The Church’s 142nd temple and Arizona’s fourth was dedicated on Sunday, 2 March 2014. Thomas S. Monson, president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, presided over the dedicatory services and gave the prayer in the second session. His first counselor, President Henry B. Eyring in the First Presidency, offered the temple dedicatory prayer in two of the sessions.
Joining President Monson were President Henry B. Eyring, first counselor in the First Presidency; Elder Tad R. Callister of the Presidency of the Seventy; Elders William R. Walker and Kent Richards of the Seventy; Ann Dibb, President Monson's daughter, and David E. and Nancy R. LeSueur, Gilbert Arizona Temple president and matron.
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The Gilbert Arizona Temple, located east of Phoenix, was dedicated in three sessions, and broadcast to Church meetinghouses throughout the state. Choirs composed of Latter-day Saints from within the temple district (district is a geographical area around the temple) provided the inspirational music for the cornerstone ceremony and dedication.
During the traditional cornerstone ceremony where the final block is cemented in place, President Monson said to those gathered, “There is sunshine in my soul today,” referring to the rainstorm during the cultural celebration Saturday evening.
To the children he remarked, “You're going to help build the temple. All the children take note; this is a very special day in their lives and one day they can come to the temple to be married.”
President Monson waved to the children but specifically noticed Kendall Crum, a 16-year-old disabled girl, waving at him. Kendall's mom later said that she has always loved President Monson and talking to him was an answer to prayer. He asked her what her favorite song was. Her mom responded, “Called to Serve,” to which Kendall signed, “I love you.”
The temple dedication was preceded by a cultural celebration Saturday evening at Discovery Park in Gilbert, Arizona. “What a wonderful sight,” said President Henry B. Eyring. He told the performers and audience, “You will never forget this night. Years from now you’ll bring your children to this spot. You will tell them how you felt as you participated in this great cultural celebration before the dedication of the beautiful temple of God.”
Approximately 12,000 youth of the Church from Gilbert, Chandler and surrounding areas celebrated Arizona and the history of the Church through narration, song and dance. The theme of the performance was “Live True” and focused on heroes throughout the ages who lived true to their faith.
The 85,000-square-foot temple features ivory-colored exterior, high-quality precast concrete and stone accentuated with fine rustications and beautifully crafted art glass windows. The building’s dimensions are 193 feet by 165 feet, and it is crowned with the statue of the angel Moroni, which is on the top of the tallest spire at 195 feet. Moroni is significant to Latter-day Saints for his role in the restoration of the gospel of Jesus Christ.
The Gilbert Arizona Temple will serve approximately 100,000 members of the Church in Gilbert and the surrounding areas. Other Arizona temples in operation include Mesa, Snowflake and The Gila Valley Temple. The Phoenix Temple is under construction, and the Tucson Temple is currently in the planning and approval phase.
Prior to the temple dedication, more than 400,000 people attended the three-week open house in January and February to view each room and learn the purpose of temples. Special open house guests included Arizona Governor Jan Brewer, United States senators John McCain and Jeff Flake and former U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, as well as many clergy and community leaders.
Latter-day Saint temples differ from the meetinghouses or chapels where members meet for Sunday worship services. Temples are considered “houses of the Lord” where Christ’s teachings are reaffirmed through baptism and other ordinances that unite families for eternity. In the temple, Church members learn more about the purpose of life and make covenants to follow Jesus Christ and serve their fellow man.
Downloadable, broadcast-quality Gilbert Temple Cornerstone Ceremony B-Roll for news media use:
Downloadable, broadcast-quality Gilbert Temple Cornerstone Ceremony SOTs for news media use:
Downloadable, broadcast-quality Gilbert Temple Exteriors with movement for news media use:
Downloadable, broadcast-quality Cultural Celebration highlights B-Roll/SOTs for news media use: