News Release

Elder Rasband Dedicates Bangkok Thailand Temple

Southeast Asia peninsula's first temple is ‘cradled in the arms of prophets, apostles’

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With Elder Ronald A. Rasband of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles presiding over the October 22, 2023, dedication of the new Bangkok Thailand Temple, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints not only has its 185th operating temple worldwide but its first on the Southeast Asia peninsula.

Sunday’s dedication services drew several thousand Latter-day Saints throughout the day, as attendees were seated not only throughout the 48,525-square-foot, six-story and nine-spired temple for the two sessions but also into the two large chapels and overflow areas in the neighboring temple annex.

As he prepared to speak at the sessions and offer the dedicatory prayer in each, Elder Rasband said he had reviewed Thailand’s history and the Church’s history in the country and throughout Southeast Asia. “What has settled on me is how the country and the temple have been cradled in the arms of prophets and apostles,” said Elder Rasband.

That includes the 1966 dedication of Thailand for the preaching of the gospel by Elder Gordon B. Hinckley, then of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles and later President of the Church, and the dedication of the first church meetinghouse in the country in 1974 by Elder David B. Haight of the Twelve.

He paid special tribute to the roles of the last three Church presidents in the coming of the house of the Lord in Bangkok — President Hinckley, who in 2000 foretold of a temple; President Thomas S. Monson, who officially announced the temple in 2015; and President Russell M. Nelson, who toured the temple site five years ago and assigned Elder Rasband to do this weekend’s dedication.

The Apostle said three quotes — one from the three Church presidents — represented the prophetic process.

He quoted President Hinckley from a June 2000 meeting with members in Bangkok: “The Lord has heard our prayers. He has led us under difficulties for a long season. But now Heaven is smiling upon us. You are pioneers here in carrying forward the work of the Lord in this country, and I promise that if you are faithful, the time will come when a temple will be constructed in Thailand.”

He quoted President Monson’s announced of a temple for Bangkok in the Sunday morning session of April 2015 general conference: “This morning I am very pleased to announce three new temples which will be built in the following locations: Abidjan, Ivory Coast; Port au Prince, Haiti; and Bangkok, Thailand. What marvelous blessings are in store for our faithful members in these areas.”

And he quoted President Nelson, who first came to Thailand as a visiting physician before his call in 1984 as an Apostle and who later came as a senior Church leader, the most recent being his inaugural 2018 global ministry. During the April 2018 meeting with members in Bangkok, President Nelson promised: “I bless you with love at home, success in your work and joy in your hearts as you prepare for the temple of the Lord in this sacred country.”

Elder Rasband had traveled many times previously to Bangkok and Thailand as a former executive for Huntsman Chemical, including president and chief operating officer. The temple dedication was the latest in a handful of leadership assignments he has fulfilled in Thailand.

It all made for a much-appreciated, humbling and “surreal” assignment, Elder Rasband said.

He was joined at the dedication events by his wife, Sister Melanie Rasband; Elder Benjamin M. Z. Tai, General Authority Seventy and president of the Asia Asia, and Sister Naomi Toma Tai; Elder Kevin R. Duncan, a General Authority Seventy and executive director of the Temple Department, and his wife, Sister Nancy Duncan; and Elder Erich W. Kopischke, a General Authority Seventy and a Temple Department assistant executive director and his wife, Sister Christiane Kopischke.

The blessings of the Bangkok Thailand Temple will reach beyond the host nation’s borders. The temple district spans from Cambodia to Pakistan and from Nepal to Indonesia.

In 1852, Brigham Young called four missionaries to serve in Thailand, which was then known as Siam. Only one eventually made it, but not arriving until 1854 and staying only four months because of the language barrier.

Member families living in Bangkok in the 1950s began to hold informal and infrequent meetings, until the Church authorized regular worship services for a small, English-speaking congregation in 1961, which has been functioning since.

Six missionaries were first sent to Thailand in 1968, with a mission in the country created in 1973. The first stake was created in Bangkok in 1995, with a second in the city coming in 2014 and a third two years later.

Latter-day Saints visit and hug after attending the first session of the Bangkok Thailand Temple dedication on Sunday, October 22, 2023.2023 by Intellectual Reserve, Inc. All rights reserved.

Church membership in Thailand now exceeds 23,000 in more than 40 congregations, with meetinghouses throughout Bangkok and in most large urban centers in the country, including Chiang Mai, Nakhon Ratchasima, Khon Kaen, Udon Thani and Ubon Rachathani.

Chontica “Apple” Sihanat is a second-generation Thai Latter-day Saint who was baptized at age 9 and served a mission in Thailand. With a temple in Bangkok, Shinant says “I feel like there is another home that I can come to at any time. I feel there will be happiness happening in my life more easily because it will be closer to my family.”

Ayutthayapacawadee McGeorge said attending the dedication provided an opportunity for increased personal revelation. “I received more understanding on how we need to carry our covenants across the river currents of life,” she said.

Pawana Preachakul, 14, added: “The temple is very sacred to me and my family. In the future, I want to be in this temple and to serve here.”

Parinya Suphan, 16, said: “It is a blessing to have a temple here and do temple work for deceased ancestors. It is a blessing for me and for them.”


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