By Jon Johnson Assistant Editor Easton Arizona Courier Published on Wednesday, March 17, 2010 10:29 AM MST
Construction on The Gila Valley Arizona Temple is nearly complete and its 20-day open house begins April 23.
The open house gives members of the church and the general public a chance to see the temple before it is dedicated.
Tours will be held Monday through Saturday, April 23 through May 15.
The tours will begin every 15 minutes on Mondays from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and Tuesdays through Saturdays from 8 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. There will be no open house activities on Sundays.
The tours start at the adjacent meeting house with an introductory video followed by a guided tour of the temple. The tour concludes with a light refreshment at the meetinghouse.
With an anticipated 7,000 or more visitors per day during its open house, those who wish to avoid large crowds and long waits are encouraged to secure complimentary tickets for a date and time of their choice.
The tickets may be reserved by visiting the church's Web site www.lds.org/reservations beginning April 7. The open house tours are free and open to the general public.
LDS Church President Thomas S. Monson explained temples are holy to church members in part because they believe the plan of God is taught within its walls.
"It is here that eternal covenants are made. . ." he stated. "It is the house of God. All that occurs within the walls of the temple is uplifting and ennobling. The temple is a place of tranquility. It is a place of kindness and love and light."
Church members believe temples are a part of the full restoration of the gospel of Jesus Christ.
"If you understand why we build temples, you must understand first that we believe in revelation and in the restoration of the Gospel," president of the church's Quorum of the Twelve Apostles Boyd K. Packer stated. "And 'to restore' means to bring back something that was lost – not a new invention, but a restoration of that which was known anciently."
A cultural celebration of music and dance commemorating the culture and history of the region will be held at Eastern Arizona College's John T. Mickelson Field on May 22. The temple will be formally dedicated by LDS Church President Thomas S. Monson in three sessions May 23.
Plans for The Gila Valley Arizona Temple were announced April 26, 2008, and groundbreaking was held Feb. 14, 2009. It will be the church's 132nd operating temple and the third temple in Arizona.
The temple is 18,561 square feet and features steel and concrete, architectural precast stone and cherry and natural maple woods. It is approximately the same size as the Snowflake Arizona Temple and contains two ordinance rooms and two sealing rooms.
The temple will serve about 32,000 members in its temple district covering members from stakes in Pima, Thatcher, Safford, St. David, Sierra Vista, Duncan and Silver City, N.M. There are two more LDS temples – one in Gilbert and one in Phoenix – announced for construction in Arizona.
“Salvation and eternal life would not be possible if it were not for the Atonement, brought about by our Savior, to whom we owe everything. But in order for these supreme blessings to be effective in our lives, we should first do our part, ‘for we know that it is by grace that we are saved, after all we can do.’ Let us with faith, enthusiasm, dedication, responsibility, and love do all that is within our reach, and we will be doing all that is possible to achieve the impossible—that is, to achieve what for the human mind is impossible but with the divine intervention of our loving Father and the infinite sacrifice brought about by our Savior becomes the greatest gift, the most glorious of realities, to live forever with God and with our families.”
WASHINGTON — For the second time in less than a year, LDS leaders have presented a member of the first family with a family history.
First lady Michelle Obama received five volumes on her genealogy Wednesday morning from Elder Dallin H. Oaks of the Quorum of the Twelve and Sister Julie B. Beck, general president of the Relief Society of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., a Latter Day Saint, also participated in the presentation.
In July, President Thomas S. Monson joined Elder Oaks and Reid in presenting the U.S. president with his family history. "Last year, the church compiled (five) volumes for President Barack Obama," Reid said. "This year, I thank Elder Oaks for sharing our faith's tradition of genealogical research with the first lady and her family.
Relief Society Commemoration Video March 17 marks the anniversary of the organization of the Relief Society in 1842. Watch the video Relief Society—An Enduring Legacy to commemorate this worldwide sisterhood. You can also download this video.
March 17, 2010 EL PASO, Texas -- The brutal murders of a Mormon and his pregnant wife have left local LDS Church members in a state of sadness, shock, disappointment and concern.
Arthur H. Redelfs, 34, and his wife, Lesley A. Enriquez, 35, both U.S. citizens, were shot to death in their car near the Santa Fe International bridge linking Ciudad Juarez with El Paso, Texas, following a birthday party Saturday afternoon. Enriquez was four months pregnant.
Fortunately, the couple's one-year-old baby was found unharmed in the back seat...
Orrin Hatch's nine point victory over three-term Democratic Sen. Frank Moss in 1976 was described at the time as "the Cinderella campaign of the season." No one would have guessed at the time that Hatch, who made Moss' 18 years in the senate a major campaign issue, would go on to become Utah's longest serving senator, having been in office for 33 years and counting.
Although born and raised in Pittsburgh, Pa., Hatch's campaign made the most of his Utah roots -- his great- grandfather, Jeremiah Hatch, founded Vernal. After he received his law degree from the University of Pittsburgh, he served as a Mormon bishop and practiced law in Pennsylvania and Utah for 14 years. Then, Hatch told Deseret News staff writer JoAnn Jacobsen-Wells, his friends told him to stop complaining about Moss' performance and "to get in and do something about it."