CENTRAL POINT, Ore. After an extraordinarily long wet season, the sun broke through an overcast sky May 20 as more than 1,000 gathered for the groundbreaking of the Medford Oregon Temple.
The temple, which will be built adjacent the Central Point Oregon Stake center, 35 miles north of the California border, will contain 10,700 square feet and include a baptistry, two endowment rooms, two sealing rooms and the celestial room.
"This new temple is now another ensign to the restoration of the gospel," Elder D. Lee Tobler of the Seventy and first counselor in the North America Northwest Area presidency, said in remarks during the groundbreaking services. "It is an ensign not only for you, but it is an ensign for your neighbors. It is an ensign for all."
Elder Tobler said the temple will not be built just for the members of today, but also for the members of tomorrow and the families of yesteryears.
As part of the service, Elder Tobler dedicated the site and then joined with Elder Michael T. Robinson, an Area Authority Seventy, and Central Point Mayor Bill Walton in turning the first ceremonial shovelfuls of soil. Elder Tobler then invited children to take a turn with a shovel.
In his brief remarks, Elder Robinson, who was the first president of the Central Point stake, said he has reflected many times to when the groundbreaking was held for the Central Point stake center. "I've wondered how many of us who were there even had an inkling of an idea that the Lord would see fit to build a temple here. I can tell you that I didn't. But I want you to understand that Heavenly Father knew and that this land was planned to hold a temple."
Also in attendance at the groundbreaking were Oregon Eugene Mission Pres. Thomas G. Jones and Jackson County Commissioner Jack Walker. Performing music for the services was a choir of nearly 100 members from the temple district, under the direction of Suzanne Stewart of the Klamath Falls Oregon Stake
More than 28,000 members in six stakes in southern Oregon and three stakes in northern California are in the Medford temple district.