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Divine Love and Temple


I am grateful for the opportunity to share my testimony of the gospel of Jesus Christ and His true Church with you today. I am grateful for Joseph Smith for listening to the Holy Ghost, praying to know the truth, and being an instrument in restoring the Church of Jesus Christ. Because of his act and love of God and Jesus Christ, my family and I are blessed with the knowledge and testimony of Jesus Christ and His gospel.

I am grateful for your presence today here, and remotely, and especially for my mom and Aunt Kee Hong for being in the audience.


My all-time favorite talk is by Elder John H. Groberg, “The Power of God’s Love.” Elder Groberg said, “What is it about true love that touches every heart? Why does the simple phrase “I love you” evoke such universal joy? Men give various reasons, but the real reason is that every person who comes to earth is a spirit son or daughter of God. Since all love emanates from God, we are born with the capacity and the desire to love and to be loved.” [1]

Love is something we are born with. It is a divine character to love and divine desire to be loved. This divine love moves Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ to do all they have done, do, and will do for us. They are love. It is this divine love that we respond to, be motivated, and be moved. 

In 1 Nephi 8, after partaking the tree's fruit, Lehi wanted his family to partake of it too. [2] This was because the tree represented “the love of God, which sheddeth itself abroad in the hearts of the children of men; wherefore, it is the most desirable above all things [...] the most joyous to the soul." [3] Through that love of God, my family was brought to the true Church of Jesus Christ and have the gospel in our lives. His love inspires our decisions and guides our actions since joining the Church, as we try to align ourselves to Heavenly Father’s plan, especially in doing genealogy work.

Three Deaths and a Birth

It took three deaths and a birth for the gospel to be introduced to my family. In November 1972, my maternal great-grandmother passed away. Exactly one year later, in November 1973, my maternal grandfather passed away. In January 1974, I was born. In February 1974, eight days after my birth, my dad passed away. My mom lost three people she loved in less than two years.

The same year in April 1974, on a Friday night before Easter, my dad, who was not religious, appeared in my mom’s dream and told her about resurrection. On the following Sunday, which was Easter, my mom went to a church with a neighbor for the first time in her life.

Three months later in July 1974, my mom’s youngest sister, Aunt Kee Hong, walked into The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and asked to be baptized. A month later, in August 1974, she was baptized.

Our house was full of women, starting with my maternal grandmother, mom, Aunt Kee Hong, my sister, and myself. After being baptized, my aunt wanted to convert my mom because one, my aunt loved the gospel, and two, if my mom joined the Church, it would make my aunt’s life as a member of the Church much easier. My mom had a tendency to read whatever was in front of her, so my aunt started leaving Church pamphlets and the Book of Mormon around the house. One day, after reading a pamphlet about the plan of salvation, my mom was touched by the Spirit like a fireball. She was baptized in November 1974.

After two daughters’ baptisms, missionaries started coming to our house to teach Grandma. With two young grandkids in the house, it was chaotic. My sister needed attention, and I needed to be fed. The missionaries’ Korean was not good, and Grandma couldn’t understand many of the things they said. They spoke of Jesus Christ, Joseph Smith, Nephi, and Lehi. All these foreign names were strange and hard to remember for someone who spoke no English and was a staunch Buddhist. Grandma wanted the missionaries to stop coming. My aunt told Grandma there was only one way to stop missionaries from coming: get baptized. Then, one night, my mom’s other sister, Aunt Soo Hong, saw Grandpa in her dream. When my great-grandma converted to Catholicism, my grandpa, a staunch Buddhist, declared a holy war and said, “There cannot be more than one religion in one household,” and he kicked her out of the house and didn’t speak to her again. Back to my aunt’s dream, my grandpa appeared holding the Bible and heading to church, and said, “The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the only true church on earth.” After hearing the dream, my grandma decided to be baptized in November 1975, three years after great-grandma’s death, two years after grandpa’s death, and a year after my mom’s baptism. Her niece was also baptized on the same day. Four years later, in 1979, Aunt Soo Hong was baptized. It was the love of God that brought five baptisms to my family.

Patriarchal Blessing

The newly converted women in the family did their best to learn the ways of gospel living. A year after baptism, Aunt Kee Hong and my mom learned about the patriarchal blessing and decided to receive it. With their permission, I share that both their blessings talk about sharing the gospel with relatives. My aunt’s blessing particularly mentions doing genealogy work. My aunt hated genealogy work because of my grandpa. Grandpa devoted many years of his life to gathering information and publishing genealogy books with his own money, but this had a negative impact on his children. That was why seeing something about genealogy in Aunt Kee Hong’s patriarchal blessing was displeasure. She wanted to ignore it.

Genealogy Trip

However, she decided to do something about the nagging feeling instead of ignoring it. 13 days after receiving the blessing, she decided to go on a genealogy trip for a week in August 1975. The night before she left, my Catholic great-grandma appeared in my mom’s dream. She was dressed in white clothes and told my mom she was going to her grave site, looking very happy.

