A native of this northern Utah Mormon pioneer-settled city, President Packer dedicated the 139th temple in the Church and the 14th in Utah after having broken ground on the Brigham City Utah Temple 31 July 2010.
Three dedicatory sessions were held Sunday, 23 September to give members of the Church an opportunity to participate in the special meeting which was broadcast in Utah and in parts of Idaho.
Joining President Packer for the traditional cornerstone ceremony prior to the dedication were his wife, Donna Packer; Elder L. Tom Perry and Elder Russell M. Nelson of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles; Elder L. Whitney Clayton of the Presidency of the Seventy; and Elder William R. Walker and Elder Allan F. Packer of the Seventy. Each of the Church leaders’ wives participated in placing mortar around the temple cornerstone. Members of the Brigham City Temple presidency also attended.
Two choirs comprised of Latter-day Saints from within the temple district of northern Utah and southeastern Idaho sang Church hymns for the dedication and cornerstone ceremony.
Tremonton Latter-day Saint, Barbara Ashby, and her husband Carl, celebrated 57 years of marriage this weekend. She said, “I will always remember the day the Brigham City Temple was dedicated … the day of our anniversary.”
“I can go and find comfort and peace in a world where there is not a whole lot of comfort and peace,” said Church member Marianne Arnold. “It means that I can be together with my family forever.”
Brigham City native Lisa Moncur said, “The temple is a place of peace, of worship. It's my favorite place on earth.”
A day before the dedication a cultural celebration of singing and dancing focused on the history of Brigham City and its early settlers was held. Elder Perry told the gathered crowd, "This is a wonderful event to prepare us for a gospel culture that will bring us into the holy temple tomorrow to remember whose life it is that we honor and serve as we dedicate a new temple in this beautiful place."
Nearly 404,500 visitors toured the building during the one-month public open house from 18 August to 15 September. The largest number of visitors to tour the temple was 25,000 on Labor Day.
While tens of thousands of Church meetinghouses are open to all people who wish to attend religious services there, temples, like the Brigham City Utah Temple, are open only to faithful Latter-day Saints after they are formally dedicated. (See a Mormon Newsroom article explaining the difference between the Church’s chapels and temples.)
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.