Tem­ple open house be­gins April 24

Serve Daily - - FRONT PAGE - By Lana Hiskey & Janet Frank

Ex­cite­ment is grow­ing among mem­bers of The Church of Je­sus Christ of Lat­ter-day Saints from Maple­ton to Delta now that there’s only a few short weeks un­til the start of the public open house for the new Payson Utah LDS Tem­ple.

“Our fam­ily’s watched closely as each phase of the tem­ple has been com­pleted,” said Shane Frank, fa­ther of four from San­taquin. “It’s in­cred­i­ble to think about the tem­ple be­ing only five min­utes from our house.”

Tick­ets for the free open house will be avail­able on­line start­ing April 13 at www. lds.org. Gen­eral public tours will be con­ducted from April 24 to May 23, ex­clud­ing Sun­days. All mem­bers of the public, both LDS mem­bers and non-mem­bers, are in­vited to par­tic­i­pate.

An­nounced in Jan­uary of 2010, the Payson Tem­ple will serve ap­prox­i­mately 93,000 LDS Church mem­bers and 27 stakes through­out cen­tral Utah. Mem­bers of the LDS Church be­lieve tem­ples are the place where sa­cred or­di­nances are per­formed that will en­able them to re­turn to live in the pres­ence of God for­ever. Those or­di­nances can be done for the living and the dead through prox­ies.

Public tours of LDS tem­ples tra­di­tion­ally take place for a month prior to the of­fi­cial ded­i­ca­tion of a tem­ple. Once ded­i­cated, only wor­thy mem­bers of the LDS Church are al­lowed in­side the build­ing.

The Payson Tem­ple will be ded­i­cated in three ses­sions on Sun­day, June 7. Those ses­sions will be broad­cast only within the Payson Utah Tem­ple dis­trict, and the three­hour block of meet­ings for those con­gre­ga­tions will be can­celed for that Sun­day.

“I think the open house is im­por­tant be­cause peo­ple of all faiths need to learn about each other. Even though we live dif­fer­ently, we need to un­der­stand each other and ap­pre­ci­ate each other and the open house helps pro­mote that,” said Jan­ice Lowe of Span­ish Fork.

Peo­ple from all across Utah and be­yond its bor­ders are ex­pected to at­tend the open house for a glimpse of what will be the 15th LDS tem­ple in Utah and the 146th op­er­a­tional tem­ple in the LDS Church. One in­ter­faith group has al­ready made plans to come from St. Ge­orge and a large group of ar­chi­tects from across the coun­try will be in­clud­ing it in their tour of lo­cal ar­chi­tec­tural high­lights.

The Payson Tem­ple is lo­cated at 930 West and 1494 South on the south­west side of Payson, a mile from the 800 South I-15 in­ter­change. The prop­erty of­fers scenic views of the area as well as easy ac­cess to the free­way. Tem­ple-go­ing mem­bers have pre­vi­ously been driv­ing to Provo or Manti or far­ther for tem­ple ser­vices. Two more tem­ples are sched­uled for the Bee­hive State: the Provo City Cen­ter Tem­ple is un­der con­struc­tion and the Cedar City Tem­ple has been an­nounced.

“Church mem­bers who have tem­ple rec­om­mends get to go to the tem­ple as of­ten as they like and en­joy its beauty and its rev­er­ence. We want ev­ery­one to share in that,” said Liz Worthen of Span­ish Fork.

Liz and Curtis Rowley, of San­taquin, have used the up­com­ing open­ing of the Payson Tem­ple to strengthen their fam­ily’s ef­forts to work on ge­neal­ogy. The par­ents of five have al­ready per­formed tem­ple work for sev­eral de­ceased fam­ily mem­bers in the Provo Tem­ple, of­ten in­clud­ing their two old­est chil­dren in the process.

“We plan to keep work­ing on it, es­pe­cially so we will have names to bring to the Payson Tem­ple,” said Liz Rowley.

When the Row­leys fi­nally get the op­por­tu­nity to take names to the Payson Tem­ple, they hope to try the church’s new Fam­ily Tem­ple Time pro­gram. The new pro­gram al­lows fam­i­lies to make a bap­tistry ap­point­ment ahead of time dur­ing the des­ig­nated block of time determined by each tem­ple in­di­vid­u­ally.

“We are en­cour­ag­ing fam­i­lies to call the tem­ples to make an ap­point­ment so they will be able to go right in to the bap­tistry. They will have an op­por­tu­nity to go at their sched­uled time with­out a long wait,” said El­der Kent R. Richards, ex­ec­u­tive direc­tor of the church’s Tem­ple Depart­ment.

Some tem­ples have al­ready started sched­ul­ing fam­ily ap­point­ments, and oth­ers will be im­ple­ment­ing the change over the next few months. Pa­trons can go to www.lds.org/tem­ples and look at their tem­ple’s web­site to learn how their area will ap­ply the change. Tem­ples will still ac­cept ward and stake ap­point­ments to ac­com­mo­date youth groups com­ing to­gether. For cur­rent in­for­ma­tion, go to http://fillthe­world­withlove.org/ or Face­book: Payson Utah Tem­ple Cul­tural Cel­e­bra­tion and Open House.

Photo by Mered­ith Carl­son

Tick­ets to tour the newly com­pleted Payson Utah LDS Tem­ple will be avail­able on­line be­gin­ning April 13, with tours be­gin­ning April 24 and con­tin­u­ing through May 23.

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