NEWPORT BEACH, Calif. — Ground was broken for the Newport Beach California Temple on Aug. 15. Elder Duane B. Gerrard of the Seventy, first counselor in the North America West Area presidency, presided and conducted the groundbreaking and also dedicated the temple site.
Area authorities, stake presidents and their families, civic leaders, local temple architects, members of the media and other guests gathered for the event. Members of the Anaheim Mormon Chorale provided music.
"Temples are built for teaching, training and exaltation for all mankind," said Elder Gerrard in his remarks. "We encourage all people everywhere to learn the truths of the gospel of Jesus Christ, now restored in these latter days. Temples edify, strengthen, uplift and bring joy and peace to all mankind by uniting us together as eternal families."
Newport Beach Stake President Weatherford T. Clayton told about his first temple experience in which he "realized that someday, when I leave this mortal existence, they [his parents] will be there to greet me and welcome me back into their company as their son."
The plan of salvation was addressed by Laguna Niguel Stake President Dan C. Hunter III. "The temple stands as a witness of our Heavenly Father's love, and is meant to be a channel, or place where heaven and earth combine."
Following Elder Gerrard's prayer, Church leaders put on hard hats, took up the shovels and broke ground for the temple. Families and guests then joined in breaking the ground.
The Newport Beach California Temple district will serve nearly 50,000 members of the Church in Orange County. It is California's seventh temple, including four operating — Los Angeles, Oakland, San Diego and Fresno — and one in Redlands that will be dedicated Sept. 14, and one planned in Sacramento.