Children learn about temple, while adding to beauty of grounds

"Where is our flower?" asked three Primary children as they walked up to the entrance of the San Diego temple prior to attending a dedicatory session.

Their flower was the one they had nurtured in Primary since January.Primary children in 180 wards and branches in the San Diego temple district in Southern California were given the plants to care for and water - and in the process, they became personally involved in adding to the beauty of the temple grounds, as well as learning about the temple. During Primary sharing time, teachers would talk about the temple and bring out their plant, and let the children water it. The children were told the plants were for the temple dedication, and their testimonies were growing as the plants were growing.

During the week of dedication of the temple, the potted flowering plants were placed near the temple's entrance, providing a colorful touch for all who attended the dedicatory sessions to enjoy. After the dedication, the flowers were transplanted around the flagpole on the temple grounds.

Primary children in the temple district in northern Mexico could not participate in the flower project because they could not bring flowers into the United States. So they embarked on a different project to help them become involved in the dedication activities.

They made a handcrafted rug for the First Presidency to stand on during the cornerstone ceremony prior to the first dedicatory session.

Each of the five Mexican stakes and one mission district in the temple district had a poster contest, and the best design from each was chosen for the stake's section of the rug. Designs included representations of the temple, the Angel Moroni, baby Jesus and a baptismal font, etc. Each child then pulled a stitch through their stake's creation so they could feel the rug was partly theirs. Then the Relief Society in Mexicali sewed the six sections together.

A microfiche sheet of the names of all the Primary children in the temple district - 10,688 names - were placed in the cornerstone of the temple.

Many other items of significance were also placed in the cornerstone. Items included newspaper articles and pictures of the groundbreaking, construction and open house of the temple, as well as histories of the stakes in the temple district.

Also included were the names of all members who sang in the 25 choirs during the dedication; a microfiche sheet of the compassionate service given by the Relief Societies in the temple district for 1992; and a 1897 photograph of the 50-year reunion of the Mormon Battalion. The Mormon Battalion arrived in San Diego in January 1847 and made significant contributions to the building of the fledgling city.

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