6 Temples Partially Built by Children and Youth
Throughout history, the Lord has often required His people to make significant sacrifice. Although the sacrifices that He sometimes requires of us today for the building of temples are very different from those required by the Saints in the early days of the restored Church, we are often still blessed with opportunities to contribute and serve, especially when it comes to the Lord’s temples. Here are a few stories of children, youth, and young adults who made their own contributions and sacrifices to build a house of the Lord.
Original story by Chad Hawkins featured on LDS Living.
Mount Timpanogos Temple – Morning Sun by Jon Adams
1. Mount Timpanogos Utah Temple
A large chandelier is the centerpiece of the bride’s room in the Mount Timpanogos Temple, and two young women and their mother were given the responsibility of assembling it and the crystal sconces in the room. But as they went to begin the assembly, they found that the instructions had been discarded. Distraught, they continued with the difficult task, only being able to refer to an 8×10 picture of the completed chandelier for guidance. They unpacked the many pieces, but it quickly began looking like an intricate puzzle. Feeling completely overwhelmed, they finally sought help through prayer.
“We just asked for help in seeing where things should go. . . ,” one of the young women said regarding her desperate prayer. “We would find one piece. . . . Then we would find another that fit with it. Some of the pieces had to be put in first, or you couldn’t get the ones that followed in. We found you could not do them out of order.” The process of receiving the inspiration they needed was “just amazing. It showed us that the Lord had his hand even in simple things.”
San Diego Temple – Soft Glow by Jason Carlton
2. San Diego California Temple
Just like every other temple across the world, the San Diego Temple is surrounded by beautiful landscaping and gardens that help create a peaceful and spiritual setting for visitors. As plans were being made for the temple’s surrounding grounds, many members, including children, looked for ways to contribute their time and talents. Youth from 180 different wards and branches were given the responsibility to water and care for some of the flowers to be used during the temple’s dedication. After the temple was dedicated, the potted flowers were then planted in beds around the flagpole.
At the same time, children across the border in northern Mexico also wanted to help to build a House of the Lord. But these youth had to do something different because government restrictions would not allow them to bring plants across the border. Therefore they designed and made a handcrafted rug for members of the First Presidency to stand on as they laid the temple’s cornerstone. A microfiche with the names of all the Primary children in the temple district was later placed in the cornerstone, along with other significant items.
Logan Temple – Day of Joy by Tausha Coates
3. Logan Utah Temple
Of the $600,000 contributed toward financing the construction of the Logan Utah Temple, $2,300 came from children in the Cache Valley Stake who contributed to a Sunday School “nickel fund.” One curious young boy who had contributed to this fund visited the temple during its construction. While attempting to examine the temple by climbing its scaffolding, he was stopped by a guard, who asked him what he was doing. The boy said he had paid his nickel to the temple nickel fund and “therefore felt he had a right to see it.”
Louisville Temple – Eternal Love by Taylor Yardley
4. Louisville Kentucky Temple
As was the case with chandeliers in the Mt. Timpanogos Temple, the chandeliers in the Louisville Temple were also worked on by young women from local stakes. They had the memorable experience of hanging crystals on many of the chandeliers throughout the temple, including the celestial room. The young women were awed and inspired by what they were able to take part in. As they assembled the chandeliers, they joined in singing songs about the temple.
“They had very beautiful high soprano voices, and it made you think there were groups of angels singing in the temple,” said Sister Karla Packer Prestridge, a temple construction missionary. When the chandelier was raised into its permanent position in the celestial room, many of the girls said, “When I get married in this temple, I can come and say that I helped with the crystals on that chandelier.”
Spokane Temple – Sunrise Glow by Rory Wallwork
5. Spokane Washington Temple
On May 22, 1999, approximately 40 Aaronic Priesthood young men were given a wonderful honor and responsibility. All of the young men participated in uncrating the temple’s baptistry oxen and carrying them to their permanent position within the temple. Some of the smaller young men were able to maneuver between the oxen and the font and securely bolt the oxen into place.
Jordan River Temple – Summer Glow by Rory Wallwork
6. Jordan River Utah Temple
The Jordan River Temple’s construction was unique in that, unlike other temples built up to that point, it was funded entirely by contributions from members living in the area. Tithing funds were not used. Challenged by President Spencer W. Kimball to raise needed funds, the Saints undertook a large fund-raising campaign in all 122 stakes of the Salt Lake and Jordan River Utah temple districts. After a full year of working at fund-raising, members had contributed $14.5 million, which was 10 percent more than their original goal!
This vast amount of money came from the sacrifice of thousands of generous members. There are many stories of those who participated in the fund-raising. For example, two young brothers, one 8 years old and the other nearly 10, were excited to do their part. They walked door to door, asking neighbors if they would like to buy homemade bread. Soon they had requests for 16 loaves. They hurried home and told their unknowing mother that they needed her to bake 16 loaves of bread right away. While she didn’t know about their little fund-raising venture, she of course agreed to join them in doing their part, and before long the boys delivered 16 hot loaves of bread. In all, they sold about 30 loaves for the temple fund.
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