Cultural Event Celebrates New Temple in Southern Florida

Contributed By By Jason Swensen, Church News staff writer

  • 3 May 2014

Young men and young women from LDS stakes in south Florida participate in the May 3, 2014, cultural celebration to commemorate the dedication of the Fort Lauderdale Florida Temple.  Photo by Jason Swensen.

FORT LAUDERDALE, FLORIDA

More than a thousand Latter-day Saint youth staged a cultural celebration with enough enthusiasm and energy “to light up the whole southern part of Florida.”

That was the apt assessment of President Dieter F. Uchtdorf, who presided over the evening of song, dance, and celebration at the basketball arena on the campus of Nova Southeastern University.

The cultural event was held on the eve of Sunday’s dedication of the Fort Lauderdale Florida Temple.

“It is wonderful to be with you tonight,” said President Uchtdorf, Second Counselor in the First Presidency, during his brief remarks at the beginning of the program. “President Monson loves the youth. I love the young people. My wife and I, we love to be here in Florida. We have just come from the temple, and it is a beautiful temple.”

President Dieter F. Uchtdorf, Second Counselor in the First Presidency, speaks at the beginning of the celebration held Saturday, May 3, on the eve of the dedication of the Fort Lauderdale Florida Temple. Photo by Jason Swensen.

Dozens of young people adorned in colored T-shirts during the May 3, 2014, cultural celebration in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Photo by Jason Swensen.

Young singers perform May 3 during a cultural program celebrating the dedication of the Fort Lauderdale Florida Temple. Photo by Jason Swensen.

Florida is, of course, the Sunshine State—and the youth of the Church, he added, “are a sunshine for Florida.”

“Show through your goodness and your kindness what this gospel and this Church is all about.

Entitled “United by Our Faith,” the cultural event was staged by youth from six stakes in southern Florida that comprise the new temple district. Through song, dance, and video clips, the cast told the story of the rich LDS history in southern Florida.

Other musical numbers paid tribute to the efforts of LDS Floridians in times of need, such as the aftermath of hurricanes and other disasters.

At the core of the event, of course, was the new temple. Once dedicated, it will be the Church’s 143rd such edifice in operation. Several young members shared their testimony of the temple via video clips.

The evening concluded with the unveiling of a massive model of the new temple at the west end of the arena.

President Uchtdorf was joined at the event by his wife, Sister Harriet Uchtdorf. Also in attendance was Elder D. Todd Christofferson of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles and his wife, Sister Katherine Christofferson; Elder Ronald A. Rasband of the Presidency of the Seventy and Sister Melanie Rasband; Elder Kent F. Richards of the Seventy and Sister Marsha Richards; and Presiding Bishop Gary E. Stevenson and Sister Lesa Stevenson.

A cultural celebration was held on May 3, the eve of the Fort Lauderdale Florida Temple dedication. Photo by Jason Swensen.