Announced: Oct. 3, 1992.
Location: 742 North 900 East, American Fork, UT 84003-9124; phone: (801) 763-4540.
Site: 16.7 acres, part of a larger parcel of land that was once a welfare farm.
Exterior finish: Sierra white granite, art glass windows and bronze doors.
Temple design: Traditional, with a single spire.
Architects: Allen Erekson, architect of record; Keith Stepan, project architect; and Church architectural staff.
Contractor: Okland Construction Co.
Project manager: Jerry Sears.
Operation adviser: Michael Enfield.
Rooms: Celestial room, baptistry, four ordinance rooms, eight sealing rooms.
Total floor area: 104,000 square feet.
Dimensions: 145 feet by 198 feet; 190 foot spire, including statue of Angel Moroni.
District: 49 stakes in northern Utah County and Wasatch County.
Groundbreaking, site dedication: Oct. 9, 1993, by President Gordon B. Hinckley; 27 sessions.
Dedication: Oct. 13-19 1996, by President Gordon B. Hinckley; 27 sessions.
Done by President Gordon B. Hinckley
O God our Eternal Father, thanks be to Thee, Thou great Elohim, in whose service we are honored to labor.
In these sacred precincts we bow before Thee in humble prayer to present unto Thee the gift of Thy people whose consecrated tithes and offerings have made possible the erection of this beautiful house.
Thou hast conferred upon us Thy Holy Priesthood. In that authority, and in the name of Thy Beloved Son, our Redeemer, even the Lord Jesus Christ, we dedicate this, the Mount Timpanogos Utah Temple, and consecrate it unto Thee and unto Thy Son as Thy holy house, praying that Thou wilt accept it and honor it with Thy presence.
We dedicate the ground on which it stands with its trees, lawns, shrubbery, and flowers. We dedicate the structure from the footings to the figure of Moroni. We dedicate all of the rooms and facilities found herein, and in a particular way those rooms which will be used for the administration of sacred ordinances which Thou hast revealed unto Thy people.Here, in the beautiful font, baptisms will be performed by living proxies in behalf of the dead. Here with repentant hearts we will be made clean before Thee and stand clothed in robes of spotless white.
Here we will be instructed in the things of eternity and enter into solemn covenants with Thee. Here at sacred altars we will be joined as husband and wife, as parents and children under the authority of the eternal Priesthood, in bonds and covenants that will endure forever.
We acknowledge with thanksgiving the marvelous blessings here to be gained and pray that all who enter the portals of this Thy house may do so with clean hands and pure hearts, with love for Thee and Thy Son, and with faith in Thine everlasting promises made unto us.
May this in very deed be "a house of prayer, a house of fasting, a house of faith, a house of learning, a house of glory, a house of order, a house of God" (D&C 88:119).
May its beauty never be marred by evil hands. May it stand strong against the winds and storms that will beat upon it. May it be a beacon of peace and a refuge to the troubled. May it be an holy sanctuary to those whose burdens are heavy and who seek Thy consoling comfort.We thank Thee for the restored gospel of Jesus Christ, that in this the dispensation of the fulness of times Thou didst appear with Thy Beloved Son to the boy Joseph Smith. We thank Thee that following that glorious manifestation Thou didst send Moroni with the Book of Mormon as another testament of the Lord Jesus Christ; that Thou didst send John the Baptist, and Peter, James, and John to restore the authority of Thy Holy Priesthood; that Thou didst send Moses, Elias, and Elijah to bring again to earth those grand keys which unlock the door of eternal life to all who shall become partakers of Thy promised blessings.
Dear Father, please forgive our sins and remember them no more against us. Give us strength and discipline to walk above our weaknesses. Grant us the companionship of Thy Holy Spirit and the directing power of the Holy Ghost in our lives at all times and under all circumstances, that we may serve Thee faithfully and well in Thy great work of bringing to pass the immortality and eternal life of Thy sons and daughters.
We thank Thee for this favored season in the history of Thy work. Renew our appreciation for our faithful forebears, who were driven from their homes and came with trust in Thee to these mountain valleys. These desert lands have become fruitful and have blossomed as the rose, in fulfillment of prophecy.
