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'A place that ties families together'

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — As temple construction missionaries, Tony and Ann Knudsen followed the daily progress of the Albuquerque New Mexico Temple.

Elder Knudsen inspected the construction and coordinated public affairs for the local temple committee. Sister Knudsen made a scrapbook recording the temple's progress. The couple, who lived in Albuquerque for 37 years and raised their six children here, traveled across the temple district updating congregations on the status of the edifice.

Tony Knudsen
Tony Knudsen Photo: Photo by Sarah Weaver

They formed relationships with the construction crews; Sister Knudsen seized numerous opportunities to share her testimony and the Book of Mormon.

"My wife was just thrilled to work here," said Elder Knudsen, former president of the Albuquerque New Mexico Stake. Nevertheless, she didn't get to finish her mission.

The temple was dedicated March 5, three months after Sister Knudsen died of brain cancer.

Elder Knudsen determined to not only finish his work on the temple, but to complete his wife's mission also.

She never got to see the temple wallpaper or the hand-painted ceilings in the celestial room. She didn't get to be involved in the open house or the dedication. She didn't get to finish her temple scrapbook.

"She was so enthusiastic about the temple," said Elder Knudsen. "She had been working in the family history library prior to her mission call and had done a lot of work in her own family. She was looking forward to working in the temple."

Instead, he said, her death serves as a reminder of what temples are all about.

"The temple is a place of solace," he said. "It is a place where you can come and feel the Spirit. A place to get closer to the Lord. A place of expression of love and friendship. It is a place that ties families together."

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