REGINA, Saskatchewan Under blue skies and varying temperatures, with the autumn scent of farmers burning off field stubble after harvest, the Regina Saskatchewan Temple open house was held Nov. 5-6.
Two days prior, special tours for community clergy, business and government officials and temple neighbors were conducted by Elder Donald L. Staheli of the Seventy and local Church leaders.
"I didn't think the questions would end," said Elder Staheli, second counselor in the North America Central Area presidency. "Where we get the most intense interest is in the sealing room."
Visiting the temple the morning of Nov. 4, Regina Mayor Doug Archer said, "My wife and I are on our way out of town for a vacation, but I wanted to get over here before we left." He added that he felt "rather honored" to be included in this expression of Church members' happiness.
"It is giving me a sense of attachment," he said. "The temple is an opportunity for Latter-day Saints to celebrate their faith in a special and meaningful way."
That evening, 500 neighboring residents stood in line in the cold, 60-mph-wind, waiting to tour the temple, with none turning back for home before the tours could commence.
"People of this area are welcoming such a beautiful edifice in their community, said Winnipeg Canada Mission Pres. R. Dean Layton. "We haven't had any negative response from anybody, not one soul. We anticipate the spirit of the temple will bring many more contacts for missionaries."
Prior to the open house, youth of the Saskatoon Saskatchewan Stake hand delivered 2,000 invitations throughout the immaculate housing development in which the temple is located.
A truckers' strike delayed delivery of the larger sections of granite facing for the concrete structure until just days before the open house, thus causing delays in finishing the exterior of the temple. Neighbors and Church members seemed to look beyond the scaffolding along some of the exterior walls, delayed landscaping and noisy construction machinery. Maintaining a cheerful focus, they seemingly ignored the difficulties.
Ken Svenson, temple committee coordinator, said 8,460 people toured the temple. He added that many less-active members and non-members inquired about schedules for Sunday services at ward meetinghouses and attended on Sunday.
Brother Svenson said that although construction workers were setting granite around the clock as the open house proceeded, it did not detract from the enthusiasm of the visitors. "They came to see the inside; they can look at the outside anytime," he observed.
The temple lot, located in the Wascana View neighborhood in the southeast corner of Regina, reportedly stood vacant for a decade. Residents of the red, brick-walled community twice voted down the building of a small retail center on the site prior to it being proposed as a temple site.
This 65th temple will be dedicated Nov. 14 in three sessions.
Temple Pres. Lorin J. Mendenhall and his wife, Mildred, are natives of Alberta, Canada. The temple district includes two stakes Saskatoon Saskatchewan and Winnipeg Manitoba and the Fort Qu'Appelle Saskatchewan District of the Winnipeg Canada Mission.