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Ground broken for LDS temple

South Jordan edifice to be Oquirrh Mountain Temple

Published: Sunday, Dec. 17 2006 12:00 a.m. MST

President Gordon B. Hinckley, right, is joined by other LDS Church leaders at the groundbreaking for the Oquirrh Mountain Temple.

August Miller, Deseret Morning News

SOUTH JORDAN — Top LDS leaders held a groundbreaking ceremony Saturday for what will be known as the Oquirrh Mountain Temple in South Jordan's new Daybreak housing and commercial development.

Despite freezing temperatures, hundreds gathered in a temporary structure set up for the morning meeting. President Gordon B. Hinckley told members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints — both the congregation and those gathered in LDS meetinghouses to view the proceedings by satellite — that the new edifice will be known as the Oquirrh Mountain Utah Temple.

Patrons "won't know how to spell it," he said to laughter from the crowd, "but they don't come to the temple to spell. They come to participate in the work of the Lord."

Previous reports have referred to the planned structure at Daybreak as the "South Jordan" temple in order to distinguish it from the Jordan River Temple, a building double the size of the new 60,000-square-foot edifice.

The Jordan River Temple also sits in the city of South Jordan, making it the first city in the world to have two LDS temples within its boundaries.

The new building, which is scheduled to be completed in two years, will be the fourth temple in the Salt Lake Valley.

Oquirrh is a Goshute Indian word, President Hinckley said, noting the building's location near the base of the Oquirrh Mountains to the west. "Oquirrh" has been interpreted to mean "Shining Mountains."

Although the name may seem strange to some, "people don't know how to spell Timpanogos, and some can't even spell Salt Lake City," he quipped.

He said the temple is "the greatest Christmas present" that Latter-day Saints in the South Jordan area can receive. "We couldn't have a better present than a house of the Lord."

The 12-acre temple site sits on a bluff that commands a view of most of the Salt Lake Valley.

"If the valley keeps growing, we may have to build another one," he said, a reference to a fifth temple he announced for the Salt Lake Valley in October 2005 but didn't specify a location for. "But it won't be soon," he said.

President Hinckley also spoke of temple-building in other parts of the world, announcing plans to construct a new temple in Quetzaltenango, Guatemala.

"The temple in Guatemala City (dedicated in 1984) can't accommodate all those who wish to come. We'll probably be building further temples in Brazil and in other parts of the world. These will bless the people in a way no other structure on Earth can bless them."

Presidents Thomas S. Monson and James E. Faust, first and second counselors, respectively, in the church's First Presidency, also addressed the gathering.

President Monson said he anticipates that once the building is finished airline pilots flying near the Kennecott Copper Mine will not only point out the mine to their passengers but will also refer to "the gleaming white temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, with an angel atop its spire."

President Faust shared a prophecy that has been attributed to former LDS Church President Brigham Young, who predicted that at some future date there would be "large places of manufacturing" and much construction "west of the Jordan River."

Young also predicted that the Jordan River would practically "run through the center of Salt Lake City," President Faust said, adding, "We're seeing the realization of that in our time."

He lauded President Hinckley for having "the inspiration and vision to be the greatest temple builder in the history of the world."

Once President Hinckley gave the dedicatory prayer on the site, he and his counselors and other general authorities took shovels to the loose dirt in front of the dais. He invited those in the audience who wanted to participate to come forward and take a shovel.

When Peter McMahon, president of Kennecott Land, approached to do so, President Hinckley publicly thanked him for the land donated by his company for the temple's construction.

McMahon said the church approached Kennecott in 2005 to ask if the company would be interested in having a temple built in the Daybreak development. The company had already been negotiating with the LDS Church regarding sites for several LDS meetinghouses to be built there, he said.

"We've done all the development up to and around the site, and delivered a level site" for the temple, McMahon said. "The church has already taken possession of it."

He said Kennecott encourages "representatives from churches of other faiths" to also discuss the possibility of locating within the massive, mixed-use development.



E-mail: carrie@desnews.com

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