Thy people have been gathered from over the earth, and they and their posterity continue to walk in faith before Thee. Please accept of their consecrations, and open the windows of heaven and shower down blessings upon the faithful as Thou hast promised.
Touch the hearts of Thy Saints that they may work with outreaching love in this holy edifice in behalf of their forebears.
May they seek after their kindred dead, and do for them what must be done if they are to be released from the bondage in which they have been kept for so long. Touch the hearts of Thy people with the spirit of the Prophet Elijah, that the hearts of the fathers may be turned to the children and the hearts of the children may be turned to the fathers, that the purposes of the earth may not be frustrated, but may all be fulfilled.
Father, we plead with Thee that Thou wilt overrule among the nations that doors may be opened for the preaching of Thine eternal word. Wilt Thou touch the hearts of rulers, and men and women of government, that they may unlock the gates of those lands which have been previously closed to Thy faithful servants. Bless in a special way Thy messengers who go forth as missionaries to the people of the earth that they may do so with power "to reprove the world of all their unrighteous deeds and … teach them of a judgment which is to come" (D&C 84:87). Let Thy Spirit go before them. May Thy watch care be over them. May they be magnified and led to those who will hear the glad tidings of salvation as they have been restored in this dispensation.
Bless Thy Church and kingdom, even The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, that it shall "come forth out of the wilderness of darkness, and shine forth fair as the moon, clear as the sun, and terrible as an army with banners" (D&C 109:73).
Bless Thy servants whom Thou hast called and ordained to stand as leaders in Thy Church in these days of great opportunity. Sustain them, give them strength, speak through them according to Thy divine will, and uphold them before the people. Bless all who serve in this temple and throughout Thy Church, that each may be faithful and that each may be possessed of a great desire to strengthen Thy work and build testimony in the hearts of others.
Father, we invoke Thy blessings upon this nation, the United States of America, where Thy work was restored in this dispensation. May those who stand in places of leadership look to Thee and be guided by Thee that liberty and freedom may be preserved and enhanced, and that because of the strength and goodness of the people of this nation, Thy work may be assisted as it moves across the earth.
Now, our Beloved Father and our God, we bow in reverence before Thee. We worship Thee in spirit and in truth. We love Thee. We love Thy gracious Son, the Lord Jesus Christ. We love Thy work. Help us to live with respect and kindness one toward another as should all of those who are partakers of Thy bounteous goodness.
May we on this day of dedication, rededicate ourselves and reconsecrate our talents and our means to Thy service and to the blessing of Thy sons and daughters everywhere and through all generations, we humbly pray in the name of our great Redeemer, the Lord Omnipotent, even Jesus Christ, amen.
New Utah temple: 4,000 volunteers answer last-minute service call
By Sarah Jane Weaver
Church News staff writer
It was a Friday afternoon and Stephen M. Studdert of the Mount Timpanogos Utah Temple Committee was reading the scriptures, reflecting on the work that had been done to prepare for the temple open house, which would begin the next week.
Pres. Studdert of the Highland Utah East Stake and vice chairman of the temple committee studied the words, "prepare every needful thing" found in Doctrine and Covenants 88:119, which speaks of building a house of the Lord.He realized that during the last week, as volunteers worked to prepare the temple and beautify the temple grounds, they had forgotten one "needful thing."
Across the street from the newly constructed edifice, the 160 acres encompasing the Utah State Developmental Center could also be cleaned up.
Within two hours, members of the temple committee had notified representatives in the temple district's 43 stakes - asking them each to provide 100 volunteers the next morning.
More than 4,000 Church members, from Orem to Lehi and in Wasatch County, responded to the call Aug. 3. Each spent four hours working at the temple site and across the street on the development center grounds, weeding, pruning, digging, planting sod, picking up debris and hauling away dead timber.
