News Release

Yigo Guam Temple Gets a New Temple Recorder

A father with a five-year plan discovers that things don’t always go according to your plan. He learns that God has a better plan for him and his family, if he will listen and follow Him.

Dylan James Sablan, Temple Recorder for Yigo Guam Temple© 2024 by Intellectual Reserve, Inc. All rights reserved.

Dylan James Sablan was recently hired as an employee for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  He has been hired as the first Yigo Guam Temple paid recorder.  The recorder is a full-time job with no specific time limit.  His main job, according to the First Presidency standards, will be to make sure that the ordinances done in the temple are performed faithfully and recorded properly.  He is also considered as the managing director of the temple department on Guam.  He is to be a minister not only to the patrons and ordinance workers, but also to the temple presidency.  A temple recorder oversees the temporal matters inside the temple, which include office administration, human resources, operations, and finance .  He is not over the facility manager employees.

Dylan was born in Saipan, Northern Marianas, and grew up in the Philippines until the age of fifteen. He attended a Catholic school and learned a lot about God.  From an early age, he loved learning about the apostles.  He often wondered why the world didn’t have prophets like Elijah anymore. He spent time in the library studying the Bible and enjoyed his religion classes.  He also volunteered as an alter server for his school's priest.  All of these things helped his interest in learning to grow and strengthened his desire to serve God.

When he was 15 years old, he moved to Seattle, Washington.  Unbeknownst to him, his family joined the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  On his second day in Seattle, he got invited to attend the Church seminary.  At that time, they were studying the New Testament. He was excited to learn more about the Bible, so he accepted the invitation. The missionaries were there and asked him if they could teach him the lessons.

He found joy in learning more about the Bible and the gospel.  The missionaries introduced him to the Book of Mormon. His heart was really touched when he came to 2 Nephi 31.  On May 9, 2009, a month after the missionaries began teaching him, he was baptized. He said: “The whole concept of the gospel like faith, repentance, baptism and the Holy Ghost was simple to me and just made sense.”  It was a life-changing experience for him. 

He enjoyed school and was very focused on his studies. He began to think about going on a mission but thought that he’d get his associate degree first.  His father counseled him to put the Lord first and think about serving a mission before he completes his associates.  He listened to his father, and he said: “So, instead of my schooling, I became laser-focused on serving a mission!” 

Soon he submitted his mission papers and was pleasantly surprised that he was called to serve in the  Philippine Bacolod mission!  The areas where he was assigned spoke two different languages, Hiligaynon and Cebuano, plus Tagalog. It was hard, but he was able to learn all of them.  Fortunately, he already spoke Tagalog.  The other two languages proved to be helpful to him after his mission.  He later became an Hiligaynon interpreter for General Conference for three years.  It was a good experience.  His mission was a turning point and a blessing in his life.  His mission president was Marlo Lopez, who is now the Yigo Guam Temple president!  He learned a lot from President Lopez who was inspirational and visionary.  He knew that he was truly called of God to be the president of that mission. Dylan was assigned to be one of the assistants to the president, so he worked closely with President Lopez.

Dylan also received another blessing on his mission.  He met Beverlyn "Bev" Canimo, who was a missionary in his same mission.  He thought that he was completely out of her league as far as dating her after his mission. While he served his mission, he kept his focus on the work.  In his mission, all the missionaries had the opportunity to attend the Manila Philippine temple before they returned home.  He asked President Lopez if he could skip going to the temple to visit some family members who lived in the Philippines before he returned to the states.  He was given permission to do so.  Upon returning home, he added Beverlyn to his Facebook friends.  She messaged him first and wondered why he did not go to the temple with the rest of the missionaries.  (At the time, she was working for the facility management department of the Church in the Philippines.  She was the one supervising all the missionaries coming from their mission to attend the temple.)  She texted: “I did not see you at the temple.”  That message turned into many conversations which led to many dates.  One year later, they were married and sealed in the Salt Lake City Utah Temple.  Another year later, they were blessed with their first child, a little girl, Faith Madelaine.

Dylan joined the Navy Reserves in Washington.  While he was in training, his wife and daughter returned to the Philippines for five months.  While there, Bev was able to teach her mother the gospel and see her get baptized. It was such a blessing for her to be there. When Dylan returned from Navy training, he and his wife welcomed their second daughter, Nathalie Hope into their family.

Dylan applied and was accepted to BYU (Brigham Young University) in Provo, Utah while he was still in Navy training.  They lived in Utah for six years.  He was busy attending school, working full-time in the banking industry and with his military assignments. He tried hard to make time for his family too. He finally finished his bachelor’s degree in economics in 2023.  After graduation, a job opportunity opened, and they moved to San Diego California.  At that time, his commitment was finished in the Navy, but he was thinking about re-signing to active duty instead of the reserves.  His goal was to become an officer in the Navy one day.  That wouldn’t be able to happen until October 2023. In September 2023, the temple recorder position opened for the Yigo Guam Temple.  He and his wife were not sure what to do so they prayed about it.  He applied for the recorder position.  In October, there was a military government shutdown in the states. He would only be able to sign up for three months instead of a year.  He received word that he had been hired as the temple recorder in November and finished his time in the Navy in December!  It turned out to be perfect timing for him and his family.

