When the early members of the Church failed to be diligent in building the Kirtland Temple, the Lord chastened them, as recorded in Doctrine and Covenants, Section 95. He also issued a wonderful promise that would apply today to members throughout the world as they await a temple in their own lands.
"Verily I say unto you, it is my will that you should build a house. If you keep my commandments you shall have power to build it." (Doctrine and Covenants 95:11.)
A stirring account of the fulfillment of this promise among the Lord's people was told by Elder Thomas S. Monson, now first counselor in the First Presidency, during the October 1985 general conference:
"Today, on a gentle rise in the historic city of Freiberg, German Democratic Republic (now part of all of Germany), there stands a beautiful, dedicated temple of God. The temple provides the ultimate — even the eternal — blessings of a loving Heavenly Father to His faithful Saints.
"Ten years ago, on a Sunday morning, April 27, 1975, I stood on an outcropping of rock situated between the cities of Dresden and Meissen, high above the Elbe River. I responded to the promptings of the Holy Spirit and offered a prayer of dedication on that land and its people. That prayer noted the faith of the members. It emphasized the tender feelings of many hearts filled with an overwhelming desire to obtain temple blessings. A plea for peace was expressed. Divine help was requested.
"Suddenly, from far below in the valley, a bell in a church steeple began to chime and the shrill crow of a rooster broke the morning silence, each heralding the commencement of a new day. Though my eyes were closed, I felt a warmth from the sun's rays reaching my face, my hands, my arms. How could this be? An incessant rain had been falling all morning. At the conclusion of the prayer, I gazed heavenward. I noted a ray of sunshine which penetrated an opening in the heavy clouds, a ray which engulfed the spot where our small group stood. From that moment I knew divine help was at hand."
Elder Monson related how cooperation from government officials was forthcoming; President Spencer W. Kimball and his counselors approved, and a temple was constructed. The international media covered the event in this country, at the time behind what was then called the "iron curtain." The questions of "why" and "how" were frequently asked.
"During the actual dedicatory services when President Gordon B. Hinckley offered the dedicatory prayer, hymns of praise, testimonies of truth, tears of gratitude and prayers of thanksgiving marked the historic event. To understand how, to comprehend why, it is necessary to know the faith, the devotion, the love of the members of the Church in that nation. Though fewer than 5,000 in number, the activity levels exceed those found anywhere else in the world."