"We wanted to say to the developmental center, thank you for your patience during the last 31/2 years of construction and thank you in advance for your patience as hundreds of thousands of people visit your neighborhood," Pres. Studdert explained. "What better way could we show our love for our neighbors than to say to them, let us help you where you can't help yourself."
Pres. Studdert said when he told the grounds superintendent at the developmental center that Church members were coming to help, the superintendent smiled. When Pres. Studdert added that more than 4,000 members would volunteer their time, tears came to the superintendent's eyes. "He was overwhelmed with the spirit of the temple," Pres. Studdert said.
McClain Bybee, president of the Orem Utah Canyon View Stake, said when he first received the call to find 100 volunteers in his stake, he wondered why he couldn't have been given more notice. Then he realized this opportunity was one small way to sacrifice for the temple.
"One young man, who was riding in my car, said, `This is absolutely great,' " Pres. Bybee recalled. "People went where they were needed. There was no complaining, they thought of it as an opportunity."
Ronald A. Stone, president of the Midway Utah Stake, said most the youth in his stake and their bishops were involved in youth conference over the weekend. As a result, it was harder to find volunteers to contribute their time - especially on such short notice.
But, Pres. Stone explained, "People seemed to understand and were delighted. I think there is a moment when you think I don't know if I can arragned that, but then you get involved and feel the spirit of participation."
Pres. Stone called the project a "magical morning."
"You could really see what the Church can do," he said. "Thousands of people showed up on a moment's notice."
Pres. Studdert called the quick response to the project indicative of the enthusiasm members in the temple district have. "I have never seen so many smiles," he said of the participants. "They understood they were giving Christ-like service. It wasn't just an assignment, their heart was there."
Pres. Studdert added that one bishop told him he had never seen a service project so successful and asked if it was "six months in the making."
"I said," Pres. Studdert recalled, "No, it was 12 hours in the making."
Tours of new temple touch hearts, lives as 500,000 attend
By R. Scott Lloyd
Church News staff writer
Numerous lives have been changed and hearts touched as more than half a million people have toured the new Mount Timpanogos Utah Temple, according to stake leaders in the temple district who have been in charge of the open house.
Plenty of tickets - free of charge - are still available for the tours, which began Aug. 6 and extend through Sept. 21. (Please see accompanying article on this page.)Pres. Stephen M. Studdert of the Highland Utah East Stake is vice chairman of the temple committee. Assisting as open house coordinator is R. Sherman Robinson, recently released as president of the American Fork Utah North Stake; and as temple dedication coordinator, Pres. Gary J. Worthington of the Lindon Utah Stake.
"Our focus has been on the individual, that every single one who visits the temple will have a sweet and spiritual experience," Pres. Studdert said. From the beginning, President Gordon B. Hinckley's charge to the committee has been to emphasize the ordinances and covenants of the temple rather than the architecture of the building, he added.
The result has been "a profound outpouring of the Spirit, not unlike what was experienced at Kirtland," Pres. Studdert said.
"Or on the Day of Pentecost," Pres. Robinson added.
On Sept. 10, the three took time out from planning recommendations that will be submitted to the First Presidency for the upcoming temple dedication to share a plethora of spiritual experiences. With tender emotion they told experiences involving some who have toured the temple and others who have helped in hosting and other capacities. Here are some of their accounts.
Pres. Worthington told of Merilee Holdaway of the Lindon stake, a vivacious BYU student, a talented dancer and very athletic. Though only 21, she had suffered seemingly unbearable hardship through her life. Her father passed away when she was 2 weeks old, and when she was 13, her mother died in childbirth. While a student at BYU, she was diagnosed as having inoperable brain cancer. Her student-ward bishop and his family took her in to care for her.
The stake president said she had been bed-ridden for months when arrangements were made to bring her in a reclining wheelchair on a special tour of the temple. "She absolutely loved the experience. She went home and never got out of bed again. She passed away about three weeks after that."
"I watched," Pres. Studdert said, "as Pres. Worthington, after he took her through, gave her a blessing in the temple. In the House of the Lord, she found a peacefulness that was not with her when she entered. Through that tour, she seemed to find the meaning of eternity."
