I'm a Korean linguist for the U.S. Air Force. I've been stationed in Korea for 12 of the last 22 years. I served my mission in Sendai, Japan and then returned home to Idaho and married my wife Lauri. I joined the Air Force in 1982 and was sent to the Defense Language Institute in Monterey California to learn Korean. I was then assigned to Osan Air Base and arrived in Korea in 1984. I am an Intelligence professional.
On December 14, 1985, my wife and I were privileged to attend the dedication of the Seoul Temple. The day was very cold and the wind was blowing very strong, but as we waited in the parking lot of the temple for our session, we were kept warm by the many friends surrounding us. We entered the temple and took our seats. President Gordon B. Hinckley who was a counselor in the First Presidency at the time, was to dedicate the temple. In his remarks before the dedicatory prayer, he made a comment that was so startling, that I committed it to memory. He said, “If you will use this temple, you need not fear an invasion from the north.”
What a great promise! I also remember the remark, because during my mission, I had the opportunity to work with Elder Kikuchi of the Seventy. He was also at the dedication and afterwards as we were talking, he remarked how neat that promise was. My family left Korea in 1986 and returned in 1988 for a second tour. We stayed that time until 1991. The Saints in Korea had been attending the temple regularly and I feel this is why the 1988 Olympic Games were held without incident even though the North Koreans had threatened to disrupt them.
In 1993, my family and I returned yet again to Korea and at that time, tensions were increasing over the possible development by the North Koreans of nuclear weapons. In 1994, it actually appeared that we might go to war with North Korea over this issue. Even though I had heard a prophet of the Lord declare that we would be protected, I began to doubt the promise. I wondered if perhaps I had misunderstood President Hinckley's words that day.
That summer, many of us were invited to Seoul to a training session with Elder Boyd Packer and Elder Henry B. Eyring. The chapel in Shindang was filled with church leaders both Korean and American. Elder Eyring spoke first and then Elder Packer stood up to speak. He let us know that “training” was not the only reason that he and Elder Eyring had come to Korea. He told us that President Hinckley was concerned for the safety of the saints in Korea.
Therefore, the day before, President Packer and Elder Eyring had gone up the the Demilitarized Zone, the border between north and south Korea, and had performed a priesthood ordinance which placed guardian angels at that border. He told us that because of our faithfulness in attending the temple, we would be protected.
I don't know if I was more surprised to hear that there were actually guardian angels at the border, or that there was a priesthood ordinance to put them there. One Korean stake president, asked Elder Packer, “How long will they be
His answer was, “As long as they are needed and you are faithful in your temple attendance.”
Now I knew we were safe for I had heard the promise twice.
In 1996, President Hinckley came to Korea on his way to Hong Kong to dedicate the temple there. He held a regional conference in Seoul which we attended. During his remarks at this conference, he made reference to the temple promise, and said he was going to change it. He told us that we now needed to attend the temple faithfully, and also appreciate it. He told us that we were all being protected by the Lord because we had done as we were told. This was the third time I had heard the promise and the second time from President Hinckley's own mouth.
I know that this promise is true. I have seen events happen in conjunction with my job, in which many times the experts have been confused as to why the North Koreans did not attack. I know it is because they cannot.
Daejeon PO Box 38
Chungcheong bukdo 300-600