The morning of the Accra Ghana temple dedication, January 11, 2004, the Latter-day Saints started arriving early, pulling up in tro tros and spilling out of their doors like water too long held back.
Tro tros in Ghana are any form of transporation that is neither a taxi, nor a bus, and they come in assorted styles and types. Their virtue is that they are inexpensive, and even more so when they carry twenty-three people, as one lumbering vehicle did that morning.
The parking lot on the temple square is small, holding only a few cars, but this is no problem, for a car is a luxury in Ghana and to ensure that awkward travel doesn’t make them late for one moment of this long-awaited day, they have come early.
The cramped quarters of a tro tro have not crushed them. Many of the women emerge in the verdant colors of African dress, looking fresh, happy, their eyes cast up toward a granite temple. In the streets they have left behind hawkers, who have already balanced loads of oranges, sugarcane, or cookies on their heads and begun their hopeless walk up and down looking for business.
Behind them is a city that has no sewage treatment plant and lives, for some, of unemployment and illiteracy. Behind them is a history of brutalization from slave trade and government coups. But it is what lies before them that matters—for they are about to learn how truly they are sons and daughters of the King.
“Today is the happiest day of my life and I am going to write it down in my journal so that I never forget,” said Margaret Frimpong. Next to her, her friend Selina Fendjour Duah, who lost her husband 11 years ago knows something about temple sealings and the importance of family. Not only are all six of her own brothers and sisters Church members, but four of her children have served full-time missions. “All of my family are here today,” she smiles.