Announced: March 17, 1999.
Location: 3900 Grant Road, in Central Point, OR 97502; phone: (541) 664-2050; no clothing rental.
Site: 2 acres.
Exterior finish: Granite.
Temple design: Traditional.
Architects: Dan Park and Church A&E Services.
Project manager: Amos and Gloria Wright.
Contractor: Corey Vitas Construction.
Rooms: Celestial room, baptistry, two ordinance rooms, two sealing rooms.
Total floor area: 10,700 square feet.
Dimensions: 149 feet by 77 feet.
District: Nine stakes in southern Oregon and northern California.
Groundbreaking, site dedication: May 20, 1999, by Elder D. Lee Tobler of the Seventy and first counselor in the North America Northwest Area presidency.
Dedication: April 16, 2000, by President James E. Faust, second counselor in the First Presidency; 4 sessions.
Done by President James E. Faust
Our Eternal Father in heaven, wondrous are Thy works. Reverently and with humility we approach Thee on this historic day of dedication.
In the name of Thy Beloved Son, and in the authority of the holy priesthood in us vested, we dedicate and consecrate this the Medford Oregon Temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
We pray that Thou wilt accept it as Thy holy house and cause that Thy Spirit shall dwell here to touch the hearts of all who serve within these walls.
We dedicate the ground on which this temple stands. May the lawns, the shrubs, the flowers, be beautiful to look upon. We bless the structure in its entirety from the footings to the figure of Moroni that crowns the steeple. We dedicate all of the interior facilities, the beautiful Baptistry, the endowment rooms, the magnificent celestial room, and the sealing rooms with their sacred altars. We likewise dedicate all other rooms and facilities of this Thy house.
We present it to Thee as our offering, given in love and with deep gratitude for Thy manifold blessings upon us. We pray that it may be secure from any defilement by evil hands. We pray that it may stand strong against the storms, the winds, the snows, the rains, and the sun which beat upon it. We pray that it may ever be a place of beauty that will cause the passerby to acknowledge its sacred nature.
Wilt Thou touch the hearts of Thy people in this temple district that they may ever regard it with gratitude and appreciation, that they may qualify themselves to come here as Thy servants and carry forward the great work for which it is designed.
Please bless this Thy house to the sanctifying of Thy Saints. We pray ‘That thy glory may rest down upon thy people, and upon this thy house,…that it may be sanctified and consecrated to be holy, and that thy holy presence may continually be in this house;
“And that all people who shall enter upon the threshold of the Lord’s house may feel thy power, and feel constrained to acknowledge that thou hast sanctified it, and that it is thy house, a place of thy holiness” (D&C 109:12-13).
Father, may those who labor here be endowed with strength and vitality to carry forward Thy work. So bless the temple presidency and the matron and her assistants. Likewise we pray for all who shall serve in administering the ordinances and in exercising the fullness of the priesthood. We pray for all who come as patrons, that they may be endowed with Thy Holy Spirit, that their hearts may be pure and their hands clean as they enter into covenants with Thee.
We pray for Thy work in all the earth. May it grow and expand according to Thy divine pattern. Bless all who go from this area as messengers of eternal truth, that they may be here endowed and thence go forth to speak with authority in the name of the Lord as they declare Thine eternal truths.
Bless the youth of the Church, dear Father. Lead them in paths of righteousness and truth. Protect them from the alluring and seductive calls of the adversary. May they grow in faith, with testimony in their hearts concerning Thee and Thy Son. May they come to this Thy house to solemnize the most sacred event of their lives, their marriage to partners of equal worthiness, and may the covenants which they will make in this house be kept inviolate throughout their lives.
Now, dear Father, let Thy blessing rest upon Thy servants whom Thou hast appointed to preside in Thy Church. Grant them strength and vitality, energy and purpose to accomplish Thy will in the earth.
On this day of dedication wilt Thou bring into our hearts a spirit of resolution to rededicate ourselves more completely to the work of Thy kingdom we humbly pray as we express our love for Thee and Thy Son in His Holy Name, even that of our Redeemer, the Lord Jesus Christ, amen.
Rise of sacred edifice reflects rebuilt lives
All involved relate rekindled faith, renewed testimony
By Lynn Howlett Church News contributor and Julie Dockstader Church News staff writer
CENTRAL POINT, ORE. — The new Medford Oregon Temple, the Church’s 79th operating temple and the second in Oregon, reflects the rebuilding of the lives and testimonies of those involved with its construction and operation — from the contractor laying concrete to the usher placing white shoe coverings on a visitor’s shoes.
And with its dedication April 16, 2000, by President James E. Faust, second counselor in the First Presidency, the Medford Oregon Temple will continue to change lives as it serves more than 28,600 members living in Oregon and northern California.Just after daylight broke through clouds on this crisp spring morning, President Faust, accompanied by Elder Neal A. Maxwell of the Quorum of the Twelve and Elder F. Melvin Hammond of the Seventy, placed the first mortar on the cornerstone. He then invited Elders Maxwell and Hammond to place some mortar, along with members of the temple presidency and several children. (Accompanying their husbands were Ruth Faust, Colleen Maxwell and Bonnie Hammond.) Also present was Elder Michael Robinson, an Area Authority Seventy. Adding to the moment was a choir of 60 youth from throughout the temple district, directed by Gaylene Adamson and accompanied by Marcia Miller.
Then, waving to those gathered near the cornerstone, President Faust walked back inside the temple to preside over the first of four dedicatory sessions. Overall, more than 8,000 attended the four sessions, sitting within the temple or in the adjacent Central Point Oregon Stake center.
