1 of 4
John Power
Elder William R. Walker and Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer pose for a photo during a tour of the Gilbert Arizona Temple on Jan. 16.


Arizona’s Gov. Jan Brewer described the Gilbert Arizona Temple as “a beacon of hope, faith and love to all those who come to this sacred building and its beautiful grounds. It is a special place ... a place of spiritual refuge in this troubled world.

“This temple is also a testament to those who came before you. With faith, fortitude and devotion to God, Mormon pioneers settled much of this state, including what would become the town of Gilbert.”

Gov. Brewer made these comments after she visited the temple on Thursday, Jan. 16, two days before the public open tours were scheduled to begin. Elder William W. Walker of the Seventy and executive director of the Temple Department, hosted Gov. Brewer and other special guests, among whom were government, religious, civic, education and community leaders.

Gov. Brewer noted that it has been more than 100 years since the first Latter-day Saints came to Arizona, and nearly 90 years since the temple in Mesa was dedicated.

“There are more than 400 thousand members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints who call Arizona their home. What a remarkable legacy. I am proud to call you my neighbors and my friends.”

In making brief remarks at a luncheon after the tour, Gov. Brewer turned to Elder Walker and said, “I had the privilege of touring the Gila Valley Temple with you. Today, I’ve seen the beautiful Gilbert temple, and I am looking forward to seeing the new Phoenix temple when it is completed in the fall. I am going to call this my ‘temple triple crown.’”

Among those who joined Elder Walker in hosting the special guests were Elder David LeSuer, an Area Seventy who has been called to serve as president of the Gilbert temple, and Elder Todd B. Hansen and Elder Jim M. Wright, Area Seventies.

Free public tours of the temple will be conducted from Saturday, Jan. 18, through Saturday, Feb. 14, except Sundays. Open house reservations are being accepted at www.gilbertmormontemple.org.