1,200 youth help prepare temple site for ceremony

Photo by Ed Schnegelberger

Hundreds of youth from eight stakes in Raleigh North Carolina Temple District clear brush from wooded temple site prior to groundbreaking ceremony.

APEX, N.C. — Two weeks before ground was broken for the Raleigh North Carolina Temple, more than 1,200 youth from eight stakes worked to prepare the temple site for the ceremony.

Because only a limited number of people could attend the groundbreaking, local leaders in North Carolina began looking for a way they could provide the youth — many of whom would not be able to attend the ceremony — an opportunity to get excited about the state's first temple.

As a result, leaders asked the young men and young women in the district to clean brush from the site, located on wooded property in Apex, on Saturday, Jan. 23.

Russell R. Wilford, second counselor in the Raleigh North Carolina Stake presidency, coordinated the project and was amazed with the response.

Pres. Wilford said the youth, who worked in their designated stake section for 90 minutes, knew the importance of the service they were giving. The hundreds of young men and young women converged on the scene like hundreds of worker ants, he said.

Most the stakes finished their jobs long before their 90-minute time slot was up and wanted to start on another stake's section, Pres. Wilford added. "It was so impressive to watch the youth," he said. "They are now looking forward to the open house."

Rachel Nay, a Mia Maid in the Apex Ward, Raleigh North Carolina Stake, said working at the site helped the youth get excited about the future temple. Clearing the ground was something that needed to be done, she said. "We were really helping."

Trevor Allen, a priest in the Colfax Ward, Greensboro North Carolina Stake, carried away logs and brush during the project. "It made me feel like I was a part of the building of the temple," he said, "because I was able to prepare the grounds.

His younger brother, Ryan, a teacher, echoed his remarks. "We had a good time. It wasn't really work. It was more of a privilege. Not many people get to do things like that and take part in such a special occasion. It was special for me and everyone else."

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