Announced: Aug. 3, 1998.
Location: 111 Wascana Gate North; Regina, Saskatchewan S4V 2J6, Canada; phone: (306) 545-8194; no clothing rental.
Site: 1 acre.
Exterior finish: Light gray granite.
Temple design: Classic modern.
Architect: Roger B. Mitchell of Banadyga Mitchell Partnership and Church A&E Services.
Project manager: Cory Karl.
Contractor: Graham Construction and Engineering, Ltd.
Rooms: Celestial room, baptistry, two ordinance rooms and two sealing rooms.
Total floor area: 10,700 square feet.
Dimensions: 149 feet by 77 feet.
District: Two stakes and one district in Saskatchewan and Manitoba.
Groundbreaking, site dedication: Nov. 14, 1998, by Elder Hugh W. Pinnock of the Seventy and president of the North America Central Area.
Dedication: Nov. 14, 1999, by President Boyd K. Packer, acting president of the Quorum of the Twelve; 3 sessions.
Done by President Boyd K. Packer
Almighty God, Thou great Elohim, than whom there is none greater, we come before Thee in solemn and sacred prayer to dedicate in the name of Thy Beloved Son this Thy Holy House.
Our hearts are filled with thanksgiving on this historic day. In this vast area of this great nation there is now a House of the Lord to which Thy faithful Saints may more conveniently come to do that work which is concerned with the immortality and everlasting life of the human soul.
Speaking in the name of Thy Beloved Son, our Savior and our Lord, and by authority of the holy priesthood in us vested, this sacred priesthood which comes from Thee, we dedicate this the Regina Saskatchewan Temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. We consecrate it as Thy holy house and that of Thy Beloved Son.
Wilt Thou be pleased to accept of this the offering of our hands and our hearts. It has been erected as an expression of love for Thee and for Thy divine Son.
Wilt Thou be pleased to visit it, and to permit Thy Holy Spirit to be here to bless and sanctify it for the uses for which it has been constructed.
We dedicate the grounds, which in the warmer seasons of the year will be beautiful with trees and shrubs and with flowers and grass as examples of Thy divine handiwork. We dedicate the structure that it may remain strong and that it may stand against the forces of nature. We dedicate the interior, the sacred baptistry, the endowment rooms, the celestial room, the sealing rooms with their altars, the offices and all other features of this beautiful building. Wilt Thou accept it and bless it always. Safeguard it from any act of vandalism or evil of any kind.
May all who come within these walls be clean of hands and pure of mind as they engage in Thy sacred work. Bless them with joy in this service. Bless those who preside here as the temple presidency and as the matron and her assistants. May they rejoice in their great opportunity to serve Thee through service to Thy children. Bless all who assist them in any way that their very presence in Thy house may evoke a spirit of gratitude and thanksgiving. We pray "that all people who shall enter upon the threshold of the Lord's house may feel thy power, and feel constrained to acknowledge that thou hast sanctified it, and that it is thy house, a place of thy holiness" (D&C 109:13).
Pour out Thy blessings upon Thy people in the great expanse of this temple district. Prosper them as they serve thee in righteousness. Temper the elements. Bring rain upon the land in "seedtime and harvest" (Genesis 8:22). Remember Thine ancient covenant concerning those who are honest with Thee in the payment of tithes and offerings that they may have cause to rejoice before Thee. Shower down blessings upon the faithful. Rebuke the devourer and cause that the vine shall not cast her fruit before the time in the field.
We pray for Thy work in all the earth, and for all who walk in faithfulness before Thee. Wilt Thou bless Thy people and Thy cause wherever they may be found. We pray for the missionaries everywhere, and particularly for those who may go from this house endowed with Thy holy power, that Thy Spirit may rest upon them, that they may be given voice to speak words of testimony and truth unto all upon whom they shall call, and may they speak with such persuasiveness that their listeners may know that they speak by the power of God.
Bless Thine aging servants who have been called to lead in this season of Thy work. Endow them with power from on high. Give them strength and vitality to move forward Thy great cause and kingdom, and reveal unto them Thy will and wisdom.
