Announced: April 12, 1999.
Location: 2000 Beaumont Parkway, Reno NV 89503; phone: (775) 747-6688; no clothing rental.
Site: 1.2 acres.
Exterior finish: Granite.
Temple design: Traditional.
Architects: Church A&E Services.
Project manager: Amos and Gloria Wright.
Contractor: Jacobsen Construction Co.
Rooms: Celestial room, baptistry, two ordinance rooms and two sealing rooms.
Total floor area: 10,700 square feet.
Dimensions: 149 feet by 77 feet.
District: Eight stakes in western Nevada and eastern California.
Groundbreaking, site dedication: July 24, 1999, by Elder Rex D. Pinegar of the Seventy and president of the North America Southwest Area.
Dedication: April 23, 2000, by President Thomas S. Monson, first counselor in the First Presidency; four sessions.
Done by President Boyd K. Packer
Gracious Father, on this historic day we come unto Thee with thankful hearts and a profound feeling of reverence. We are met to dedicate this sacred temple. It is our offering, freely given, and with great appreciation for the opportunity to have this beautiful house in our midst.
In the authority of the holy priesthood, and in the name of Thy Beloved Son, we consecrate and dedicate unto Thee and unto Him this the Reno Nevada Temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Wilt Thou accept it as Thy house, and wilt Thou cause that Thy Holy Spirit may dwell here and that its presence may be felt by all who come here.
We dedicate every feature of this sacred structure including the grounds on which it stands. Their beauty speaks of Thy handiwork in the creation of the earth. We dedicate the structure from the footings to the figure of Moroni. We dedicate all of the interior facilities, including the beautiful baptistry, the endowment rooms, the Celestial Room, and the sealing rooms with their sacred alters. We dedicate the offices and all other facilities of this the House of the Lord.
May Thy watch care be over it. May it stand against the storms of nature. May no unholy hand defile it in any way. We pray that the divine presence of this house in this community may be felt by all who pass by, that it may be looked upon with respect and appreciation.
Bless all who enter the portals of this structure that they may be worthy to come here as Thy Saints. May they do so with reverence and with a desire to promote Thy work in behalf of Thy children of all generations. May the youth who come to be baptized in behalf of those who have passed beyond the veil of death feel of Thy Holy Spirit and never forget the importance of the sacred work which they perform. May it have a beneficent effect upon their lives.
May all who come to be endowed develop a more certain knowledge of Thine eternal purposes in the creation of the earth and in the importance of Thy sons and daughters in Thy grand design. Bless all who serve as proxies in behalf of the dead, that they may be touched by a spirit of unselfishness and of love for those who have gone beyond.
We pray for those who are sealed in this Thy house. May they ever hold sacred the obligations of marriage performed under the authority of the everlasting priesthood.
Dear Father, bless all who have made possible this beautiful structure. May they gain satisfaction from the knowledge that they have had a part in creating this sacred edifice. May they recognize that it is no longer simply a building, but rather a house consecrated unto Thee and Thy Beloved Son, a place of holiness, a sanctuary of faith.
We pray for the nations of the earth that there may be peace among them. We pray for this nation of which we are a part that it may remain a bastion of freedom and that the great purposes of the founding fathers may be realized in blessings upon the heads of its citizens.
Bless Thy work and bless all who serve Thy cause wherever it may be established. Open the homes of the people to Thy servants and open the doors of the nations to the on-rolling of Thy work.
Now dear Father, our thoughts reach up to Thee. Our hearts are softened and are inclined to Thy Beloved Son who has, through the infinite Atonement, brought unto us unmeasured blessings for which we can never fully repay Him. We love Him and wish to do His will. We love Thee and desire to walk in the paths Thou hast laid out for us.
Accept of our thanks, accept of our love, accept of our labors in this sacred temple we humbly pray in the name of Jesus Christ, the Redeemer of the world, amen.
Reno temple: Easter Day dedication brings hope
By Julie Dockstader
Church News staff writer
RENO, Nev. — Little Lehi Otuafi was born several months early. Too weak, he was gone within hours. His parents, Alifeleti and Meliame Otuafi, named him Lehi, after the Book of Mormon prophet, because he "was the first to partake of the fruit" — or the first of their family to go beyond the veil.
Today, a year and a half later, Brother and Sister Otuafi have tasted somewhat of that fruit. On Easter Sunday, April 23 — a day of birth, life and hope — they gathered with thousands of other Latter-day Saints here for the dedication of the new Reno Nevada Temple.
"I was trying to hold my tears [in the temple]," Sister Otuafi of the Reno (Nev.) 4th Ward said after the last dedicatory session.
That simple statement was true for many on this sunny day in western Nevada as President Thomas S. Monson, first counselor in the First Presidency, dedicated in four sessions the Church's 81st operating temple and the newest of the smaller temples. Accompanying President Monson were Elder M. Russell Ballard of the Quorum of the Twelve and Elder Rex D. Pinegar of the Seventy. With their husbands were Sisters Frances Monson, Barbara Ballard and Bonnie Pinegar.
Only about 200, including a 65-voice choir, were able to gather for the cornerstone ceremony as the grounds behind the temple stop short at an iron fence before sloping steeply downward. Standing here, one can see downtown Reno in the distance as well as much of the surrounding valley. But smaller numbers aside, there was no less enthusiasm as President Monson, his wife by his side, led the temple entourage around the side of the building to the cornerstone. He waved at those in the back of the crowd, shook hands of those in front and warmly bantered with those assembled.
Then, after having the General Authorities' wives and members of the temple presidency take a turn at applying mortar to the cornerstone, he called for children.
By the end of the day, some 7,774 had attended the dedication, including those in stake centers around the temple district receiving a satellite feed. Many wandering the grounds throughout the day were those who had attended at stake centers and then drove up to the temple, some just to "touch it."
