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Architect's rendering of the Payson Utah Temple

Some would say the heavens wept. Others, that the earth was washed clean for the event. Whatever your take, it was raining, and it was chilly. Over 8,000 faithful Latter-day Saints, my wife and myself among them, gathered on a hill in Southwest Payson to hear an apostle of the Lord formally dedicate the land for the construction of the Payson Utah temple of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

This was probably our only opportunity to attend the groundbreaking of a temple, and we were fortunate to score a pair of tickets to the event. There are over 85,000 people in our temple district, and tickets were scarce.

My wife had driven to Santaquin early this morning to pick up our Bountiful Basket, and when she returned we headed off to the temple site. It was only 3/4 miles away, and the parking area assigned to our stake was farther away than our home, so we drove as far as we could and walked the rest of the way. I realized later that there were buses shuttling people to and from the parking lots, but we found a good seat and settled in. Smart ToniAnne had suggested that we bring cushions and something to wipe the seats off - good thing, too, because everything was drenched. There were young men and women assigned to keep the seats dry, and they were bravely trying, but there was too much water for them to do much good. We got our seats dried off and settled in, grateful for a warm pad under our back 40's. We had a large umbrella over us, and about 15 minutes into our wait, I realized I could put a smaller one over our knees, to keep them dry from the drip of the umbrellas in front of us, and that helped us stay warmer. Wish I had thought of it before our legs got wet in the first place. In what I considered a huge blessing, the rain lifted just as the ceremony began, so people were able to put their umbrellas down and we could actually see what was going on.

Sea of Umbrellas

Various dignitaries spoke, a choir who had braved the wet weather sang "Redeemer of Israel," and then Elder Dallin H. Oaks of the Quorum of the Twelve gave some remarks, focusing largely on how special the temple here was to him as he had spent a good part of his youth in the Payson area. This was followed by the official dedicatory prayer. After the ceremony was over, the actual groundbreaking took place, with Church leaders, local political figures and youth from the area being invited to turn ceremonial shovels of dirt. When all was done, the general audience was invited to come up and turn some earth as well.

Pleased to be there!

The Crowd Behind Us

The Choir Sings

Elder Oaks Speaks

Turning the Earth

Flowers on the Podium

As the morning ended, we wended our way home with warm hearts, and then warmed up our chilled bodies with hot stew & chili, a warm shower, and a nap. If I didn't accomplish anything else this day, i'd call it a huge success.

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Oct. 9th, 2011 12:38 am (UTC)
That's an impressive building, but it seems a bit ostentatious for a place of worship. I think I prefer the little LDS temple here in Dubbo.
Oct. 9th, 2011 01:33 am (UTC)
Temples are not "places of worship" as such, although they are sacred. They are closed on Sundays, and in them is performed essential ordinances for the faithful such as eternal marriage and others, as well as special instruction regarding the purpose of life and the plan of salvation. Latter-day Saints world-wide attend Sunday services in chapels such as the one you refer to in Dubbo.

Why we build temples.

The first thing I want to see when I come back to Dubbo is that pie shop...

Oct. 9th, 2011 03:31 pm (UTC)
Looks like a government building to me.


The Old Wolf

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