“Ground Broken for Bountiful Temple,” Ensign, July 1992, 76–77
There is a handful of youngsters who will not forget the Bountiful Temple ground breaking.
After President Ezra Taft Benson, assisted by President Gordon B. Hinckley, First Counselor in the First Presidency, and President Thomas S. Monson, Second Counselor in the First Presidency, officially turned the first shovelful of dirt at the May 2 ceremony, President Hinckley and President Monson invited several children to come try their hand. The boys and girls enthusiastically participated by shoveling a little dirt.
But the ground breaking was historic for all persons in attendance, noted President Hinckley, who conducted the meeting and offered the dedicatory prayer.
“This is a day of history in the Church when we undertake the construction of another temple of the Lord. I remind you that this is the greatest era in the history of the world in the construction of temples.”
President Hinckley noted the significant and sacred part President Benson had played in the selection of the site of the Bountiful Temple. “I wish with all my heart that he could stand and speak to us. I express to you, in his behalf, his love for you, his blessing upon you, his gratitude for your prayers in his behalf, and your many thoughtful and kind remembrances of him, as well as your sustaining hands and heart as he fulfills his responsibility as President, prophet, seer, and revelator.
“Temples were built anciently,” President Hinckley noted, “but I’m satisfied that they were never built in such numbers as we have been building them in the last few years.
“We now have temples on every continent of the world,” President Hinckley continued. “This has all come about in the last dozen years.
“We’ve dedicated as many temples in the last dozen years as have been dedicated in all the previous history of the Church.”
President Hinckley also noted that ground will be broken in June for a temple in Orlando, Florida, and that work is moving forward on temples in Colombia, Ecuador, and St. Louis, Missouri.
“And there will be others,” said President Hinckley. “This, I repeat, is the greatest era in the history of the world in the construction of these houses which are dedicated for specific and special purposes which are not carried on anywhere else in the world—houses in which the fulness of the priesthood will be exercised.
“Every temple which this church builds stands as a monument to the conviction of this people that life is eternal, that the human soul is immortal, that when we pass through the veil of death we continue activity. … For that reason, [temples] are absolutely essential—more than important—but essential to the complete work of the Church as it has been revealed in this the dispensation of the fulness of times.”
In his remarks, President Thomas S. Monson urged those in attendance to “make a pledge this day to do a little temple building ourselves.
“It was the Apostle Paul who said to the Corinthians, ‘Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?’ (1 Cor. 3:16.)
“When we realize that truth, we can build a personal temple unto God as this temple is built unto our Heavenly Father,” President Monson explained.
“In our own personal temple building, as in the building of this holy house, the words of John Ruskin typify my personal feelings: ‘When we build let us think that we build forever. Let it not be for present delight, nor for present use alone; let it be such work as our descendants will thank us for, and let us think as we lay stone on stone that a time is to come when those stones will be held sacred, because our hands have touched them; and men will say, as they look upon the labour and wrought substances of them: See, this our fathers did for us.’
“As we contemplate our sacred endowments, as we contemplate the sealing ceremonies and ordinances, we will gain an appreciation for our families, not only our families here in mortality but our family members who have gone beyond. And we will have a desire to maintain that family solidarity and to ensure that the work that can only be done in the temples of God is accomplished.
“I testify to all here today,” concluded President Monson, “this will be a temple of truth, it will be a sanctuary of service, it will be a place of peace. Oh, may all in this temple district frequently gaze eastward to the mountain of the Lord’s house and remember his comforting assurance: ‘I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.’” (John 8:12.)
In his address, President Howard W. Hunter, President of the Quorum of the Twelve, noted that “nearly all Christian religions have houses of worship, but only one builds temples. The [temples] that exist today are those constructed by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, as commanded by the Lord since the restoration of the gospel in this dispensation.”
From the beginning of history, structures have been built for special religious purposes, President Hunter noted.
However, “during the long period of apostasy after the time of the destruction of Herod’s Temple, we have no record that temples were built in the world until the gospel was restored in these latter days. The priesthood, which is essential to temple ordinances, did not exist upon the earth.
“After the restoration of the gospel through a prophet of the Lord, raised up for that very purpose, and the establishment of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, temples were again erected according to divine commandment.
“What a glorious thing it is to realize that soon on this site will be such a temple,” President Hunter concluded. “It will be beautiful in every detail, inside and out, and built in accordance with revelation from the Lord.”
More than seven thousand people attended the Saturday morning ground-breaking ceremonies. An additional two thousand watched the proceedings at the Bountiful region center. Music for the event was provided by a combined choir from the Bountiful region.