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BRIGHAM CITY — Thousands of young people of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints performed in a cultural celebration the night before the dedication of the Brigham City Temple.
Nearly 4,000 young men and women, ages 12 to 18, have rehearsed and planned for months for this event that parents, friends and church leaders watched Saturday night.
Elder L. Tom Perry and Elder Russell M. Nelson of the church's Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, shared their excitement.
"Oh, this is wonderful," Elder Perry said. "To think that we'll have a cultural celebration before we'll have the great dedication of the Brigham City, Utah temple."
The city has strong ties to pioneer history, and is named after the LDS Church's second prophet, Brigham Young, who gave his final address in what is now known as Pioneer Park. The church's fifth prophet, Lorenzo Snow, is buried in the Brigham City cemetery.
"This is an experience of a lifetime," Nelson said. "Any temple dedication is, but in Brigham City, it's very, very special, a place held dear to us all."
Before the celebration, they visited with families in the stands.
"Now, don't worry about your performance tonight," Perry said. "We just hope you've made a lot of friends that will last and endure for the eternities to come. God bless each of you."
Sunday, Oct. 7, 1:30 p.m. Channel 5
Then the young people recreated the history of the Brigham City area through song and dance. They honored the Native Americans, the immigrants who came from Denmark, Wales and Latin America. They even recreated the building of the railroad and the driving of the Golden Spike.
"They've learned the various cultures and some of the things that drew them here and what we can learn from those other cultures," said Box Elder Stake President Ronald Frandsen. "I think that makes us better Latter-day Saints."
For the performers, this was a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
"At first I thought it was crazy but, now I'm liking it a lot," said Willard resident Ethan Mills. "I think it's a really neat experience to do something for the temple like this."
The Cultural Celebration closed with all eyes on Brigham City's beautiful new landmark.
The 36,000 square-foot Brigham City temple is the 139th to be built worldwide and is intended to serve parts of northern Utah as well as Malad, Idaho, covering 13 stakes and 40,000 members of the LDS church. The design is reminiscent of historic temples of the church. It has a very unique design, combining the old and new. A peach blossom design can be found both inside and outside the temple on various areas. Latter-day Saints throughout Utah and in Malad, Idaho will be able to participate in the dedication in their Church meetinghouses. There will be no regular Sunday services for them tomorrow.