‘Conviction overcomes affliction’

"First Vision" stained glass art

Holdman’s “First Vision” stained glass art in the Palmyra Temple

We have a tradition in our Laie 4th Ward High Priests group where we invite visitors to share something about themselves beyond the usual “my name is, and I’m from” moment that we do in our adult Sunday School class . . . and on August 8, 2010, we were privileged to learn a little more about Tom Holdman from Lehi, Utah: His remarks were poignant — even more so because he has a lifelong speech impediment. Indeed, it was very touching to see him struggle sometimes just to get his thoughts into words.

Brother Holdman told us he’s in our small community doing the stained glass work on the Laie Hawaii Temple, which has been under major renovation for the past 20 months and is scheduled to be rededicated on November 21, 2010.

He explained that from childhood his severe stutter led him to express himself through art: “I believe that art is its own language,” he has said, adding he was an art major in college, and after serving a Latter-day Saint mission he prayed for inspiration about what he might do with his life. He said he received a two-word answer:

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Laie Hawaii Temple…undergoing renovations

The Laie Hawaii Temple on March 6, 2009,
stripped of its gleaming white paint while construction
workers totally overhaul the 90-year-old edifice.

[Story and photo by Mike Foley, originally published in Kaleo, April 2009]

While we’re happy that the Laie Hawaii Temple is undergoing renovations (for approximately the next 16 months) that will enhance and improve the facility, it still seems so strange to see the beautiful building stripped of its gleaming white paint. It’s also strange to not see it at night, because the lights have been turned off for now…which doesn’t mean “temple work” has stopped. For example:

Those of us who normally use the Laie Temple have been encouraged  to go to the Latter-day Saint Temple in Kailua-Kona on the Big Island as individual circumstances allow. I’ve heard a number of people and even wards (parishes or congregations) have already done so, which illustrates several points: [Read more…]