Now, Almighty Father, please accept of our thanks and let our prayer be heard before Thee as we consecrate this hallowed structure we humbly ask in the name of our Redeemer, the Lord Jesus Christ, amen.
Regina prairie, now a place of fulfilled dreams
By Janet Kruckenberg
Church News correspondent
REGINA, Saskatchewan — The Church's 65th temple was dedicated Nov. 14 at what some members describe as a "forgotten place on the Canadian prairie."
Forgotten no more, this spot on the prairie now is a place of fulfilled dreams; dreams that became reality with the dedication of the Regina Saskatchewan Temple.
President Boyd K. Packer, acting president of the Quorum of the Twelve, presided over the temple's three dedicatory sessions, which were attended by 2,020 members.
President Packer officiated at the dedication in Regina while President Gordon B. Hinckley presided over the dedication of the Halifax Nova Scotia Temple.
Plans called for the dedication of the Regina temple to follow one day after the dedication of the Halifax temple. But plans were abruptly altered Nov. 12 when technicians were unable to repair mechanical difficulties with the airplane that was to carry President Hinckley to Nova Scotia, causing a one-day postponement of the dedication in Halifax. Out of consideration for the travel demands placed upon members attending the dedications, it was decided to hold both on the same day.
President Packer was assisted in the Regina Saskatchewan Temple's dedicatory events by Elder Donald L. Staheli of the Seventy, second counselor in the North America Central Area Presidency; Elder Blair S. Bennett, Area Authority Seventy, of Edmonton, Alberta; Pres. R. Dean Layton, Canada Winnipeg Mission; and Regina Saskatchewan Temple Pres. Lorin J. Mendenhall.
In just above freezing weather, a biting cold wind and under heavy gray skies, a 30-voice choir, under the direction of Judy Bowers of the Saskatoon 2nd Ward, gathered to practice a few moments prior to the cornerstone ceremony outside.
"This isn't cold," said some passersby on their way inside the temple, seemingly implying that there are colder days ahead in Saskatchewan winters. The cold seemed to strengthen the singers' melodious rendition of "Let the Mountains Shout for Joy," and "How Great Thou Art" as they sang with fervor and energy.
Before President Packer applied mortar to the cornerstone, he warmly greeted a shivering, yet smiling, audience of a few hundred members who looked on. "None of us are masons," he explained. "This is like repentance. You know about repentance. It has to be done over right." He applied mortar to the cornerstone, then gave the tools to Elder Staheli and Elder Bennett, saying of the latter, a dentist, "It's just like filling a tooth."
Donna McKay, wife of Prince Albert (Saskatchewan) Branch Pres. Duane McKay, commented on the relatively mild weather for this time of year in this part of Canada: "They've been predicting storms for two weeks. You know the Lord's hand is in this. November is well-known for freezing rain. We've been very fortunate in traveling to get here."
Prince Albert is a four-hour drive to Regina. Many other families drove hundreds of miles for the event.
The temple district includes the Province of Saskatchewan, a 252,000-square mile area in central Canada that has a population of 1 million, of whom some 4,500 are members of the Church. Members from other nearby provinces also attended the dedication.
"It's nice. I could stay there [in the temple] all day," said Margaret Johnson of Flin Flon Branch, Saskatoon Manitoba Stake, who will turn 89 on Christmas Day. She rode with members for seven hours to the dedication and couldn't seem to stop smiling as she was assisted to the vehicle that would take her home.
Ian Stewart of Weyburn Branch, Saskatoon Manitoba Stake, mentioned that he and his family moved two years ago to Saskatchewan from Wales in the British Isles, where — before the Preston England Temple was dedicated in 1998 — they traveled to the London Temple. "It's fabulous. It's only an hour away," he said of the Regina temple. "There's a spirit about the place. It's wonderful."
The week between the open house and dedication, crews worked around the clock to finish the temple exterior and grounds landscaping. Due to delays caused by a truckers' strike, necessary materials did not arrive until a few days before deadlines. (See Church News, Nov. 6, 1999). Granite facing was being set 24-hours a day right up to the night before the dedication.
