President Dieter F. Uchtdorf, second counselor in the First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, dedicated the Tucson Arizona Temple on Sunday, August 13, 2017, in three sessions, making it the sixth Mormon temple in the state of Arizona and the 157th worldwide. There are more than 423,000 Latter-day Saints in the state.
Completion of the temple occurs with the traditional cornerstone ceremony and dedicatory prayer. President Uchtdorf placed mortar around the cornerstone and was joined by others, at his invitation, to do the same.
“The temple is such a wonderful sign of light and of purpose, which is the purpose, which is heavenly, even the gospel of Jesus Christ,” said President Uchtdorf. “The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the place to find harmony between heaven and earth.”
Elder Gary E. Stevenson of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles; Elder Lynn G. Robbins of the Presidency of the Seventy; Elder Larry Y. Wilson, executive director of the Temple Department; and Elders Benjamin De Hoyos and Kevin R. Duncan of the Seventy also participated in the dedication.
The announcement to build the Tucson Arizona Temple was made by President Thomas S. Monson at the October 2012 general conference.
During the three-week open house in June, more than 112,000 people toured the temple and viewed a video about temples and their sacred significance to members of the Church. Members of local government and clergies toured the temple as well.
On Saturday evening, thousands attended a cultural celebration as some 2,100 young Latter-day Saints presented the history of the Church in Arizona through song and dance at the Kino Veterans Memorial Stadium. The theme, “The Time Is Now,” encourages the youth to make a positive difference in their family. Each youth submitted an “I Will” statement, an individual commitment of how they will improve their lives because of the new temple.
“Take this as a new beginning,” President Uchtdorf encouraged the youth at the cultural celebration. “Start your own personal legacy in the church of Jesus Christ and in the gospel of Jesus Christ. Trust Him, because He loves you. He will help you wherever you go. He is your friend. He will give you direction and help whenever you need it.”
The Tucson Arizona Temple is set in southern Arizona’s Sonoran Desert. The temple is influenced by the Art Deco style and reflects the desert landscape of the American Southwest. Drawing inspiration from its surroundings, the Tucson Temple is landscaped with red cactus flowers, ocotillo plants and prickly pear cacti. The influence of this foliage can also be found throughout the temple décor. A blue dome, constructed of imported tile from Germany and topped with an angel Moroni, completes the sacred and beautiful building.
Aleah is a graduate of Southern Virginia University, where she studied English, Creative Writing, and Dance. She now works full time as a marketing and product manager, writer, and editor. Aleah served a mission in California and loves baking, Lang Leav poetry, Gaynor Minden pointe shoes, and Bollywood movies.