. Many members could not do it.

“Haitian people used to travel 12 hours on the bus because they didn’t have the money to pay for an airplane,” he said, becoming emotional. “Sometimes we don’t have the money to come back to Haiti because there is a government problem.”

Stairs made from tires that lead to the home of Shella Privert in Haiti | Photo Mary Richards KSL Newsradio

In Juvenat, up and down hilly, windy roads and behind another gate, down some steps made out of discarded tires on a steep hillside, Shella Privert lives in one of many homes the church built after the earthquake of 2010. She is grateful for the addition of a temple to her city. She says the temple gives her life purpose and hope.

“The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is a miracle to Haiti,” she said. “And the temple makes me happier. I will do my very best to be able to go to the temple.”

The future of Haiti is in this room.

-Elder David A. Bednar

That’s the message that the youth of the church heard Saturday during a youth devotional with Elder David A. Bednar of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles.

Shella Privert sits in front of her home in Haiti | Photo Mary Richards KSL Newsradio

Elder Bednar explained further on Sunday morning, just before he dedicated the temple. The new temple, he said, would bless not just church members but the entire nation.

“As you travel to places with economic challenges,” he said, “it’s amazing how the temple is a source of light, not only spiritually but temporally. So if we come back in 15 years, this neighborhood will be different, and Haiti will be different.”

“That’s the number one thing Haiti needs – instead of giving them stuff, they need a temple,” said Sintyl. “They need to feel like they are not alone. They need to feel like they are a part of the Lord’s people. That the Lord is aware, and he is here with us.”

Sophia Lundy sees this temple from the eyes of an engineer and architect.

“We have a great nation, but we have so many setbacks. The temple is a testimony that anything great and beautiful can be built in Haiti,” she said, adding that she helped in the beginning stages of the project.

Lundy says many groups who build in Haiti cut corners or didn’t care about code. But the temple was built carefully, solidly, and beautifully.

It’s not large. It has tall straight palm trees outside, and palm leaf patterns inside and is filled with blues and greens and the gold colors of the island.

The church for years has also built solid and safe chapels and homes in Haiti and done humanitarian work and educational efforts.

“It doesn’t matter if it is a country that is struggling when you are building the house of the Lord. When you are doing anything to benefit the children of God, you do it right,” said Lundy.

“There is a new era in Haiti. There is new hope,” said Marie Claire Jean-Jacque.

“The temple will affect every part, every part, of our country,” said Bernardo Jean-Jacque. “It changes us and affects the lives of those around us.”

At the dedication, at Elder Bednar’s request, the choir changed a word in their hymn. Instead of the dawning of a brighter day, majestic, rising on the world, he asked that they sing about a bright dawn rising, majestic, on Haiti.

 

Today’s Top Stories

Faith

praying football coach...
JESSICA GRESKO Associated Press

Supreme Court sides with coach who sought to pray after game

The court ruled 6-3 along ideological lines for the coach. The justices said the coach's prayer was protected by the First Amendment.
2 days ago
downtown slc general conference temple square...
Simone Seikaly

Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints reacts to Roe v. Wade

SALT LAKE CITY — Leaders from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints have responded to the Supreme Court decision on Friday that overturned Roe v. Wade. Their statement began by reasserting a belief in the sanctity of human life. It also listed possible exceptions for members who may seek an abortion, which include […]
5 days ago
The U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday, June 15, 2022, in Washington. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)...
MARK SHERMAN Associated Press

Justices rule religious schools must get Maine tuition aid

The most immediate effect of the court's ruling beyond Maine probably will be felt next door in Vermont, which has a similar program.
8 days ago
Photo credit: Just Add Chocolate Facebook page....
Lindsay Aerts

Chocolate shop apologizes, renames Book of Mormon-themed Twinkies

A Utah County chocolate shop has renamed its Book of Mormon-theme Twinkies after it was accused of being racist. The shop has also apologized.
19 days ago
hill cumorah monument...
Mark Jones and Aimee Cobabe

UPDATE: Suspect arraigned for reckless endangerment after gunshots fired at Hill Cumorah Visitors’ Center

No injuries were reported Wednesday after gunshots were heard near the Hill Cumorah Visitors Center in New York. Police say roughly 22 shots were fired.
21 days ago
Ground Broken for Burley Idaho Temple...
Waverly Golden

Ground broken for Burley Idaho Temple

The new temple will sit on a 10.1-acre land owned by the Funk family. Plans have been in place since April 2021 for the new Temple.
25 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Tax Harassment...
Jordan Wilcox

The best strategies for dealing with IRS tax harassment | You have options!

Learn how to deal with IRS tax harassment. This guide will teach you how to stop IRS phone calls and letters, and how to handle an IRS audit.
spend a day at Bear Lake...
Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

You’ll love spending the day at Bear Lake | How to spend a day at Bear Lake

Bear Lake is a place that needs to be experienced. Spend a day at Bear Lake.
Curb Appeal...
Price's Guaranteed Doors

How to have the best of both worlds for your house | Home security and curb appeal

Protect your home and improve its curb appeal with the latest security solutions like beautiful garage doors and increased security systems.
Prescription opioids can be disposed of during National Prescription Take Back Day...
Know Your Script

Prescription opioid misuse | How to protect your family from the opioid epidemic

Studies have shown that prescription opioid misuse has increased since COVID-19. So what do you need to know about these opioids?
Follow @ikeyospe...

Tax Tuesday: The Most Common Mistakes People Make When Filing Their Taxes

Fortunately, for most average earners, they will not end up owing overpayments received for the Child Tax Credit in 2021.
Follow @ikeyospe...

Tax Tuesday: How will last year’s child tax credits affect you?

Fortunately, for most average earners, they will not end up owing overpayments received for the Child Tax Credit in 2021.
Haitians say new Haiti temple will usher in a better future