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Shining contrast: Some 2,000 youth celebrate "Come to God's Own Temple, Come"

REXBURG, IDAHO — Calling them a "shining contrast to the white and cold winter outside," Elder Russell M. Nelson addressed some 2,000 children, youth and young single adults gathered on the floor of the Hart Auditorium on the campus of BYU-Idaho.

The young people, in white attire, colorful costumes and western clothing, sat quietly in the darkened auditorium listening to Elder Nelson of the Quorum of the Twelve prior to performing in what has become a tradition prior to the dedication of a new temple — a cultural celebration.

"Come to God's Own Temple, Come" was performed Saturday evening, Feb. 9, before the dedication of the Rexburg Idaho Temple the next day.

Accompanying Elder Nelson was Elder David A. Bednar, also of the Quorum of the Twelve and former president of BYU-Idaho.

In his brief remarks, Elder Bednar recalled how as a 12-year-old he attended the dedication of the Oakland California Temple, watching President David O. McKay emerge from the temple after the dedication. Speaking in particular to the boys and girls sitting on the floor, Elder Bednar reminded them that on the following day, another prophet of God, President Thomas S. Monson, would dedicate a new temple in their midst.

"Now tonight we will celebrate and it will be fun and it will be wonderful, but tonight in your prayers, will you specifically pray that you will have a memory of the sacred event that will take place tomorrow and that you will feel the Spirit of the Holy Ghost?... The answer to that prayer will be something that will assist you throughout all of your life, just as my memory of the dedication of the Oakland temple many years ago has blessed my life."

E-mail: julied@desnews.com

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