Dignitaries Attend Special Tours of Tucson Arizona Temple
Contributed By Jill Adair, Church News contributor
As the public open house for the Tucson Arizona Temple got underway June 3, many dignitaries visited the temple during special guest tours in the days prior to the public event.
Among those were Arizona Governor Doug Ducey; former presidential candidate and Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney; U.S. Senator Jeff Flake and his wife, Cheryl; U.S. Representative Andy Biggs; U.S. Representative Martha McSally; former U.S. Representative Gabrielle Giffords and her husband, Mark Kelly; Mexican Consul Ricardo Pineda; Guatemalan Consul Carlos de León; Dr. Robert Robbins, University of Arizona president; Dr. Andrew Comrie, University of Arizona provost; and Dr. Taylor Lawrence, Raytheon Company vice president.
Governor Ducey attended a tour conducted by Elder Larry Y. Wilson, General Authority Seventy and Executive Director of the Church’s Temple Department. Elder Wilson presented him with an engraved Christus statue in appreciation of his visit.
“The Tucson Temple is one of our most sacred places, and we are appreciative that Governor Ducey and prominent members of the Tucson community spent time today learning about our faith,” Elder Wilson said. “Such inclusiveness is a hallmark of Arizonans and why so many of our members call this state their home. It is our hope that the temple will shine as a beacon of hope and peace for the people of Tucson.”
Local religious leaders from other faiths attended a tour led by Bishop Judd Curtis of the Central Ward, Tucson Arizona State. These local leaders included Rev. Peter A. Helman of St. Philip’s in the Hills Episcopal Church; Rev. Edwin Donaldson of Prince Chapel African Methodist Episcopal Church; Imam Watheq Al-Obaidi, professor of Islamic Studies; Rabbi Samuel M. Cohon of Temple Emanu-El; and Pastor David Moore of Arizona Conference of Seventh-day Adventists.
The Tucson Arizona Temple will be the Church’s sixth temple in Arizona, joining Mesa, Snowflake, The Gila Valley, Gilbert, and Phoenix. It will be dedicated Sunday, August 13, and will become the 157th operating temple in the Church.
The Tucson Arizona Temple, located at 7281 N. Skyline Drive at the base of the Catalina Mountains in north Tucson, will serve members in nine stakes in southern Arizona. There are over 423,000 Latter-day Saints living in the state, with more than 30,000 in the Tucson area.
Governor Doug Ducey attended a tour conducted by Elder Larry Y. Wilson, General Authority Seventy and Executive Director of the Church’s Temple Department, and was presented an engraved Christus statue by Elder Wilson in appreciation of his visit. Photo by Spencer Boerup.