Mormon temple dedicated in Arizona

Published: Monday, May 24 2010 12:15 a.m. MDT

The Latter-day Saint heritage of southeastern Arizona and southwestern New Mexico stretches back to the 1840s, when members of the Mormon Battalion of the U.S. Army marched through the region en route to San Diego — one of the longest military treks in U.S. history. More than 130 years ago, in 1879, a group of 28 Latter-day Saints left their camp in present-day Show Low, Ariz., to settle in The Gila Valley. Then-church President John Taylor organized the St. Joseph Stake in February of 1883. At that time, the St. Joseph Stake stretched from Miami, Ariz., to El Paso, Texas. President Kimball became one of the most notable people of the St. Joseph Stake.

President Kimball's son Andrew Kimball traveled from Utah for the dedication. His father, he said, "loved this area. He loved the people."

Andrew Kimball said his father always wanted the temple in his hometown community to bear one name: "The Gila Valley Temple."

He emphasized "The."

President Kimball, he added, would be "very pleased."

e-mail: sarah@desnews.com

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