President Henry B. Eyring, second counselor in the First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, rededicated the Jordan River Utah Temple May 20, 2018.
In an interview prior to the dedication, President Eyring said that during the dedication Sunday he will be feeling “echoes of the pioneers” who settled that part of the Salt Lake Valley “because of the faith they had.” This is a “pioneering place.”
President Eyring also referenced the 1981 dedicatory prayer by then President Spencer W. Kimball, his uncle, and said it is “appropriate to our time.” In the prayer, President Kimball talked about governments and the need to have righteous leadership and unity.
Elder Quentin L. Cook of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles also participated in the rededication, along with Elders Timothy J. Dyches and Mervyn B. Arnold of the Seventy; Sister Joy D. Jones, general president of the Primary; and Bishop Dean M. Davies, first counselor in the Presiding Bishopric.
The temple was rededicated in three sessions for Latter-day Saints living in the Jordan River Temple area, as well as in the Draper Utah and Oquirrh Mountain Utah Temple districts. The regular schedule of Sunday meetings was cancelled for those members of the Church.
The day before the temple was rededicated, 17,000 young men and women danced and sang in a cultural celebration in the Conference Center on Temple Square Saturday, May 19. The theme of the event was “Ready,” from a Mormon scripture in the Doctrine and Covenants.
President Eyring told the youth in brief remarks before the performance: “My prayer is that this experience will lead to a lifetime of choices to make the temple a guiding star on your journey home to live forever in loving families with Heavenly Father and His Beloved Son. I am grateful to be on the journey with you. Thank you for your companionship today, and may this celebration be another step along our way.”
Of the 17,000 youth, Saturday’s celebration included a cast of more than 2,000 youth who participated as narrators, soloists, dancers and members of the celebration choir, band and orchestra. The remaining 15,000 teens joined the Conference Center audience and performed in various elements of the production. The performers rehearsed for two months, providing them with an experience meant to build spiritual strength and unity for their temple experience now and in the future.
The cultural celebration was broadcast to meetinghouses in the temple districts. Featured was video footage from the activities held during the previous eight weeks that helped the youth personally prepare themselves to be ready for the rededication of the temple.
One of the activities the youth participated in while preparing for the rededication occurred Saturday, May 12. Thousands of youth and their leaders walked, on a very rainy day, from their homes throughout the Salt Lake Valley to the temple, a journey for some of over eight miles.
At the time of its dedication in 1981, the Jordan River Utah Temple was the 20th operating temple of the Church worldwide and the seventh to be built in Utah. It serves Church members from 66 stakes in the Salt Lake Valley. Today, there are 159 temples around the world, of which 10 are being renovated. There are also 10 temples under construction and 20 have been announced, for a total of 189 temples.