Annual lighting program lights up LDS temple grounds for Christmas season

ST. GEORGE – Many believe the Christmas season in St. George doesn’t officially start until thousands of lights are lit during the annual lighting program at the St. George Utah LDS Temple.

Randy Wilkinson, newly appointed president of the St. George UTah Temple, speaks as the annual Christmas lighting program hosted by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, St. George, Utah, Nov. 25, 2016 | Photo by Mori Kessler, St. George News
Randy Wilkinson, newly appointed president of the St. George Utah LDS Temple, speaks at the annual Christmas lighting program hosted by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, St. George, Utah, Nov. 25, 2016 | Photo by Mori Kessler, St. George News

Each Friday following Thanksgiving the community is invited to attend the event hosted by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints where thousands of Christmas lights light up the temple grounds.

This year, as in years past, the turning on of the lights was likened to the light Christians the world over say came into the world with the birth of Jesus Christ 2,000 years ago.

“Shortly a switch will be turned on and the beautiful Christmas lights that have been installed will become illuminated – an illumination which signifies the love he, our older brother (Christ), he, our savior and redeemer, brought into this world,” said Randy Wilkinson, president of the St. George Utah LDS Temple.

Wilkinson, who was appointed as the new LDS temple president Nov. 1, spoke to a large gathering at the temple grounds. Much of the seating was gone prior to 5:30 p.m. when the program began, leaving only standing room for those who came after – and there were many.

At the annual Christmas lighting program at the St. George Utah Temple hosted by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, St. George, Utah, Nov. 25, 2016 | Photo by Mori Kessler, St. George News
At the annual Christmas lighting program at the St. George Utah LDS Temple hosted by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, St. George, Utah, Nov. 25, 2016 | Photo by Mori Kessler, St. George News

At Christmas, Wilkinson said, people gather to celebrate not only the birth of Christ, but also his death which wrought a divine promise of eternal life and atonement.

“We cannot separate these two most important events in the history of the earth,” he said, and added that this time of the year, more than any other, is also a time when thoughts, hearts and actions magnify love, charity and helping others.

“I pray, as we drive by the temple during this special season of the year and see the beautiful lights, may we be continually reminded that (Christ) is the light of the world,” Wilkinson said.

Following Wilkinson’s comments, the Southern Utah Heritage Choir, which sang Christmas-themed hymns throughout the program, finished the program with a rendition of “Silent Night.”

As the choir sang, lights across the temple grounds came to life, providing additional light in the darkness that had come with the setting of the sun.

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Email: mkessler@stgnews.com

Twitter: @MoriKessler

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2016, all rights reserved.

 

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1 Comment

  • .... November 25, 2016 at 9:54 pm

    It’s quite a light show they put up and it’s open to the public. everyone is welcome to go and enjoy the lights. all the haters are welcomed to come by and enjoy the lights as well.

    it’s a nice display of lights for some holiday pictures of friends and loved ones. dress warm folks it’s cold out there. have fun !

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