President Thomas S. Monson of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints joined other Mormon and community leaders Saturday to break ground for the Church’s Hartford Connecticut Temple. This temple — Connecticut’s first — will be located on the corner of Farmington Avenue and Melrose Drive in Farmington.
"Today is a special and sacred day as we bring to fruition the hopes and dreams of the Church members here and break ground for the Hartford Connecticut Temple," President Monson told the gathered crowd of 500. "Each [temple] stands as a beacon to the world, an expression of our testimony that God our Eternal Father lives, that He desires to bless us and indeed bless His sons and daughters of all generations."
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President Monson was joined by Elder William R. Walker of the First Quorum of the Seventy. Elder Walker spoke about why Mormons attend temples.
"For a Latter-day Saint, a temple is the most sacred place on earth,” Elder Walker said. “For us to commune with heaven and to reconfirm our commitment to God and our covenants that we've made to live the commandments, it's an important part of our faith and our worship that on occasion we go to the temple."
The Hartford Connecticut Temple will primarily serve Mormons in Connecticut, Rhode Island, southwestern Massachusetts, and eastern New York. Latter-day Saints in these areas are excited to have a temple closer to home.
"We actually moved to this area about a year ago and the temple we attended was about four hours away one way,” said Wilbraham, Mass., resident Jaemi Frost. “Having one about 45 minutes away is very exciting for us."
Groundbreaking proceedings were broadcast by satellite to Latter-day Saint chapels in the area, where thousands more participated.
Mormon temples differ from the Church’s chapels, where members meet for weekly Sunday worship services. Temples are considered houses of the Lord and are used by faithful Mormons for marriages, baptisms for deceased ancestors and ordinances intended to provide eternal family relationships. These temples are open throughout the week and closed Sundays. Worldwide, there are currently 171 temples either in operation, under construction or announced.