It was a big weekend for temple building in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, as ground was broken for new temples in Philadelphia and Peru.
"The work done in these sacred buildings becomes the crowning element of our religious worship," said President Henry B. Eyring of the church's First Presidency, who participated in the Philadelphia groundbreaking along with Elder Jay E. Jensen of the Presidency of the Seventy; Elder William R. Walker, executive director of the LDS Church Temple Department; and Elder Robert B. Smith of Seventy.
"For Latter-day Saints," President Eyring continued, "no building is more sacred than a dedicated temple of God."
The groundbreaking prompted a long story in the Philadelphia Inquirer about the Temple and the LDS Church. As part of his research for the story, reporter David O'Reilly participated in a missionary discussion with two sister missionaries and a local woman they are teaching. Parts of their discussion are included in the story, as well as comments from local church leaders and historians.
The Philadelphia Pennsylvania Temple will be built at 1739 Vine Street in downtown Philadelphia, adjacent to the Vine Street Expressway. It is situated diagonally across the street from Logan Square, a prominent Philadelphia landmark. The new temple will be the first in Pennsylvania, and will serve some 30,000 members of the LDS Church from Pennsylvania, Delaware and parts of New Jersey and Maryland. It is scheduled for completion in late 2013.
For some interesting video and photos from the groundbreaking please click here.
Meanwhile, in Peru, Elder Rafael E. Pino of the Seventy conducted groundbreaking ceremonies for the new Trujillo Peru Temple.
The temple is being built on the site of an existing LDS meetinghouse in the Urbanización Primavera section of Trujillo. The site is located near the prominent Campo Eterno cemetery, on the highway to Huanchaco. The second LDS temple in Peru (the Lima Peru Temple was dedicated in 1986), it will serve more than 88,000 LDS Church members in the area. Currently many members of the church in the Trujillo Temple district must travel as much as 10 hours by bus to participate in ordinances in the Lima Temple.