About a year after returning from serving a two-year humanitarian service mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the Philippines, Philip and LaDawn Empey of Valparaiso are headed off to another exciting adventure.
The Empey's will be traveling to Ghana Africa to serve for the next three years in the Accra Ghana Africa Temple.
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has over 130 operating temples all over the world, with 17 more under construction or announced to be built, bringing the total to 147 LDS Temples.
The Empey's learned about their new assignment while volunteering service hours at the Chicago, Illinois Temple. "We received a telephone call while working at the Chicago Temple on Tuesday, August 18th. The call was from Elder John Dickson, who is serving in the Africa West Area Presidency. After a few pleasantries, he issued the call to serve in this capacity. We were not expecting this in any way and were floored--to say the least! However, upon reflection, it will be a great opportunity and we are very much looking forward to going," said Philip.
The Accra Ghana Temple opened in January 2004 and is the 117th operating temple for the LDS Church, and is the second temple built in Africa, following the Johannesburg South Africa Temple which opened in 1985.
To members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the temple is the "House of the Lord." It is a sacred building, and after its dedication only faithful members of the Church may enter. Inside, members learn more about the purpose of life and make covenants to serve Jesus Christ and their fellow man. In addition, they participate in religious ordinances, that reach beyond mortality, such as marriage for time and all eternity.
Each LDS Temple is staffed by volunteers who oversee the day to day operations of the temple. Philip will serve in the Temple Presidency as the 1st Counselor to Temple President Julian P. Breillatt, Jr from Mundelein, Illinois. LaDawn will also serve in a leadership role working with the women volunteers and patrons. The 2nd Counselor will be Kenneth Kobena Andam from Takoradi, Ghana and his wife, Janet Ofori-Tawiah Andam.
"I do not yet know the full duties of the temple presidency, except to make sure that the temple operates smoothly!" said Philip.
Their new assignment begins November 1st of this year.