Dylan and Bev were able to attend the Yigo Guam Temple dedication in 2022.  That was the first temple dedication they had ever attended. While in Guam for the dedication, he and his wife took the opportunity to walk along the beach in Tumon Bay.  As they were walking, they met Elder McCune and his wife on the beach.  Elder McCune was his sister’s mission president in Provo, Utah!  Elder McCune asked Dylan about his plans for the future.  As they visited, Elder McCune told him that he was in the finance industry and a senior vice president at one point in his career in California. Dylan explained that he was planning on working in the finance industry as well.  At that time, he was finishing his bachelor's degree at BYU. Elder McCune admonished Dylan that no matter what he decided to do, he ought to consider returning to Marianas to help the saints there. 

After his graduation from BYU, he and his wife developed a five-year plan.  That well-designed plan only lasted eight months before he got the recorder job.  He said: “I feel pretty humble to have landed this job.  I know that God has a plan for each and every one of us.  I know that the calling is great, but I’m more convinced that being in Guam is the best place for me and my wife to raise our family.”  Before moving here, President Fredivic Nicerio, the Barrigada Stake President, contacted him and counseled him to find a home in the Dededo Ward boundaries.  Bev and the girls were with her family in the Philippines while he searched for a place to live.  All he could find was a one-bedroom apartment. They prayed to find a bigger place.  They decided that his family would stay in the Philippines until June while he continued to look for a place in Guam. One night as he and his wife were up late talking on the phone, he was looking online again for a bigger apartment.  Their prayers were answered as he was able to find a three-bedroom apartment that had just opened.  He said: “I feel like the Lord was telling me that I needed my family to be here with me, sooner than later.” 

Brother Sablan feels humbled to be the temple recorder.  He is only thirty years old. Most temple recorders are a lot older, some of them are even retired.  It’s not the job that he aspired to.  He saw himself as an investment banker in the corporate banking industry.  When he got the job, it felt right.  He knew that this was the direction the Lord wanted him to go.  He said: “I know that if I rely on our Father in Heaven and our Savior Jesus Christ, I will be successful in this job.”  He's hoping that the work he does in this small temple will be a model for the other small temples around the world.  He presently working on his Master's in Business Administration degree online from University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill.  

This temple is unique because of the many different Micronesian languages that are spoken. He feels fortunate to work with faithful ordinance workers.  The job feels overwhelming to him at times because he is so young.  He is learning to rely on the expertise of others, as well as the Lord.  He learned a valuable lesson one day in the temple.  As he was walking into one of the rooms in the temple, he saw a woman sitting there crying.  It was a reminder to him that even though he is in the temple every day, patrons come to receive answers to their prayers and to feel the Spirit of the Lord.  “I’ve learned,” he said, “that the temple is a refuge for all of those who come to the temple, even on the other side of the veil. I’ve come to know how truly important the work in the temple is.”  Brother Sablan feels like one of the most challenging things for him so far is learning the basics.  As a manager, he really wants to know how to do things right, stating: “How can I help others if I don’t know how to do it myself?  I feel like I can do the administrative part of it, but making sure the ordinances are done correctly is very humbling. I’ve served as a patron in the temple for quite a while, but I’ve never been an ordinance worker.  I have learned that I need humility to be corrected and having confidence not in myself, but in God’s power.  I am still learning and I’m grateful for people’s feedback.  Having my former mission president as the temple president is a blessing.” He has learned from President Lopez to be creative, not to be afraid of new ideas, and to embrace change.  “It’s like working alongside my dad in the temple!” he said. 

The Lord has also been directing and guiding his wife while she is in the Philippines.  Her family lives on the border of two missions.  Because of this, there are no missionaries in that area.  Concerned, she visited with the bishop in their family home ward and discussed the problem with this “no man’s land.” The bishop took the issue to the stake president and from there it went to the leadership of both missions.  They were able to assign that area to a specific mission.  Now there are missionaries coming into the area to teach the gospel.  Recently, thirty ward members visited that area and now have become ministers to the people there.  Bev is so happy to see the missionaries in this area.  The missionaries have been able to teach some of her nieces and nephews.  Most of her siblings are members of the Church, but there are some that are not members yet. The Lord is truly in the details.

Dylan and Bev both have strong testimonies of the gospel and will be real assets to the Church in Micronesia.  Dylan shared his testimony by saying: “No matter who you are or where you are at, or how old you are, God always has a better plan for you. I’m learning that if you really have the intention to build God’s Kingdom first, then all other things will be added unto you.  God will use you in ways that you can’t even imagine were possible.  With me, I never thought I would be in Guam right now!  I had a strong desire to serve Him.  When Elder McCune counseled me to go back to the islands and really serve, I took that to heart.  I think with that desire, God really worked out the details for me.  I am just blown away at all that has happened since that conversation with Elder McCune!  God has really prepared us to be here right now.  My father is Chamorro, and my mother is Filipino.  It was difficult for my father to become a member of this Church.  I’m so grateful, that in spite of that difficulty, he still joined the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  His decision to join the Church changed the course of my own life.  I testify strongly that no matter who you are, or where you’re at, God truly does have a better plan for you!”  

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