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SOUTH JORDAN -- The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is dedicating its newest temple Friday.
The Oquirrh Mountain Temple in South Jordan is the second temple to be dedicated this year in the Salt Lake Valley--the Draper Temple was dedicated last spring. The new temple is the 130th LDS temple in the world.
Sealing of the cornerstone
Church President Thomas S. Monson, along with President Dieter F. Uchtdorf of the First Presidency and Elder Dallin H. Oaks of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles all participated in the traditional sealing of the cornerstone outside the temple. President Monson called on a handful of children to come up and help.
"This is a beautiful day, a beautiful day. And now it will be my opportunity to place the mortar within the stone. I'm not a professional, and to prove that to you all you need to do is look at my work. And then we are going to call on some of you to assist," he told the crowd.
For those who didn't get a chance to help, it was still a memorable experience to be so close.
"It was nice to be able to see everyone go up there and how nice the president is and to be so close to him," Jordan Treglown said.
"I was trying to get a view from the back there, and my dad let me come up over here. And then when I saw President Monson, the Spirit just washed over me, and it felt really, really good," Nicholas Chevtlier said.
An impromptu birthday song came from the crowd, in honor of President Monson's 82nd birthday; he turned 82 years old Friday.
"It's a wonderful way to spend a birthday, to be around such wonderful people as assembled in the temple for a dedication ceremony. And they've waited a long time for one nearer to the area where they live. And to have one right in their midst now is a great blessing, and I was glad to celebrate with them," President Monson said.
The temple dedication ceremony
Inside, Pres. Monson offered a dedicatory prayer during the service.
Hundreds of LDS members were inside the temple for the dedication, including Garrett and Lisa Brown, who attended the dedication with their daughters.
"Just a great experience to be here with my family, to be able to see President Monson and be in this beautiful temple," Garret said.
Lisa said, "It was a beautiful day and a beautiful opportunity for us to be in the temple with President Monson today."
It was so spiritual to be in the presence of the prophet. It's amazing, and we have a temple so close we can go every week.
–-Stacie Goodwin, dedication participant
"It was so spiritual to be in the presence of the prophet," said Stacie Goodwin, another participant. "It's amazing. And we have a temple so close we can go every week. We're excited for our new temple."
The Oquirrh Mountain Temple is the church's 13th in Utah. Since public tours of the building began in June, nearly 600,000 people have walked through the building.
It is the fourth LDS temple in the Salt Lake Valley and the church's 130th in the world. It is located near 11400 South and the Bangerter Highway in the new Daybreak development.
The dedication services continue Saturday and Sunday. In place of regular church meetings Sunday, members of the church in northern Utah will be able to participate in some of those sessions via satellite broadcast to local meetinghouses.
The temple, which has a separate purpose than meetinghouses, will serve more than 80,000 members of the church in the southwest part of the valley.