Elder Oaks Returns to Payson Roots to Break Ground for Temple
On Saturday, October 8, 2011, Elder Dallin H. Oaks of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles presided over the groundbreaking ceremony for the Payson Utah Temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He was joined by Elder Steven E. Snow and Elder Jay E. Jensen of the Presidency of the Seventy and Elder William R. Walker of the Seventy, who serves as the Executive Director of the Church’s Temple Department.
Prior to the groundbreaking Elder Oaks reminisced about the location, where he spent much of his boyhood.
“I’ve always considered Payson one of the four cities in which I was raised,” he said. “After the death of my father in 1940, I lived with my Harris grandparents on their farm adjoining the highway between Payson and Spring Lake.”
He pointed out the location of the farm, less than half a mile from the temple site, and further explained that near there is the school where he finished the third and fourth grades. Just north of that school, he was baptized a member of the Church.
He said he attended church in Payson, participated in Scouting activities, and even gave his first talk in the Payson Ward, which he returned to each summer of his teenage years to help his grandfather.
At a basketball game at Payson High School in 1951, he met his first wife, Spanish Fork’s June Dixon, who is now deceased.
Elder Oaks’ wife, Kristin—who also spoke at the groundbreaking—was raised in Salt Lake, but loves Payson, too, he said, due to her time spent supervising BYU student teachers in the Nebo School District.
“In view of that background, you can understand my special pleasure in hearing the announcement of the temple in Payson and the joy I felt when President Monson assigned me to be the presider of this groundbreaking,” he said.
Elder Oaks went on to emphasize the need for every member to be temple worthy and temple attending so that the blessings of the temple can strengthen all.
“Standing adjacent to I-15, the major north-south artery in Utah, the Payson Utah Temple will be a dominant and visible influence on the millions who pass by here by day and by night,” he said.
The Payson Temple will bring to 15 the number of operating and announced temples in Utah; it will become the third temple in Utah County. It will serve 26 LDS stakes from Delta, Goshen, Mapleton, Payson, Salem, Santaquin, and Spanish Fork.
See a video from the groundbreaking on Prophets and Apostles Speak Today.