Thousands attend Brigham City temple groundbreaking ceremony

As a child, Apostle Boyd K. Packer of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints attended school across the street from the Brigham City tabernacle. Almost 80 years later, Packer made the trip back to that same plot of land, now just an empty lot of dirt, to break ground for the Brigham City Utah Temple.”I am home,” Packer said to the 5,000 members in attendance at a groundbreaking ceremony July 31.The new temple is estimated to take 2 years to complete and will have a classic, white LDS temple design similar to the temple in Salt Lake City. As a tribute to Brigham City and the pioneers who founded it, a peach blossom will be present in the design.Temples are places where LDS ordinances, such as marriage and baptisms for the dead, take place. They are considered “houses of the Lord” and ordinances performed within their walls are believed to unite families for eternity.The new temple will stand on the most prominent ground in Brigham City, just across from the historic tabernacle on Main Street. The temple will be a “beacon for all the valley” just like the tabernacle has been for decades, Packer said.Steven E. Snow, member of the Presidency of the Seventy, urged church members to “respect and revere” the temple and to use it often.”Occasionally, sometimes when we find such things in our backyard as wonderful as temples, unfortunately at times we take them for granted,” Snow said.Allan F. Packer of the Quorum of the Seventy said church buildings “represent a means and not an end.” The most important buildings in the church are the home, he said where mothers and fathers raise eternal families. Churches and temples, then, are “just a vehicle” for the work of the LDS Church to take place.Allan Packer told LDS priesthood leaders to use the construction time of the temple to build up the members of the LDS Church so they would be ready to use the building once complete. He also urged members to work on their family history so that names for temple ordinances to be done will by ready by the time the temple is dedicated.Toni Youngberg, resident of Brigham City for 25 years, told Cache Valley Daily that she was so excited at the October 2009 announcement of the new temple that she “called, texted and e-mailed” all of her family and friends. This new temple will provide more opportunities for LDS members by making temple work more accessible and cutting down on the time it takes for locals to drive to the temple.Other speakers at the ceremony included William R. Walker, executive director of the temple department; Verle M. Allred of the Brigham City Stake; Russell M. Nelson, Quorum of the Twelve Apostles and Donna Packer, President Packer’s wife.After the speakers and dedicatory prayer, given by President Packer, church officials and local government officials took turns posing for pictures and turning some dirt with shovels to symbolize the start of construction. A large group of children took turns with the shovels, and then the rest of the audience was given the opportunity to turn dirt as well.While no temple district boundaries have yet been drawn, it is estimated that 12 stakes with more than 40,000 members in northern Utah and southeastern Idaho will serve at the Brigham City Utah Temple.The LDS Church currently has 133 operating temples across the world and the Brigham City Utah Temple will be Utah’s 14th. LDS President Thomas S. Monson will travel to Kiev, Ukraine, at the end of August to dedicate the church’s newest temple.- rachel@cvdaily.com

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