On Saturday, Nov. 13, at 8 a.m., a combined group of more than 100 missionaries, youth and adult members laid 18,000 square feet of sod, planted trees, and raised the granite sign in front of the temple, said Bishop Terry Hawkes of the Regina 2nd Ward. He added that a Canada Winnipeg Mission tri-zone conference was canceled that Saturday morning so that 60 missionaries could assist in the sod laying.
"The sod is down. The sign is up," said Bishop Hawkes on Saturday evening as he and his wife, Karen, glanced across the Regina Saskatchewan Temple lot before leaving for home just hours before dedication time.
Despite the late finish, the results were impressive.
"It's so majestic," said Dan Morse of Regina 2nd Ward, one of Regina's first converts, as he stood outside the beautiful granite walls. No one, he said, suspected a temple would be built in their city. "Never, never, never," he said. "The whole province has only a million people. At the groundbreaking, I saw some ground turned over, and still couldn't believe it; not until I was in the celestial room when there was plasterboard up when the temple was being constructed could I believe it." Brother Morse served on the local temple committee.
He was in attendance when President Hinckley and President Packer visited Regina in August of 1998. Later, President Packer commented on that visit, saying, "We were greatly impressed with the reverence and dedication of the people."
After the temple dedication President Packer said, "The Spirit of the Lord was present in great abundance."
Halifax, Regina prepare for dedications of two temples on two consecutive days
By Janet Kruckenberg
Church News correspondent
REGINA, Saskatchewan — Under blue skies and varying temperatures, with the autumn scent of farmers burning off field stubble after harvest, the Regina Saskatchewan Temple open house was held Nov. 5-6.
Two days prior, special tours for community clergy, business and government officials and temple neighbors were conducted by Elder Donald L. Staheli of the Seventy and local Church leaders.
"I didn't think the questions would end," said Elder Staheli, second counselor in the North America Central Area presidency. "Where we get the most intense interest is in the sealing room."
Visiting the temple the morning of Nov. 4, Regina Mayor Doug Archer said, "My wife and I are on our way out of town for a vacation, but I wanted to get over here before we left." He added that he felt "rather honored" to be included in this expression of Church members' happiness.
"It is giving me a sense of attachment," he said. "The temple is an opportunity for Latter-day Saints to celebrate their faith in a special and meaningful way."
That evening, 500 neighboring residents stood in line in the cold, 60-mph-wind, waiting to tour the temple, with none turning back for home before the tours could commence.
"People of this area are welcoming such a beautiful edifice in their community, said Winnipeg Canada Mission Pres. R. Dean Layton. "We haven't had any negative response from anybody, not one soul. We anticipate the spirit of the temple will bring many more contacts for missionaries."
Prior to the open house, youth of the Saskatoon Saskatchewan Stake hand delivered 2,000 invitations throughout the immaculate housing development in which the temple is located.
A truckers' strike delayed delivery of the larger sections of granite facing for the concrete structure until just days before the open house, thus causing delays in finishing the exterior of the temple. Neighbors and Church members seemed to look beyond the scaffolding along some of the exterior walls, delayed landscaping and noisy construction machinery. Maintaining a cheerful focus, they seemingly ignored the difficulties.
Ken Svenson, temple committee coordinator, said 8,460 people toured the temple. He added that many less-active members and non-members inquired about schedules for Sunday services at ward meetinghouses and attended on Sunday.
Brother Svenson said that although construction workers were setting granite around the clock as the open house proceeded, it did not detract from the enthusiasm of the visitors. "They came to see the inside; they can look at the outside anytime," he observed.
The temple lot, located in the Wascana View neighborhood in the southeast corner of Regina, reportedly stood vacant for a decade. Residents of the red, brick-walled community twice voted down the building of a small retail center on the site prior to it being proposed as a temple site.
This 65th temple will be dedicated Nov. 14 in three sessions.
Temple Pres. Lorin J. Mendenhall and his wife, Mildred, are natives of Alberta, Canada. The temple district includes two stakes — Saskatoon Saskatchewan and Winnipeg Manitoba — and the Fort Qu'Appelle Saskatchewan District of the Winnipeg Canada Mission.