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Payson Utah Temple: History and faith resonate at temple dedication

Payson Utah Temple: History and faith resonate at temple dedication


History and faith resonated among those attending the dedication of the Payson Utah Temple on Sunday, June 7.

First, history was made as President Henry B. Eyring, first counselor in First Presidency, presided over three sessions to dedicate Utah’s 15th temple. In addition to offering the dedicatory prayer in the first and second sessions, he spoke in the first and last ones.

The second element of history lies in the fact that some of the General Authorities participating in the dedication have personal ties to what now comprises the new temple district, and numerous members attending have family roots back to the days when Brigham Young, in 1850, sent members to settle near what was then known as Peteeneet Creek. The town was renamed Payson in 1850 after James C. Pace. He was the great-great-grandfather of Oscar W. McConkie III, husband of Carol McConkie, a counselor in the Young Women general presidency. She was among those who spoke at the dedication.

Elder Dallin H. Oaks of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles spent two years living with grandparents on a farm about half a mile from what is now the temple site.

Elder Ronald A. Rasband, Senior President of the Seventy, has a fourth-great-grandfather who settled in nearby Springville.

Typical of many local Latter-day saints in the temple district descended from original pioneers here, Mark DeHart, a counselor in the Payson Utah Mount Nebo Stake, said that if his ancestry could have been present for the dedicatory events, he would have “had a great big smile on his face.”

The new temple, which is the Church’s 146th operating temple, is located in southern Utah County, some 60 miles south of Salt Lake City. It is nestled in the foothills of the Wasatch Mountain Range distinguished by four distinct mountain peaks: Mount Timpanogos, Santaquin Peak, Loafer Mountain and Mount Nebo. Latter-day Saints were reminded by several speakers that a temple is regarded as a “mountain of the Lord.”

In addition to President Henry B. Eyring, other General Authorities who participated in the dedication were Elder Russell M. Nelson, Elder Dallin H. Oaks, Elder Quentin L. Cook, Elder Neil L. Andersen, all of the Quorum of the Twelve; Elder Ronald A. Rasband, Elder Donald L. Hallstrom and Elder Ulisses Soares, all of the Presidency of the Seventy; Elder Kent F. Richards of the Seventy; and Bishop Gérald Caussé, first counselor in the Presiding Bishopric.

Others who spoke were the Payson temple President W. Blake Sonne, and his counselors, President Richard B. Roach and President Brent R. Laker as well as Sister Elizabeth K. Sonne, temple matron; and Sister Kristee M. Roach and Sister Janelle R. Laker, assistants to the matron.

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