My aunt saw many miracles during the trip. For example, she had to go to an island, Ulleungdo, to see relatives there. It was an 11-hour boat ride, and she always had seasickness on a boat, so she was very worried. 30 minutes into the ride, she was so miserable. Then she passed out. She passed out for 11 hours. The sound of the arrival horn woke her up. On the way back, she thought she would get smart and take motion sickness medicine. As soon as she boarded, she took the medicine. If you know motion sickness medicine, she should have taken it 30 minutes before boarding, not when she boarded. Learning that she would soon feel very miserable, she got worried. Then, a man approached her and led her to a room with bunk beds. Her ticket did not include a bed. However, the man told her she could use any bed she wanted and there was no need to pay. She picked one bed, and soon passed out for another 11 hours. It was the mercy of God in a mysterious way that she passed out and had a peaceful journey.

She didn’t have the address or telephone numbers of people she wanted to see. However, during the trip, she got off the bus exactly where she needed to, although there was no bus stop, and she turned into the exact street she needed to without having to walk too far during the hottest time in Korea. She found houses without having a street name or house number. Before leaving on the trip, my aunt made a list of people to see and when to see them. She didn’t tell any of them she was coming to see them, but she saw everybody she planned to see. During the trip, she gathered all the information she needed, even the names of people who died as infants. She then submitted those names to the Church headquarters for temple ordinances to be performed.

Three years later, in 1978, one night, my great-grandma appeared in my mom’s dream again. This time, she kept saying, “Thank you, thank you.” The next day, my mom received a fat envelope from Salt Lake City notifying her that the temple work for all the names Aunt Kee Hong submitted was finished, including my great-grandma’s.

Although my mom and Aunt Kee Hong were not keen on genealogy work, why did they do it? Elder Benjamin De Hoyas of the Seventy shares that, “the Lord encourages us as members of His Church to preserve our own family history, to learn from our ancestors, and to make the necessary arrangements for them to receive the ordinances of the gospel in the temples, to help them to progress along the covenant path, which will bless them with an eternal family. That is a central focus of the plan of our Heavenly Father: uniting family for this life and for eternity […] As we follow the guidance of the prophets and learn how to do our family history and perform the temple ordinances for our ancestors, we will experience great joy to the point that we will not want to stop doing it. The Spirit will flood our hearts, awaken our faculties to do it, and guide us as we search for the names of our ancestors” [4]

I grew up hearing about family stories and genealogy. I gained a solid earthly identity as a Kwon and a place in the family through learning about my ancestors. I gained a love for my ancestors and a strong testimony of temple ordinances because so many family members died around my birth. It is the love and mercy of God that the gospel and temple ordinances are available for both the living and the dead. For us, God certainly has turned “the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers.” [5]


We learn in Isaiah 4:6 that the temple is “a tabernacle for a shadow in the daytime from the heat, and for a place of refuge, and for a covert from storm and from rain.” [6] We can rest all our worries and troubles in the temple and be embraced by God’s love, mercy, and peace. It symbolizes the ultimate love and mercy of God and His Son, Jesus Christ.

President Russell M. Nelson said, “The temple lies at the center of strengthening our faith and spiritual fortitude because the Savior and His doctrine are the very heart of the temple. Everything taught in the temple, through instruction and through the Spirit, increases our understanding of Jesus Christ. His essential ordinances bind us to Him through sacred priesthood covenants. Then, as we keep our covenants, He endows us with His healing, strengthening power” [7]

After the Seoul Korea Temple was dedicated, my mom worked as an ordinance worker every Friday after work. My grandma attended the temple every Thursday after attending the institute. My grandma continued attending the temple as often as her body allowed her until she passed away at age 100.

Obtaining Genealogy Books

We continue doing genealogy work because we love doing it. You might think doing genealogy is grandma’s work, but it is not. There is so much to do, and we do not have enough time. After some opposition, we have obtained 20-some books of my mom’s side of genealogy records. We have been working on this set of twenty-some books for decades.

While my mom and aunt focused on doing the work on their side of the family, I was interested in doing the Kwon side. We found 30-volume records of the Kwon side. I have those to work on for the rest of my life. Kwon’s genealogy is very well organized, and it is available online and as a PDF, making it much easier to enter names directly to

Entering Names of Ancestors

Since receiving her patriarchal blessing, sharing the gospel with family and relatives has always been on my mom’s mind. One day, she was talking to my sister, Jiyon, about it and asked what she could do to share the gospel with relatives. My sister’s answer was funny yet profound, “Wait until they all die.” We are not waiting for every relative to die, but we are doing a lot of work for the dead.

