With COVID-19 pandemic restrictions keeping the gathering to a minimum, the Moses Lake Washington Temple is the latest of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints’ 23 temples now “under construction” following a groundbreaking ceremony Saturday, Oct. 10.
Social-distancing guidelines set by the local government resulted in a limited attendance of Latter-day Saint leaders for the day’s event in Moses Lake, Washington, according to Newsroom reports.
“Please help us as we not only dedicate this ground but also rededicate our lives to Thee and Thy purposes when this new temple will be completed in all its beauty,” said Elder David L. Stapleton, an Area Seventy, who presided over the groundbreaking and offered the dedicatory prayer.
Elder Stapleton was joined by his wife, Barbara, and temple groundbreaking committee coordinators Steve and Barbara Jorgensen. The Jorgensens also spoke at the ceremony, according to Newsroom.
Beyond Saturday’s ceremonial turning of the shovelfuls of dirt, formal construction efforts will begin next week.
The Moses Lake temple was announced by President Russell M. Nelson during the April 2019 general conference. The groundbreaking was announced Sept. 11, the exterior rendering released on April 7, and the temple site location identified nearly a year ago on Oct. 29, 2019.
Said Steve Jorgensen during his remarks Saturday: “We were quite astonished and humbled by the announcement of a temple to be built here in Moses Lake. What a wonderful blessing.”
He spoke of the sacrifice of multi-generations settling the dry region in central Washington, including the consecration given by the area Latter-day Saints. “Many of us are children of grandchildren of the early pioneers that came and settled in this temple district. I would like to honor and pay tribute to these early pioneers.”
The planned single-story temple of approximately 20,000 square feet will be located on Yonezawa Boulevard between Division Street and Road K NE. The temple will have a center spire. A 17,000-square-foot meetinghouse will be built adjacent to the temple on the 17-acre site.
Detailed design plans and additional interior and exterior renderings will be released at a later date.
The Moses Lake Washington Temple will be the fourth in the state, joining the dedicated and operating Seattle Washington, Spokane Washington and Columbia River Washington temples.
Washington is home to 289,479 Latter-day Saints in 62 stakes and 544 congregations.