“Ground Broken for Temple in Las Vegas,” Ensign, Feb. 1986, 75
President Gordon B. Hinckley, First Counselor in the First Presidency, told those attending the November 30 groundbreaking for the new Las Vegas Nevada Temple that “the spirit of the temple will be a blessing to all in the community, not only to those who enter.”
Under the direction of President Ezra Taft Benson, President Hinckley presided at the groundbreaking. Elder Boyd K. Packer of the Council of the Twelve and Elder Hartman Rector, Jr., of the First Quorum of the Seventy, a member of the presidency of the Church’s North America Southwest Area, also participated.
The temple site is located on the slope of Sunrise Mountain in the eastern part of Las Vegas. But the groundbreaking program was scheduled in the Las Vegas Convention Center downtown, where some 9,000 people were able to attend. As part of the program presented there, they viewed a videotape of the spading of the earth that had been performed by dignitaries minutes earlier at the temple site.
President Hinckley told those present that a temple groundbreaking “speaks of our eternal values” and is “a visible testimony … of the everlasting nature of the family.” In the Church’s temples, he said, we may “seal families together through the power of the priesthood. It is a more important work than any other I know.” While temple work sometimes requires sacrifice, that sacrifice is a fundamental part of the gospel—one that God the Father exemplified when he allowed his Son to be sacrificed as the Savior of mankind, he said.
Elder Packer said that Las Vegas might seem an unusual place to construct a temple, “unless you know Las Vegas and the number of worthy and faithful Saints who live here.” The temple will be an indicator, he said, that Church members can be “in the world, but not of the world.” The temple will serve about 70,000 Latter-day Saints in Nevada and parts of Arizona and California.
Elder Rector said the temple “will add moral tone” to the city and that it is an honor to the community. He welcomed the many civic and religious leaders who attended the groundbreaking program.
Nevada Governor Richard Bryan, who had assisted with the ground-breaking, and Clark County Commission Chairman Thalia Dondero also spoke on the program. Former Nevada Governor Michael O’Callaghan was among those attending.