Many hands make ‘wonderful’ challenge

Volunteer coordinators for the Mount Timpanogos Utah Temple are spending a majority of their time dealing with the same "wonderful" challenge – they have more volunteers than things to do.

In fact, they estimate that more than 56,000 Church members will give of their time – working with music, tours, publicity, parking and security, etc. – during the temple open house, Aug. 6-Sept. 21, and dedication ceremonies, Oct. 13-19.Robert P. Shippen, president of the Orem Utah Geneva Heights Stake, said he has learned one rule this year about finding members to help with a new temple: "You ask for 30 volunteers and you get 60."

Many Church members have also come and offered their help at the temple without being asked. "Today we had people that wanted to wash windows," said R. Sherman Robinson, open house coordinator.

Brother Robinson said the committee is delighted with the support and response they have received from Church members – especially those who have been asked to help without much notice.

Just before the open house began, he watched 60 people respond in less than 45 minutes to help install a temporary walkway on the temple grounds.

During the week of special tours, he needed an organist earlier than the committee had planned. "I sent the word out that we needed an organist in the chapel," Brother Robinson said. "I walked from

the lobbyT to the chapel and there were five organists sitting there."

One was the organist who was scheduled to play that day. She had come 45 minutes early, "just in case they needed her."

Brent J. Larsen of the executive temple committee said the willingness of members to help is an indication of their love and appreciation for the new temple and the gospel.

David and Sandi Smith of the American Fork 21st Ward, American Fork Utah East Stake, have driven with their children past the temple every Sunday since construction began. They called it a blessing to serve as volunteers – taking tickets, pushing visitors in wheelchairs, handing out shoe bags and greeting people.

"I really wanted to be a part of it, and have our children feel like this is their temple and know that their mom and dad thought this was a very special and sacred opportunity," Sister Smith said. "Not everyone gets to be involved in a temple open house."

Organizers said they were grateful for the many members who have taken time off work, and for their employers who gave them the time off, to assist visitors. The volunteers also had to attend training sessions before the open house began.

Volunteers said it was a privilege to give the service – and if they could, they would give more.

Temple volunteer coordinators believe them.

"Something touches the people and they show up and ask if they can stay longer," said Brother Robinson.