Dedication of the Bentonville Arkansas Temple
In the early 1980s, northwestern Arkansas, northeastern Oklahoma and southwest Missouri were home to only 2,000 members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Yet through convert baptisms, the strength of local members and many being drawn to the area’s corporate work — like the headquarters of Walmart in Bentonville and of Tyson Foods in Springdale — Church membership in the area grew
to between 35,000 and 40,000 in 2023.
“It is a miracle of remarkable proportions,” said Elder David A. Bednar
of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles about the region. “... To have seen the hand of the Lord guiding this kind of growth and strength in the Church over such a short period of time is remarkable.” This rapid growth eventually led to a house of the Lord.
The Bentonville Arkansas temple was dedicated in two sessions on Sept. 17, 2023, by Elder Bednar. He was joined by his wife, Sister Susan Bednar, as well as Elder Vern P. Stanfill
, a General Authority Seventy and president of the Church’s North America Southeast Area.
Elder and Sister Bednar moved to Fayetteville in 1980 and lived in the state until 1997, when he was invited to be president of Ricks College, now BYU–Idaho. Summarizing their visit to Bentonville and Fayetteville for the temple’s open house just over 25 years later, Sister Bednar said
, “This just feels like a ‘welcome home’ for us.”
Loryn Hutchings — an 11-year old in the Cornerstone Ward, Bentonville Stake — attended the new temple’s dedication with her parents. She said
of the experience, “Today I learned to follow Jesus, to serve others and to be a disciple of Christ.”
Her 14-year-old sister, Cali Hutchings, also learned
in the ceremony how to be closer to her Savior: “I learned to always keep the temple a priority in my life and at the center of my life, to never take it for granted and now that it’s here to always keep going there often.”
Even before it opened for ordinance work, the Bentonnville temple attracted many local members, especially young adults, to its grounds. “Many of them go to the temple and sit outside to ponder and pray in a place they never before had to do that,” said
Perry Turnbull, president of the Rogers YSA Branch in northwestern Arkansas. “It has quickly become a ‘home’ for them to seek the directing they need in their life.”Dedicatory prayer excerpt:
“May a mantle of holiness rest upon and endure in and over this sacred edifice. We ask Thee to shield this temple from disruptive, desecrating, and destructive influences and forces. We pray that all who enter into this sacred space will do so worthily and thereby preserve the purity and the spirit of sublime reverence that should prevail in the house of the Lord. Please bless the members and temple leaders in all of their righteous efforts to accomplish Thy holy work.”Read the dedicatory prayer of the Bentonville Arkansas Temple here.https://twitter.com/bednardavida/status/1703513935381741708?s=46&t=ZIzRhH8ghoiLdqDC2bYl3w
The Bentonville temple was announced Oct. 5, 2019, by President Russell M. Nelson
. The groundbreaking and site dedication were held on Nov. 7, 2020, and presided over by Elder David A. Bednar
. He also dedicated the temple on Sept. 17, 2023.
Architecture and Design of the Bentonville Arkansas Temple
The temple is a single-story building of approximately 28,472 square feet on a site of 18.62 acres. The design drew inspiration from local historic buildings, like the neoclassical Benton County Courthouse, the colonial-revival-style Massey Hotel and the Arkansas State Capitol in Little Rock.
A single-attached central tower on a square base sits atop the temple, with circular, arched and rectangular windows beneath the tower's dome. In front of the entrance stands two small arches next to a larger arch. Exterior art glass features designs of the dogwood blossom, sunbursts and diamonds.
Inside the building can be seen dogwood, diamond and quilting motifs throughout, as well as marble flooring from Turkey and gold broadloom carpets. This house of the Lord features two instruction rooms, two sealing rooms and a baptistry.
Interior Photos of the Bentonville Arkansas Temple