It seemed the temple touched many back.
"Having the temple here in Reno has awakened a spirit in the people that I don't believe has been here previously," Reno Nevada North Stake President Robert A. Trimble, who also served as temple coordinator, told the Church News. "I've heard bishops and stake presidents say they've had lines of people getting dedication tickets and temple recommends — both new and renewed."
The awakening President Trimble spoke of seemed to happen in the lives of all ages and all walks of life — even for some of other faiths. Temple President W. Darrell Foote chuckled when he related how local leaders, in keeping their promises to neighbors living near the temple that there would not be masses of people coming up the hill every day, urged members to not visit the construction site too often. However, he added, "a lot of non-members have made a trip up the hill."
Their interest went from passive curiosity, he explained, to a warm questioning of what really happens in a temple. Several construction workers even took the missionary discussions, he added.
For members, this is their temple — far up a hill from a city of glittering lights and neon signs. One sister, Dorothy Keele of the Reno 1st Ward, Reno North Nevada Stake, lovingly hung many of the individual crystals on the chandelier in the celestial room. But she did not use her sense of sight. She is legally blind. Touch guided her fingers.
The day before the dedication, Penni Abney of the Stead Ward, Reno North stake, helped iron white skirts for the television monitor stands. Baptized Feb. 28, 1998, she is looking forward to Saturday, April 29, 2000, when she will be one of the first to receive her endowments in the new temple.
She has wanted to make the trip to the Oakland California Temple, across the Sierra Nevada Mountains, several times, but "every car we've had has broken down, every one of them. Now I don't have to worry about that. Knowing [the temple] is here is such a comfort."
For Julie Edwards of the Tonopah Ward, Fallon Nevada South Stake, the temple is her beacon of hope. With tears streaming down her face, she spoke of family challenges that have weighed down her heart. Temple blessings, she said, are what have kept her, her husband and their family pushing forward "because of that promise of eternal happiness. I've never been so grateful for the gospel as I have the last few months. I'm doing what [the Lord] wants because He promised."
Alifeleti Otuafi is also grateful. Standing on the temple grounds, he thinks of not only his son, Lehi, but also of his parents. He was 15 when his father and mother left their home in Tonga, before that island had a temple, to travel to New Zealand for their lifelong dream of being sealed in the temple. They could afford to take only one of their 10 children. Brother Otuafi waited at home.
"I never thought in a million years I'd be close to a temple," he recalled. But after his mission, he moved to Reno and is now helping with temple maintenance. "Often times, I have to pinch myself to see if I'm dreaming, but it's all here," he related, looking toward the new temple.
Ground is broken for Reno temple
RENO, Nev. — Just as the early pioneers received, in the Nauvoo Temple, strength for their journey west, so can members today receive, in the temple, the strength they need to fulfill their journey ahead, said Elder Rex D. Pinegar.
Speaking at the groundbreaking services for the Reno Nevada Temple on Pioneer Day, July 24, Elder Pinegar of the Seventy and president of the North America Southwest Area noted that the purposes of the Lord are fulfilled in His temples.
In the temple, the early pioneers became firm in their knowledge that they were following the Lord, explained Elder Pinegar. "They knew they would be led by Him and would be able to face whatever challenges came to them — even if it meant the giving of their lives."
Elder Pinegar presided at the groundbreaking services, held on the 152nd anniversary of the pioneers' arrival into the Salt Lake Valley. He was accompanied by his wife, Bonnie. Local Church and community leaders also attended the service, held in a meetinghouse not far from the temple site. The meeting, as well as the ceremonial breaking of the ground for the temple, was videotaped so members of the eight stakes in the temple district who could not attend the event in person could view the ceremony at a later time.
During his remarks, Elder Pinegar asked those in attendance to return to their branches and wards and share their feelings, their testimonies of truth and their testimonies of the temple.
"The temple is a representation of our commitment — our commitment to our Heavenly Father and His Son," said Elder Pinegar. ". . . In every dispensation of time the Lord has commanded His people to build temples, that He, the Lord, might have a place to come and be with them and bless them and inspire them. That is why we are so anxious to have one here."
Elder Pinegar called the groundbreaking a good time to honor the pioneers.
"These devoted faithful Saints traversed the dangerous, forbidding country of America's wilderness. Through extreme and inhospitable weather they endured hardships, privation and went into the unknown with great faith and courage."
Elder Pinegar noted that many of the pioneers found the will to accomplish such tasks in the temple. "From the temple experience they had gained a vision of who they were and what their relationship was with God," he said.
Today, he explained, Church members are faced with their own difficulties. "We need the Lord's strength in our own lives and in the lives of our children," he said, noting that the temple will be a visual reminder of their Heavenly Father's existence and will stand as a beacon to remind members to come unto Christ.
During the service, Pres. Karl Schulthies of the Quincy California Stake spoke of the spirit of temple building, and the presence of spiritual help in the temple. Pres. Timothy Dyches of the Reno Nevada Stake and director of the temple committee explained that the temple committee received divine help as a temple site was selected and approved. Representing the bishops in the temple district, R. Bruce Brinkerhoof of the Galena Ward, Reno Nevada Stake, spoke of the temple as a "new beginning."
After the service, Elder Pinegar, stake presidents, selected local dignitaries and those working on the temple project proceeded to the temple site, located on a hill overlooking the city. Because of the site's "very limited capacity" others watched the proceeding in the chapel on videotape.
A strong wind was blowing at the beginning of the chapel service. However, by the time the small group arrived at the temple site the wind had ceased and the day was peaceful and calm. Elder Pinegar offered a site dedicatory prayer and all present had the opportunity to turn the soil — commencing the ceremonial beginning of Nevada's second temple.