Jeffrey Holland Rings Bell Again in Restored Chapel

Jeffrey Holland Rings Bell Again in Restored Chapel

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PINE VALLEY, Utah (AP) -- A "fun-loving, active, mischievous boy" from St. George used to sneak in and ring the bell at the Pine Valley Chapel during meetings.

The boy, now grown and a member of the Quorum of the Twelve of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, returned to the chapel Sunday and again he rang the bell.

Elder Jeffrey R. Holland, had permission this time as he rang the bell to conclude the rededication of the recently restored 137-year-old chapel, possibly the oldest, continually operating chapel in the church.

The restoration began in 2003, about the time the congregation became a year-round branch presided over by Branch President Wendell Gray.

The foundation was augmented, new siding and shingles were added and the interior was restored. Heating, air conditioning and insulation were added.

The small building could not accommodate all those attending the rededication. About 100 people sat inside the main chapel, while a few hundred more sat in other rooms or outside the building, watching the meeting live on closed-circuit television.

Gray spoke of the man who designed the building, Ebenezer Bryce, for whom Bryce Canyon is named.

He was a shipbuilder, and the chapel was designed like an upside down boat.

Holland called many of those in attendance by their first names and recalling memories of his childhood visits to Pine Valley.

Holland called the building a house of worship, a sanctuary and a mountain home and dedicated every part of it unto God.

As the meeting closed, President J. Robert Rhodes of the St. George West Stake told the story of the "fun-loving, active, mischievous boy" from St. George and invited him to pull the bell one more time.

(Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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