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OGDEN — Thousands of young members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints performed in a cultural celebration in Ogden Saturday afternoon. Similar celebrations have become tradition the day before the dedication of an LDS temple, and the performers were thrilled to be a part of it all.
The celebration was held in the Dee Events Center, and LDS Church President Thomas S. Monson and other church leaders were in attendance.
“Really, truly, my beloved, beloved young friends, you are the hope of Israel,” said Elder Jeffrey R. Holland of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. “And we love you for that, and we honor you and are grateful for the preparations you’ve made, even at your young ages, to be part of this temple dedication weekend.”
One of the most touching moments of performance happened just minutes before it began when thousands of excited, noisy teenagers suddenly fell silent, rose to their feet and spontaneously started to sing.
In an hour of song and dance, the youth paid tribute to Ogden's Native American and early pioneer histories, the building of the railroad and the spirit of community service that shines bright in the Ogden area.
Many of the young men and women said it was an opportunity they will never forget.
Looking ahead to Sunday, the first of three rededication sessions for the Ogden temple will be held at 10 a.m.; 1 p.m.; and 4 p.m.
The Ogden temple was originally dedicated in January 1972. About four years ago, Church officials decided to give the temple a complete remodel.