Mormon prophet sends his love to Germany in person
LDS Church President Thomas S. Monson took a quick, memory-filled trip to Germany last week, meeting with Mormons in four cities Hamburg, Berlin, Munich and Frankfurt and speaking via satellite to thousands of others gathered in chapels throughout the country as well as in Austria and Switzerland.
"Germany, I love you," the 85-year-old Mormon leader told those in Frankfurt for the final meeting Oct. 21, according to a news release.
In each venue, Monson, considered a "prophet, seer and revelator" in the 14 million-member Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, preached about Jesus Christ, compassion and forgiveness.
He also described his previous German travels and his fondness for that country.
In November 1968, then-apostle Monson promised a small band of LDS believers there that one day they would "have the same blessings members in other lands enjoy," Seven years later, Monson went to a hill near Dresden and asked God to allow a temple to be built in Germany.
That hope was fulfilled June 29, 1985, with the dedication of the Freiberg Temple, the first Mormon temple on German soil.
"And this was before the fall of the Berlin Wall, before foreign missionaries were allowed in that country," the release said, "and before members from East Germany were allowed to travel outside the country on missions."
Monson clearly was moved by the memory, the release said.
"President Monson has a special place in his heart for Germany," it said, and that love is reciprocated by the nearly 38,700 Mormons who live in Germany today.
Peggy Fletcher Stack