Construction begins on Utah’s 25th temple
Emily Ashcraft, KSL.com
LINDON, Utah (KSL.com) — The cool air was filled with excitement as members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in a newly announced temple district walked from the church meetinghouse, where the meeting and dedicatory prayer were held, to the future grounds of the Lindon Utah Temple.
More people, not able to attend in person, watched from their backyards and the Murdock Canal Trail, which runs along the temple grounds. And many others watched Saturday’s ceremonial groundbreaking remotely, using a link that was displayed on signs outside the church building.
Kelly Washburn, a 17-year-old member of the Lindon Stake, said she and other young men and women are excited to have a temple so close they can walk to it.
She said the temple is being built on a field that is directly behind Oak Canyon Jr. High. She will be able to see the progress in its construction during her commute to the high school every day.
“Whenever I need peace or answers to questions, or when I just need to hear him, I go to my appointment at the temple and always find myself leaving feeling enlightened and calm,” Washburn said.
Currently, Utah has just as many temples in construction, reconstruction or announced as are currently operating, with 14 of each. In all, there are 28 temples in the state.
The Lindon Temple will join seven other new temples being built in Utah, including in Saratoga Springs, Layton, Orem, Taylorsville, Syracuse, St. George (Red Cliffs Temple) and in Tooele (Deseret Peak Temple). So far there are no dates for an open house or dedication for any of these temples, but the Saratoga Springs Temple is the closest to being completed.
Three of the faith’s first four temples built in Utah are currently undergoing significant renovations, including the St. George Temple, the Salt Lake Temple and the Manti Temple.
The Salt Lake Temple is in its third year of reconstruction, and much of Temple Square is being renovated along with it. An February update shows workers preparing to pour concrete under the three-story addition on the north side of the temple and cranes were being used to remove blocks from the temple for cleaning and to put them back in place.
The groundbreaking for the temple in Smithfield is set for June, and the groundbreaking for the Ephraim temple is not scheduled but is expected to happen this year. Heber Valley has also been announced, but has not yet begun construction.
Elder Kevin W. Pearson, Utah Area President for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints who presided at the groundbreaking, said that the large number of temples being built in Utah and around the world is evidence of the faith of people, God’s love for them and God’s desire for everyone to have blessings that come from attending a temple.
He said that every new temple needs hundreds of thousands of names of ancestors so that members have service to do in the temple. Inside temples, members of the church perform important ordinances for people who have died, including their personal ancestors. Elder Pearson encouraged members of the church in the area to start gathering names now.
“Temples are nourished with names, names of individual persons,” Elder Pearson said. “As we break ground today for the Lindon, Utah temple, we need a groundbreaking effort to prepare for the dedication of this temple by searching out and preparing our family names to submit to and nourish this new temple as its constructed,” Elder Pearson said.
He said people at the groundbreaking were delighted to be there, and that it is remarkable the deep emotions the construction of a temple draws from people living nearby.
“We hope it will be a symbol of the faith of the people who live here … whenever they look at the temple, the lights of the temple at night, they’ll think of the sacred covenants they’ve made,” Elder Pearson said.
Jeff Acerson said the temple is a wonderful addition to the city, which has a little over 13,000 residents. Acerson was the mayor of Lindon for multiple terms ending in December.
“It brings the concept of service, or reinforces the concept of service within a community, because that’s what you’re doing when you attend the temple. … And it just builds this groundswell within the community to see this beautiful building that is an edifice of worship and turns us to deity,” Acerson said.
Eduardo Silva, a member of the Lindon Central Stake, spoke about how he moved to Utah from Brazil, where he traveled 14 hours to get to the Sao Paulo Temple as a young man. He said the experience sparked a desire for him to live closer to a temple, and when he moved here, he was astonished at the number of temples and chapels.
“Our journey as immigrants has not been easy, and many times I went to the temple to get guidance and strength to move forward despite my shortcomings and challenges,” Silva said.
He recalled a specific instance at the Provo Temple where he heard a voice telling him not to give up and left the temple feeling more hope. Silva said he feels so blessed to have the Lindon temple begin construction, and that Saturday was an important day for him. He said he and his family expect to attend as often as they can when the temple is completed.
“It will be a blessing to see my children and grandchildren come,” he said.
About 50,000 members living in 16 stakes from Lindon, Pleasant Grove and north Orem will be assigned to the Lindon Temple.
Edward Platt, who serves as a patriarch in the Lindon Central Stake, said that the city of Lindon gets its name from the linden tree where mail was dropped off when the city was merely a line along the highway between Pleasant Grove and Orem. When the city was incorporated, it was named after the tree, with a typo changing it from Linden to Lindon.
Platt said that this tree, which is important to the history of Lindon, will be shown in the temple’s stained glass windows. He talked about the people who first settled in Utah and how eager they were to build a temple and sacrificed for it to be built.
“Now we will be privileged to watch as another sacred mountain of the Lord’s house will be built here in the shadow of Mt. Timpanogos in the top of the mountains,” Platt said. “This ground has been made holy by generations of faithful Latter-day Saints who proceeded us,” Platt said.