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Thousands attend dedication ceremonies for new temple Friday


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DRAPER -- President Thomas S. Monson and thousands of Latter-day Saints gathered Friday morning for the first dedicatory service of the Draper temple.

There will be four dedicatory services every day for three days, and 1,976 people are invited into the temple for each of those services. Some services will also be broadcast to church houses around the valley for other LDS members to view.

Nearly 200 young people from 25 Draper and Sandy stakes formed a choir that sang outside the temple. President and Sister Francis Monson, President and Sister Eyring and President and Sister Packer, along with other church leaders and several children participated in setting the cornerstone of the temple with mortar.

President Monson gave the honor first to his longtime secretary Lynn Cannegeiter, who has worked with him for 43 years. After she spread a little mortar, so did her husband and daughter.

Then President Monson called a few children from the audience, followed by the choir director, who he encouraged to pose for a picture holding the trowel like a baton.

"I felt really humbled," the choir director said. "I liked how he wanted me to hold it like a baton. I can relate to that!"

Behind the stone, the church placed a time capsule which holds books written by Monson and an account of Draper's history.

This was a special day for many, but certainly for two men: one who designed the stained glass; the other whose company did the stonework.

"Very sweet and very special experience to be here and to be part of the temple. My grandfather was building and working on the Salt Lake Temple. So, this is an emotional day," said stone worker Daniel Tanner of Caffal Tile.

Tom Holdman, who is the art glass designer for the temple, said, "The heavens were opened and [it was] a very moving experience."

Both men can look at the temple and say they have left a legacy of creativity that generations will see.

Also in attendance at today's ceremonies was 103-year-old Virginia Smith Lewis. Her grandfathers were some of the first settlers in Draper.

"It was wonderful; very, very inspiring and very wonderful. I'm sure that my loved ones were nearby," Lewis said.

The Draper temple is the 12th for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Utah and its 129th worldwide. It will serve about 60,000 members, who use the buildings to perform sacred rites such as weddings and proxy baptisms.

Open for tours since January, the 54,000 square-foot building will close to outsiders Sunday after a special prayer.

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Story compiled with contributions from Carole Mikita and The Associated Press

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