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Ground broken in Four Corners area for Farmington New Mexico temple

Sister Christine Perkins and Elder Anthony D. Perkins are joined by tribal leaders and other invited guests at the groundbreaking of the Farmington New Mexico Temple in Farmington, New Mexico, on Saturday, April 30, 2022. Those pictured include Jonathan N Credit: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
Elder Larry J. Echo Hawk, an emeritus General Authority Seventy, speaks at the groundbreaking of the Farmington New Mexico Temple on Saturday, April 30, 2022. Credit: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
Latter-day Saints participate in a groundbreaking ceremony for the Farmington New Mexico Temple in Farmington, New Mexico, on Saturday, April 30, 2022. Credit: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
Elder Anthony D. Perkins of the Quorum of the Seventy offers remarks at the groundbreaking of the Farmington New Mexico Temple on Saturday, April 30, 2022. Credit: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
Shovels and an exterior rendering are placed at the site of the Farmington New Mexico Temple. Latter-day Saints and invited guests attended the groundbreaking in Farmington, New Mexico, on Saturday, April 30, 2022. Credit: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
Exterior rendering of the Farmington New Mexico Temple. Credit: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
Site location for the Farmington New Mexico Temple, as announced June 23, 2021. Credit: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

“House” and “home” were common themes at the groundbreaking ceremony for the Farmington New Mexico Temple, held Saturday, April 30, at the temple site.

The temple — which will bear the inscription “House of the Lord / Holiness to the Lord,” as found on all other temples of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints — will be built in Farmington, the commercial hub of the Four Corners area and where the Animas, San Juan and La Plata rivers converge.

Elder Anthony D. Perkins of the Quorum of the Seventy offers remarks at the groundbreaking of the Farmington New Mexico Temple on Saturday, April 30, 2022.
Elder Anthony D. Perkins of the Quorum of the Seventy offers remarks at the groundbreaking of the Farmington New Mexico Temple on Saturday, April 30, 2022. | Credit: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

“We are grateful Thy temple will be built in this city where three rivers come together and leave as one,” prayed Elder Anthony D. Perkins, a General Authority Seventy who presided at the groundbreaking event and offered a dedicatory prayer on the temple site and construction process.

The region’s coming together of rivers and geopolitical borders was underscored in his prayer.

“We pray that women, men and youth of every race and ethnicity, every language, every political persuasion and every walk of life will feel welcome to come up and worship in this holy place and depart in unity as covenant-keeping disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ.”

He added: “We pray, Father, that this temple will be a blessing to this community, a beacon of hope shining in the dark days that Thou art mindful of Thy children and that peace can be found in Christ.”

Elder Perkins was joined by his wife, Sister Christine Perkins; Elder Larry J. Echo Hawk, an emeritus General Authority Seventy, and his wife, Sister Teresa Echo Hawk; Elder Tommy D. Haws, an Area Seventy, and his wife, Sister Eileen Haws; as well as temple and mission leaders and invited guests from the area and state.

Latter-day Saints participate in a groundbreaking ceremony for the Farmington New Mexico Temple in Farmington, New Mexico, on Saturday, April 30, 2022.
Latter-day Saints participate in a groundbreaking ceremony for the Farmington New Mexico Temple in Farmington, New Mexico, on Saturday, April 30, 2022. | Credit: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Signaling the start of the temple’s construction, the groundbreaking event served as a homecoming for Elder and Sister Perkins, who grew up in the region, met in Farmington, dated in high school and held their wedding reception in the city.

“To us, this region is home,” Elder Perkins said. “We love the Ute Mountain, the La Plata Mountains, the Lukachukai Mountains, the Shiprock monolith and the San Juan River.”

During the April 2021 general conference held less than 10 months ago, President Russell M. Nelson announced Farmington, New Mexico, as one of 20 sites for new temples.

The Church identified the location for the Farmington temple on June 23, 2021, and released an exterior rendering of the temple on Oct. 19, 2021.

Projected to be a single-story temple of approximately 25,000 square feet, the Farmington New Mexico Temple will be built on a 6.62-acre site at the intersection of College Boulevard and Windsor Drive. A meetinghouse will also be built on the site.

Exterior rendering of the Farmington New Mexico Temple.
Exterior rendering of the Farmington New Mexico Temple. | Credit: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

The temple will be the state’s second, joining the Albuquerque New Mexico Temple, which was dedicated in March 2000. Nearly 70,000 Latter-day Saints reside in New Mexico, spread across some 140 congregations.

However, the temple will serve more than members in New Mexico, but also Latter-day Saints from the Four Corners region of the southwestern United States, including parts of Colorado, Arizona and the Navajo Nation.

Youth choirs from the temple district sang “Come, Ye Children of the Lord” as part of the program, as reported by ChurchofJesusChrist.org. And those participating in the groundbreaking ceremonies included members of stakes in Bloomfield, Farmington, Gallup and Kirtland, New Mexico; Chinle and Tuba City, Arizona; and Durango, Colorado.

Saturday’s groundbreaking ceremony was livestreamed to Latter-day Saints living in the temple district.

Site location for the Farmington New Mexico Temple, as announced June 23, 2021.
Site location for the Farmington New Mexico Temple, as announced June 23, 2021. | Credit: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

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