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Many Helping Hands Make One Man’s Hope a Reality

Through the help of faithful ward members and leaders, a way is made possible for a bed-ridden man to go to the temple for the first time.

Brother Mony temple trip 2023
Brother Mony temple trip 2023
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Nicholaus Damian Mony was born in the Mortlock Islands of Chuuk.  He was raised in a Catholic family.  He went to a trade school for four years in Pohnpei where he learned mechanics, carpentry, and electrical skills.  After completing trade school, he became a carpenter.  He moved to Guam in 2005.  One day his son in-law began having the missionaries from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints teach him.  Sometimes, Nicholaus would listen to what they were teaching him.  Over time, his mind and heart began to change.  The missionaries taught about Joseph Smith and how he saw God the Father and His Son, Jesus Christ.  Nicholaus felt in his heart that this was true.  He said: “I could put myself in Joseph’s place and knew that God could speak to me too!”  Another thing that he loved was the name of the church.  He stated: “There are many churches with different names on them, but not many with Jesus’ name.  When I saw the sign on this church that read ‘The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints’, I knew I had found the right church.” 

He continued expressing his thoughts by saying: “I was taught many other things about the Church that touched my heart.  It made me want to become a member of this Church.”  He commented that because he felt the Church was true, it wasn’t too difficult for him to quit drinking and smoking.  He was baptized in 2009.  Tenderly he said: “I feel closer to God now and want to always keep that feeling in my heart. My faith is strong, and I never want to go back to a life without it.” 

Brother Mony became bedridden in 2016 after a fall and several strokes.  He can only sit up a short time before he gets extremely dizzy, forcing him to lay back down.  His family takes good care of him and his needs.  He wanted to go to the temple, but under these circumstances, he never thought it would be possible.  In November 2022, Brother Mony expressed his desire to his Elder’s Quorum president, Daniel Reber, about going to the temple saying: “I want to go to the temple before I die.”  Brother Reber talked with President Marlo Lopez, the Yigo Guam Temple president, and asked him if he thought this would even be possible.  He explained Brother Mony’s situation and how he was confined to a hospital bed.  President Lopez told him they would find a way to make it work.  The Barrigada ward Elder’s Quorum came up with a plan by January 2023.  Brother Mony first needed to receive the Melchizedek Priesthood.  Thus began the long process of getting him to the temple.

Brother Mony was taught twice a week about the Melchizedek Priesthood by the young Elders and Sister missionaries.  It was too hard for the members to teach him during the day due to jobs, school, etc. and the missionaries were happy to do it.  Brother Reber and one of his counselors or another member of the Quorum would come to see him almost every Sunday to help administer the sacrament and discuss what he had learned that week.  It was decided that he would be sustained to the office of an Elder in the Melchizedek Priesthood at the stake conference in May.  Unfortunately, Typhoon Mawar decided to strike the island hard cancelling the conference until August.  This did not stop anyone from achieving their goal.  Brother Mony kept learning more about the gospel and the priesthood.  Finally in August, he was sustained.  The next step was for him to take the temple preparation classes.  Scheduling a time and calling temple prep teachers was a challenge.  Once again, the young missionaries were asked to help.  CD’s were made for him to listen to when a teacher was not available.  He loved listening to them over and over.  He said he learned a lot from them.  Brother Reber would again come over nearly every Sunday and discuss with him what he was learning.  Once the classes were finished, temple interview appointments were set up with the bishop and stake president.  Arrangements were made at the temple and with a medical transport team.  Finally on November 11, 2023, Brother Mony was able to go to the temple to receive his own endowments.  He went to the temple dressed in white on a gurney where special care was taken to make sure everything went smoothly as possible.  Several other members of his ward also received their own endowments that same day.  Many of the Barrigada Ward came out to support them all and be there for this special day.  It was a lot of work that took many hands to make this possible, but it was all worth it!

Brother Mony expressed his gratitude to everyone that helped him get to the temple.  He knew the hard work that it took to get him there.  Even though he didn’t have any family members who went into the temple with him, many of them were excited for him and met him outside when he was done.  Brother Mony said that he felt so happy in the temple and learned a lot.  He hopes someday to go back again.  He said that he tried to remember everything he learned saying: “My memory is not too good, but I have it in my heart even if it’s not in my head. I learned so much about our Father in Heaven and His Son Jesus Christ. My testimony has gotten stronger because I went to the temple.”  He has a Bible and a Book of Mormon that has been translated into his native language of Chuukese.  He said that he is very grateful for all those who translated them and realizes how difficult it would have been to translate them.  He bore his testimony saying: “I want my family to know that going to the temple is important.  I want them to also know that we need to do those things that will help our faith to stay strong.  It’s important to pray and ask God to help us every day. I don’t know how long it will be before I am laid in the ground, but I know that I must keep my faith strong.  I want my family to remember my testimony.  It’s important to go to church and listen to the teachings of our prophet and leaders.  It’s also important to read the Bible and the Book of Mormon as well.”  One of his favorite scriptures in the Book of Mormon is when *Alma is talking about exercising our faith and keeping it strong.  Brother Mony said: “It’s like exercising your muscles.  You need to do it every day.  The more we read the Bible and Book of Mormon, the more our faith will grow.  I know that this is true.” 

President Russell M. Nelson said in 2019: “…While salvation is an individual matter, exaltation is a family matter.”  It took many hands to get Brother Mony to the temple, family and friends, but it was up to him to put in the work for himself.

Elder Henry Salvstrom, area seventy, came to Guam for the Barrigada Stake conference.  He was able to visit with Brother Mony about his experience in the temple.  Brother Salvstrom was surprised at how happy and energetic Brother Mony was during his visit.  Brother Mony expressed to him how grateful he was to be able to go to the temple and how wonderful and glorious the temple was to him.  Elder Salvstrom said: “I could see that he was glowing and wearing the blessing that he received in the temple, referring to the temple garment.”  During their conversation, Elder Salvstrom asked Brother Mony if he’d like to be sealed to his wife.  Brother Mony stated: “Yes, I would love to be with my wife forever!”  His wife is not currently a member of the Church, and he was uncertain if she would ever accept the gospel.  Elder Salvstrom told Brother Mony: “God is a God of miracles.  The way you received the temple ordinances with the help of members, Bishop Boss, your Elder’s Quorum president, Relief Society president, the temple president, and countless others, was like the man with the palsy in the book of Luke from the New Testament.   They all helped to bring one man to Christ who was unable to do it on his own, even if it meant they had to take apart the roof.  Like all of these people that helped you come to the temple, this was a miracle in Guam!”  

 *The Book of Mormon--Alma 32

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