REDLANDS, Calif. — It rained the day before and the day after, but the heavens were still as ground was broken Dec. 1 for the Redlands California Temple.
Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf of the Seventy, president of the North America Northwest Area, presided at the service, which was conducted by Elder Michael Duffin, Area Authority Seventy.
The temple "will uplift and enhance in many ways and increase the value of properties around," Elder Uchtdorf told the congregation of about 350, which included Redlands Mayor Pat Gailbreath and two other members of the city council.
Douglas Glauser, president of the Redlands California Stake, said the groundbreaking of the temple "is a groundbreaking for our own personal temples."
Other speakers included President Kip Madsen of the Yucca Valley California Stake and President George Stehmeier of the San Bernardino California Stake.
Located next to the Redlands stake center, the temple site is in a residential neighborhood in the east part of the city on land formerly occupied by orange groves. In fact, special guests at the service were given orange juice taken from oranges on trees removed for the construction.
The temple district encompasses 22 stakes. Redlands is located about 15 miles from San Bernardino, 15 miles from Riverside and is about 70 miles east of Los Angeles.
Construction is expected to be completed within the year, said J. Robert West, Inland Empire Multi-Stake director of public affairs.