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LDS Church News

Second temple dedicated in Florida

By Gerry Avant

LDS Church News

Published: Sunday, May 4 2014 9:45 p.m. MDT

During the first session of the dedication, a ceremony was held to put into place a symbolic cornerstone, in which was placed a copy of the dedicatory prayer and various publications, historical and contemporary photos documenting the history of the Church in southern Florida and the construction of the Fort Lauderdale Florida Temple.

At the cornerstone ceremony, President Uchtdorf made brief remarks, welcoming people standing outside the temple. He spoke of the beauty of the day — a day of sunshine and new dawning.

After President and Sister Uchtdorf, along with the other Brethren and their wives, placed mortar to seal the cornerstone, several children were invited to come forward. President Uchtdorf leaned down and spoke to each child, asking his or her name.

A choir assembled near the eastern corner of the temple performed two hymns.

During each dedicatory session in the temple, choirs composed of members in the temple district sang hymns reflecting gratitude for the temple and praises for the blessings of the Lord.

Members came to the temple’s dedication with gratitude and joy. Among them was Maria Soledad Brenes Perez of the Lagoon Ward, Miami Florida South Stake.

Baptized at age 18, she attended the Atlanta Georgia Temple for the first time as a young adult while dating her future husband, William J. Perez, who had returned from serving a mission in Peru. Married in the Atlanta temple in 1989, they continued to attend that temple during the next five years, until the Orlando Florida Temple was dedicated. “It took 13 hours,” she said of the drive to Atlanta from Miami.

When she was asked how long it takes her to get to the Fort Lauderdale temple from her home, her eyes filled with tears. She struggled with her emotions before she could answer: “30 minutes.”

She said she is grateful to have a temple so close to her home. “It means we will be able to go to the temple more often and serve the Lord more diligently and consistently,” she said. “It is now possible to come to the temple often, even weekly, rather than occasionally.”

gerry@desnews.com