"And that stayed with her until she passed away," Pres. Worthington said. "There were a lot more smiles, a lot more pleasantness and a lot more comfort."
One evening Pres. Robinson noticed a young couple with two small children and an infant come to the temple. Guessing they were not members of the Church, he slipped into the line behind them. As they were in the foyer, the baby was the focus of their attention, and the other two children became restless.
"You could see they were very uncomfortable with this situation, when, out of nowhere, one of those sisters who knows how to do things, a volunteer host, came and began to care for the baby. Immediately the baby calmed down. All of a sudden the tension they were feeling dissipated and this lady walked them through the temple."
In a conversation with Pres. Robinson outside, the husband compared the temple tour with life. He observed that when they came to certain points, instruction was given to them, then they were led to the next point where they received further instruction.
"He said, `My life's been like that. I have had learning opportunities, and in between, there have been people to help me.' He said if you do it right, if you learn and let people help you, you finally end up in the presence of Heavenly Father.' "
The man promised to fill out a referral card for missionaries to visit him and his family at their home in Ohio.
Pres. Studdert told of Willard R. Devitt, 76, of the American Fork 4th Ward, American Fork Utah Central Stake, one of the volunteer hosts. "On Tuesday, his wife of 56 years took sick and passed away. On Friday the funeral was held. Early Saturday, he was back in the temple at his assignment. I went up to him, expressed my condolences on the passing of his wife, Beth, and thanked him for being there. He said, `It's where I'm supposed to be. This is where Beth would want me to be. This is what my duty is.' "
Across the street to the west of the temple is the Utah State Developmental Center, a residential-care facility for the developmentally disabled. Residents there were among the first guests to be taken through the temple, and family members were invited to be with them.
Pres. Studdert said a man in his 60s, who has resided at the center since age 8, whose speech was unintelligible, was brought to the temple open house by his brother and sister-in-law. As they entered, he became agitated, and it began to seem the visit was a bad idea.
"On the wall behind the recommend desk is a large painting of the Savior, and cradled lovingly in His arms is a lamb, signifying the lost sheep. And this brother in the wheelchair, as he approached that painting said in a voice that was completely clear, Stop!' And he looked at the picture of the Savior and said in an equally clear way,Jesus.' He folded his arms in the same way the Savior had His arms folded in the painting and then was completely calm, silent and at peace as he went through the temple."
Pres. Ronald Kurt Hawkins of the Orem Utah Sunset Heights Stake escorted an 86-year-old man, physically weak with terminal cancer, through the temple. In the celestial room, he stood up from the wheelchair and gazed for about 10 minutes at the infinite images in the opposing mirrors.
"Then, with tears on his cheeks, he turned to Pres. Hawkins and said, All is well; I'm ready to go now,' Pres. Studdert related. "He wasn't suggesting,I'm ready to go home from the temple.' He was saying, `I'm ready to go all the way home.' He had complete peace."
Part of the temple open house experience has been any one of the 800 Primary children's choruses from the temple district that at scheduled times sing Primary songs as patrons enter the temple. The children assemble at a Church meetinghouse across the street, and it is the duty of some of the volunteers to escort them to the temple.
A man who had been less-active through much of his life but had recently had his wife and children sealed to him commented to Pres Studdert, "I had the sweetest experience of my life yesterday, except for the day I was sealed to my family." He then told Pres. Studdert, "I spent the day leading the children of Zion to the House of the Lord. I never set foot in the temple, and I have never had a more spiritual experience."
Pres. Robinson told of a man in his 60s who was disgruntled because of the assignment he was given at the temple. Rather than a supervisory duty, he was assigned to escort a disabled woman in a wheelchair. In the celestial room, she put her hand on his, a signal that she wished to linger. Kneeling in front of her, he noticed tears on her face.
"I guess it kind of cleaned him up inside," Pres. Robinson said. "When he came back down, he asked the supervisor if he could have the same duty the rest of the night. He expressed how his heart had been changed, that he realized through his life he had been way too pushy, and he wanted to go home and get his family together and say, `I'm sorry.' "