RENO, Nev. — Just as the early pioneers received, in the Nauvoo Temple, strength for their journey west, so can members today receive, in the temple, the strength they need to fulfill their journey ahead, said Elder Rex D. Pinegar.
Speaking at the groundbreaking services for the Reno Nevada Temple on Pioneer Day, July 24, Elder Pinegar of the Seventy and president of the North America Southwest Area noted that the purposes of the Lord are fulfilled in His temples.
In the temple, the early pioneers became firm in their knowledge that they were following the Lord, explained Elder Pinegar. "They knew they would be led by Him and would be able to face whatever challenges came to them — even if it meant the giving of their lives."
Elder Pinegar presided at the groundbreaking services, held on the 152nd anniversary of the pioneers' arrival into the Salt Lake Valley. He was accompanied by his wife, Bonnie. Local Church and community leaders also attended the service, held in a meetinghouse not far from the temple site. The meeting, as well as the ceremonial breaking of the ground for the temple, was videotaped so members of the eight stakes in the temple district who could not attend the event in person could view the ceremony at a later time.
During his remarks, Elder Pinegar asked those in attendance to return to their branches and wards and share their feelings, their testimonies of truth and their testimonies of the temple.
"The temple is a representation of our commitment — our commitment to our Heavenly Father and His Son," said Elder Pinegar. ". . . In every dispensation of time the Lord has commanded His people to build temples, that He, the Lord, might have a place to come and be with them and bless them and inspire them. That is why we are so anxious to have one here."
Elder Pinegar called the groundbreaking a good time to honor the pioneers.
"These devoted faithful Saints traversed the dangerous, forbidding country of America's wilderness. Through extreme and inhospitable weather they endured hardships, privation and went into the unknown with great faith and courage."
Elder Pinegar noted that many of the pioneers found the will to accomplish such tasks in the temple. "From the temple experience they had gained a vision of who they were and what their relationship was with God," he said.
Today, he explained, Church members are faced with their own difficulties. "We need the Lord's strength in our own lives and in the lives of our children," he said, noting that the temple will be a visual reminder of their Heavenly Father's existence and will stand as a beacon to remind members to come unto Christ.
During the service, Pres. Karl Schulthies of the Quincy California Stake spoke of the spirit of temple building, and the presence of spiritual help in the temple. Pres. Timothy Dyches of the Reno Nevada Stake and director of the temple committee explained that the temple committee received divine help as a temple site was selected and approved. Representing the bishops in the temple district, R. Bruce Brinkerhoof of the Galena Ward, Reno Nevada Stake, spoke of the temple as a "new beginning."
After the service, Elder Pinegar, stake presidents, selected local dignitaries and those working on the temple project proceeded to the temple site, located on a hill overlooking the city. Because of the site's "very limited capacity" others watched the proceeding in the chapel on videotape.
A strong wind was blowing at the beginning of the chapel service. However, by the time the small group arrived at the temple site the wind had ceased and the day was peaceful and calm. Elder Pinegar offered a site dedicatory prayer and all present had the opportunity to turn the soil — commencing the ceremonial beginning of Nevada's second temple.