Having two temples in Oregon is significant in a state where early Mormons once worked as loggers and, later, as sugar beet farmers. The first stake, the Union Stake, was organized 99 years ago, with the five original wards increasing to 12 within two years. Industrial work during World War I and World War II brought a further Mormon migration to the northwest, and, finally, a temple was dedicated in Portland, Ore., in 1989. Today, tens of thousands of members appear in all walks of life and in communities spread across the state.
This was never more apparent than during the construction phase and subsequent open house and dedication of the Medford temple. Nearly 46,000 attended the open house March 24-31, 16,000 more than expected. This was preceded March 22 with a special tour for the contractors who worked on the temple and for neighbors; nearly 500 attended. The next day, almost 400 special guests attended the tour. Just two weeks before, local Church leaders published more than 250,000 copies of a 16-page newspaper insert that was distributed throughout southern Oregon and northern California. The insert announced the open house and explained basic Church beliefs.
Then, on Sunday, April 16, members began arriving at dawn for the dedication. “The whole experience has just been a tremendous faith builder for all those who have been involved,” Central Point Stake President Edward E. Hanson, who also served as temple committee coordinator, told the Church News. “There were so many spiritual experiences that were shared with me by different individuals. We had many faiths, and some who may not have a faith, who definitely felt the Spirit at the open house.
“One of the special things about this temple,” President Hanson continued, “is that the general contractor and the job superintendent were both active members of the Church. They, along with the construction missionaries, would start each day with prayer. That truly added a great deal to this experience — that calling on the Spirit to be present during the whole construction phase. It was mentioned by various individuals, ‘We are not only building a temple, but we’re also building people.’ “
President Hanson also expressed gratitude for the faithfulness of the temple committee members. “They understand their assignments and were devoted to making sure everything came off right. It was beyond anything I expected.”
Continuing, he said the temple was a “miracle for the people in this area. There was a member’s sister who went through the open house with her [non-LDS] husband, and while returning home from the open house, he agreed to baptism. He’s been attending and investigating the Church for a few months, and that seemed to affect him to the point where he is now ready for baptism.”
U.S. Sen. Gordon H. Smith, a member of the Church, was asked to speak impromptu during the first session. “It was one of the few times in my life that I’ve been speechless. I am deeply humbled. We are doubly blessed now in Oregon with two temples to God.”
George Wiebe, 90, of the Lakeview Ward, Klamath Falls Oregon Stake, was also feeling the blessings. “The temple is just wonderful!” he exclaimed.
Nine-year-old Brittany Weston, one of the children to place some mortar on the cornerstone, was excited to be a part of the cornerstone ceremony, but added: “The mortar was kind of slippery. The only warm time was when President Faust put his arm around me.”
Such tender moments have occurred throughout the construction of this latest of smaller temples. For example, during the construction of the celestial room, Suzy Park of the Gold Hill Ward, Central Point stake, happened to be at the temple. Feeling prompted, she began to sing “Families Are Forever” to the construction workers in that room. “Some of the construction workers had tears in their eyes,” she recalled. “The Spirit was very strong.”
Another member became known as the “Cinnamon Roll Lady” to workers. Willie DeKorte of the Central Point Ward lives two blocks from the temple site. Three different times she made and delivered fresh cinnamon rolls to the landscapers.
“Out of the 225 people who worked on the temple,” said Corey Vitas, the general contractor, “all of them felt the Spirit here at one time or another. The concrete contractor ripped up the curb after the first time and redid it because it ‘wasn’t perfect.’ And he wasn’t even a member. That’s the spirit all the workers had about the temple. They would say, this is ‘our temple.’ “
That is most likely the way many — LDS and non-LDS alike — feel about the new Medford Oregon Temple.
You can reach Julie Dockstader by e-mail at [email protected]
Oregon temple is another ensign
By Jadine Brown and Alyce Kunze
Church News contributors
CENTRAL POINT, Ore. — After an extraordinarily long wet season, the sun broke through an overcast sky May 20 as more than 1,000 gathered for the groundbreaking of the Medford Oregon Temple.
The temple, which will be built adjacent the Central Point Oregon Stake center, 35 miles north of the California border, will contain 10,700 square feet and include a baptistry, two endowment rooms, two sealing rooms and the celestial room.
“This new temple is now another ensign to the restoration of the gospel,” Elder D. Lee Tobler of the Seventy and first counselor in the North America Northwest Area presidency, said in remarks during the groundbreaking services. “It is an ensign not only for you, but it is an ensign for your neighbors. It is an ensign for all.”
Elder Tobler said the temple will not be built just for the members of today, but also for the members of tomorrow and the families of yesteryears.
As part of the service, Elder Tobler dedicated the site and then joined with Elder Michael T. Robinson, an Area Authority Seventy, and Central Point Mayor Bill Walton in turning the first ceremonial shovelfuls of soil. Elder Tobler then invited children to take a turn with a shovel.
In his brief remarks, Elder Robinson, who was the first president of the Central Point stake, said he has reflected many times to when the groundbreaking was held for the Central Point stake center. “I’ve wondered how many of us who were there even had an inkling of an idea that the Lord would see fit to build a temple here. I can tell you that I didn’t. But I want you to understand that Heavenly Father knew and that this land was planned to hold a temple.”
Also in attendance at the groundbreaking were Oregon Eugene Mission Pres. Thomas G. Jones and Jackson County Commissioner Jack Walker. Performing music for the services was a choir of nearly 100 members from the temple district, under the direction of Suzanne Stewart of the Klamath Falls Oregon Stake
More than 28,000 members in six stakes in southern Oregon and three stakes in northern California are in the Medford temple district.