“House” and “home” were common themes at the groundbreaking ceremony for the Farmington New Mexico Temple, held Saturday, April 30, at the temple site.
The temple — which will bear the inscription “House of the Lord / Holiness to the Lord,” as found on all other temples of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints — will be built in Farmington, the commercial hub of the Four Corners area and where the Animas, San Juan and La Plata rivers converge.
“We are grateful Thy temple will be built in this city where three rivers come together and leave as one,” prayed Elder Anthony D. Perkins, a General Authority Seventy who presided at the groundbreaking event and offered a dedicatory prayer on the temple site and construction process.
The region’s coming together of rivers and geopolitical borders was underscored in his prayer.
“We pray that women, men and youth of every race and ethnicity, every language, every political persuasion and every walk of life will feel welcome to come up and worship in this holy place and depart in unity as covenant-keeping disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ.”
He added: “We pray, Father, that this temple will be a blessing to this community, a beacon of hope shining in the dark days that Thou art mindful of Thy children and that peace can be found in Christ.”
Elder Perkins was joined by his wife, Sister Christine Perkins; Elder Larry J. Echo Hawk, an emeritus General Authority Seventy, and his wife, Sister Teresa Echo Hawk; Elder Tommy D. Haws, an Area Seventy, and his wife, Sister Eileen Haws; as well as temple and mission leaders and invited guests from the area and state.
Signaling the start of the temple’s construction, the groundbreaking event served as a homecoming for Elder and Sister Perkins, who grew up in the region, met in Farmington, dated in high school and held their wedding reception in the city.
“To us, this region is home,” Elder Perkins said. “We love the Ute Mountain, the La Plata Mountains, the Lukachukai Mountains, the Shiprock monolith and the San Juan River.”
Projected to be a single-story temple of approximately 25,000 square feet, the Farmington New Mexico Temple will be built on a 6.62-acre site at the intersection of College Boulevard and Windsor Drive. A meetinghouse will also be built on the site.
The temple will be the state’s second, joining the Albuquerque New Mexico Temple, which was dedicated in March 2000. Nearly 70,000 Latter-day Saints reside in New Mexico, spread across some 140 congregations.
However, the temple will serve more than members in New Mexico, but also Latter-day Saints from the Four Corners region of the southwestern United States, including parts of Colorado, Arizona and the Navajo Nation.
Youth choirs from the temple district sang “Come, Ye Children of the Lord” as part of the program, as reported by ChurchofJesusChrist.org. And those participating in the groundbreaking ceremonies included members of stakes in Bloomfield, Farmington, Gallup and Kirtland, New Mexico; Chinle and Tuba City, Arizona; and Durango, Colorado.
Saturday’s groundbreaking ceremony was livestreamed to Latter-day Saints living in the temple district.