President Benson Breaks Ground for San Diego Temple
May 1988

“President Benson Breaks Ground for San Diego Temple,” Ensign, May 1988, 95–96

President Benson Breaks Ground for San Diego Temple

President Ezra Taft Benson turned over the first shovelful of dirt on February 27 at the construction site of the San Diego Temple. The temple, which will be California’s third, will be located in the triangle formed by highways 805 and 52 and Interstate 5.

President Benson presided over the groundbreaking ceremony. He was accompanied by his wife, Flora. Also participating were President Thomas S. Monson, Second Counselor in the First Presidency, and his wife, Frances; Elder Wm. Grant Bangerter, a member of the Presidency of the First Quorum of the Seventy and Executive Director of the Temple Department; and Elder Gene R. Cook, a member of the First Quorum of the Seventy, President of the North America West Area of the Church, and Chairman of the San Diego Temple Committee.

President Benson counseled members to teach their children the special significance of the temple: “Soon you will have here in San Diego another Latter-day Saint temple that will serve as a beacon for members and nonmembers alike,” he said. It will be an ever-present reminder that God intends a family to be eternal.

“How fitting it would be for fathers and mothers to point to this temple and say to their children, ‘Here is the place where we were married for eternity.’”

President Benson encouraged parents to “share with your children your personal feelings as you knelt together before this sacred altar and took upon yourselves the covenants which made it possible for them to be sealed to you forever.”

President Benson said that “a temple is a constant visible symbol that God has not left man to grope in darkness” and called temples “places of personal revelation.” He told of times when he had been weighed down by problems or difficulties, and after going to the house of the Lord with a prayerful heart, he found that the needed answers always came “in clear and unmistakable ways.”

Noting the concern parents have about protecting their families from the “cascading evil and wickedness which threatens to engulf the world,” President Benson called upon members to join him in making the temple “a sacred home away from our eternal home.”

“There is a power associated with the ordinances of heaven,” he said, “even the power of godliness, which can and will thwart the forces of evil, if we will be worthy of those sacred covenants available and made in the temple of God,” he concluded.

President Monson told those in attendance to “plan from this day forward to rededicate yourselves [even] as this spot is dedicated for the house of our Heavenly Father.

“Let us, as we build this temple, fashion so carefully the very lives which we are so privileged to enjoy,” he said.

President Monson praised President and Sister Benson for their good example in faithfully attending the temple every Friday that they are physically able to do so.

Elder Bangerter said that he felt it to be a great privilege to live in an age when, over the past five years, more than half of all the temples of the Church have been dedicated.

Elder Cook urged members to examine their lives “with the intent to rededicate” themselves.

At present, the Church has forty-one temples in operation. The San Diego Temple, scheduled to be completed about two years after construction begins this summer, is expected to be the forty-fifth.

Correspondent: Robert McGraw is San Diego–Escondido California multiregional public communications director.


President Ezra Taft Benson addresses members at the construction site of the San Diego Temple. (Photo by Quentin Gardner.)


Elder Gene R. Cook, President Benson, President Thomas S. Monson, and Elder Wm. Grant Bangerter break ground for the new temple. (Photo by Quentin Gardner.)