My mom reads the records that are written in Chinese characters and writes them on a separate piece of paper. By 2007, my mom had hundreds of sheets written, which meant tens of thousands of names waiting to be entered. Back then, GEDCOM files were made first. Then, those files were sent to a Korean sister, Sister Seong, who worked in the Family History Center to upload to the Church genealogy system. I started feeling I needed to do genealogy and enter those names into the GEDCOM system. My sister even bought me a computer to do that, but I didn’t jump right into it. Apparently, my ancestors were getting impatient. In the summer of 2007, I was laid off from my job. I was angry for less than a second. Then a clear and strong impression came, "Perfect! I can do genealogy!" I could never quit a job without lining up a new job because my mom would bury me alive. However, by divine intervention, I got six months of uninterrupted time to do genealogy. I knew this time was given to me to enter those names of my ancestors. The first couple of days, I was getting the feel of how long it would take to enter those names. I calculated if I entered about 1,000 names a day, I could finish it in six months. I prayed and asked Heavenly Father that I would not get a job before I finished entering the names. I did this every day. I woke up and entered the names. It was like a full-time job. Those six months were the most spiritual and happiest time in my life, even more spiritual than being a missionary or an MTC teacher. By the time I finished, it took a little under six months. A week after I finished, I got a job offer. Again, in the Lord’s mysterious way, He turned an unpleasant situation into a life-changing experience. It was a time of perspective shift.

Doing the genealogy has made me feel closer to my ancestors. In 2010, I got into a car accident, which could have been a serious one, but no one was badly injured. After the accident, my cousin, Euseung, Aunt Kee Hong’s son, who was living in Provo, came and gave me a blessing. In that blessing, I was told that my ancestors were watching over me. My heart fills with love for my ancestors as I continue doing genealogy work.

My family collectively has submitted many names that we don’t know exactly how many. I tried doing the ordinances myself with the help of others, but there was too much to do. We decided to share all the names with the temple and prayed the ordinances would be done someday. Nothing happened to those shared names until July of last year. I started seeing some of the ordinances being done, like two to three ordinances a day. Then, it picked up the pace. In, in “completed ordinances” it only shows up to 3,000 ordinances a day. More than 3,000 ordinances of submitted names are being done daily since August 2023. As of February 2024, about 17,000 ancestors’ ordinances have been completed in less than a year.

Ordinances are literally done in temples all around the world. Many members in the Laie North Stake have been doing the temple work of my family names. I sincerely thank you. I now have a better understanding of why the number of temples is increasing so fast. It is amazing, humbling, and terrifying at the same time to see how fast ordinances are done in temples all around the world. There is power in teamwork. The power of God that moves things and people for His work to be done is beyond imagination and is awe-striking. I am utterly nothing, less than dirt, in the presence of His power. What my family and I do to gather and submit names is the least we can do.


The love of God and our love for Him move us to turn to our ancestors. Back to Elder Groberg’s talk, he said, “Responding to true love is part of our very being. We innately desire to reconnect here with the love we felt there. Only as we feel God’s love and fill our hearts with His love can we be truly happy [...] God is anxious to help us feel His love wherever we are.” [8]

For example, after finishing my second emphasis in graphic design, I had difficulty finding a desirable job. I applied to so many places, even in countries I did not know existed, but I didn’t get the job I wanted. As the last straw, I applied at this place but didn’t get the job. I was so angry. I was in the depths of despair. I knew I shouldn’t be because I would be turning my back on God. Those words came to my mind at that time. But I was still angry at God for not giving me the job I wanted. I was fuming and crying in the bathroom.

Then, in my head, not physically, but like a vision, I saw a bright light on the right side of my head and heard a clear yet gentle voice saying, "I love you." Those simple words caught me off guard. I did not understand what it meant. What does that have to do with me in this situation right now? Then I heard it again, but this time I heard, "I love you. I want you to be happy." I knew, then, precisely what that meant. Everything made sense. All the so-called failures and rejections were not God tormenting me, but it was me tormenting myself and misunderstanding Him, who is a loving Father in Heaven. He only wants me to be happy. Instead of giving me a fancy job somewhere, He gave me an understanding of His love and divine identity as a daughter of God. It was another time of perspective shift.

Elder Groberg continued, “When we understand who God is, who we are, how He loves us, and what His plan is for us, fear evaporates. When we get the tiniest glimpse of these truths, our concern over worldly things vanishes. . . We cannot fake love. It must become part of us. . . Jesus Christ was filled with unfathomable love as He endured incomprehensible pain, cruelty, and injustice for us. Through His love for us, He rose above otherwise insurmountable barriers. His love knows no barriers. He invites us to follow Him and partake of His unlimited love so we too may rise above the pain and cruelty and injustice of this world and help and forgive and bless.” [10]

I know Heavenly Father lives and loves us. I know Jesus Christ is my Savior and Redeemer. I know The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the only true church with the fullness of the gospel and with the power of the priesthood. I know the Book of Mormon is the true word of God. I say these things in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

[1] John H. Groberg, “The Power of God’s Love,” General Conference, October 2004
[2] 1 Nephi 8
[3] 1 Nephi 11:22-23
[4] Benjamín De Hoyos, “The Work of the Temple and Family History—One and the Same Work,” General Conference, April 2023
[5] Malachi 4:6
[6] Isaiah 4:6
[7] Russell M. Nelson, “The Temple and Your Spiritual Foundation,” Liahona, Nov. 2021, 93–94
[8] John H. Groberg, “The Power of God’s Love,” General Conference, October 2004
[9] Anne of Green Gables
[10] John H. Groberg, “The Power of God’s Love,” General Conference, October 2004