Locals in the pioneer communities of eastern Arizona pronounce the name of their valley with a capital “The.”
It’s not Gila Valley or the Gila Valley. It is “The (emphasis added) Gila Valley,” plain and simple.
Visitors are quick to pick up on the intonation, which is reflected in the name of the Church’s newest temple.
Mark S. Bryce, coordinator of the local temple committee, said President Spencer W. Kimball, the Church’s 12th president, who grew up in the area, always referred to the valley as “The Gila Valley” or “The Valley.”
The name of the temple, he said, reflects President Kimball’s emphasis.
And locals won’t let visitors forget. Upon meeting reporters from Salt Lake City, Brother Bryce shared instant advice: “Make sure you get the name of the temple right,” he said.
President Kimball’s son Andrew Kimball and daughter Olive Beth Mack traveled to Central, Ariz., from Utah for the dedication. Their father, Brother Kimball said, “loved this area. He loved the people.”
Andrew Kimball said President Kimball always wanted the temple in his hometown community to bear one name: “The Gila Valley Temple.”
He emphasized “The.”
President Kimball, he added, “is very pleased.”