Rain, clouds in Adelaide do not dampen spirits during groundbreaking

ADELAIDE, Australia — In the midst of black clouds and heavy rain, almost 500 people gathered at the temple site here May 29 for the ceremonial beginning of the Adelaide Australia Temple.

Bishops, acting as ushers, directed the steady flow of traffic to the nearby Firle Chapel, where the groundbreaking service was held. In the comfort of the chapel, to the sound of rain drumming on the roof, the congregation listened to Elder Vaughn J Featherstone of the Seventy and president of the Australia/New Zealand Area and other speakers.

Elder Featherstone, who presided at the services, asked that the local Saints serve in the temple willingly and joyfully.

He called the temple a wonderful credit to the members in Adelaide, who have "for years and years traveled between 15 and 20 hours each way to the Sydney Temple." By demonstrating a commitment to temple attendance, the Adelaide members "surely merit a temple in their midst," he said.

After his talk, he offered the site dedicatory prayer.

Current and former stake presidents recounted the history of the Church in Adelaide and exhorted all in attendance to become pure in heart. Sandra Howell, a stake Relief Society president, spoke on the atonement of the Savior.

A 65-voice choir performed two selections — "The Day Dawn is Breaking" and "High on the Mountain Top" — under the direction of Marilyn Broomfield. They sang without musical accompaniment and their voices touched many hearts.

The congregation proceeded to the temple site, and as they did, the rain stopped. Heavy black clouds gave way to clear skies as Elder Featherstone and local stake presidents broke ground. Next, local dignitaries — including the mayor and his wife, various members of government and the principal of the adjacent high school — as well as children were invited to participate.

Church leaders announced plans to build the Adelaide Australia Temple March 17. The edifice, located just a few miles from the Adelaide City Center, will be one of four temples in the country. The Sydney Australia Temple was dedicated Sept. 20, 1984, by President Gordon B. Hinckley. Ground was broken for the Melbourne Australia Temple March 20 and the Brisbane Australia Temple was announced July 20, 1998.