PAYSON – Last month I was reminded of a past experience I had during September 1986, when my wife Mandy and I served as hosts at the open house of the Denver, Colorado Temple of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
It was reported that over 140,000 visitors toured the Denver Temple at that time. This past month, I traveled by bus with the Utah South Area Public Affairs Council and members of the Interfaith Council from St. George and Cedar City to the Payson Utah Temple Open House. As I walked past the many volunteer hosts of the Payson Temple, I was taken back to those days in 1986 when I served as a host and brought back many wonderful memories and emotions.
During our tour experience of the Payson Temple we met with Elder Kent F. Richards of the Seventy and executive director of the Church’s Temple Department who became our VIP tour guide.
Latter-day Saint temples differ from the meetinghouses or chapels where members meet for Sunday worship services. Temples are considered “houses of the Lord” where Christ’s teachings are reaffirmed through marriage, baptism and other ordinances that unite families for eternity. Inside the temple, members learn more about the purpose of life and make covenants to serve God and their fellow man.
There were members of many faiths with us on the bus that traveled to Payson. Our tour group included Catholics, Episcopalians, Evangelicals, Jews, Lutherans, Methodists and Presbyterians, among others.
The Payson Temple is such a beautiful and large structure, one of the largest in Utah. It will take 3,000 ordinance workers to manage the number of patrons who will attend the temple to do proxy work for their ancestors.
The temple is located in southwestern Payson, 1494 S. 930 W., and can be easily accessed from the 800 South exit of Interstate 15. It sits on a gently sloping 10.63-acre parcel adjacent to a recently constructed Church meetinghouse.
The open houseis free but tickets are required and can be obtained here or by calling 1-800-537-6214.
Following the public open house which is going on now, the temple will be formally dedicated on June 7 as the 146th operating temple of the Church. Three dedicatory sessions will be held at 10 a.m., 1 p.m. and 4 p.m.
The temple will serve more than 78,000 Latter-day Saints from Mapleton to Delta, Utah.
More than 13,000 local Latter-day Saint youth will celebrate the opening of the temple in a cultural celebration on June 6 at 7 p.m. in the Lavell Edwards Stadium in Provo.