Fort Lauderdale Temple Already Blessing Lives in Florida
Jason Swensen, Church News staff writer
- The spirit of Elijah is affecting and blessing members in Florida preparing for the Fort Lauderdale Temple open house and dedication.
- Missionaries and members have worked together to ensure their investigators, friends, neighbors, and relatives know the purpose of the temple.
FORT LAUDERDALE, FLORIDA
Latter-day Saints living in the southern half of the Sunshine State will tell you that blessings will surely follow the fast-approaching opening of the Fort Lauderdale Florida Temple.
But they quickly add that they’re already recipients of blessings—again, because of the new temple.
Many members here are enjoying new joy even as they work to receive their first temple recommend. Several families planning to be sealed in what will be Florida’s second temple have grown closer. And youth here who once considered family history research an “old folks activity” have found unexpected joy connecting with their ancestors.
The spirit of Elijah is being felt from Lake Okeechobee to the Florida Keys.
The excitement here reached a new level with the First Presidency’s recent announcement of the dates for the Fort Lauderdale Florida Temple open house, cultural event, and dedication.
The entire temple preparatory experience, from the October 2009 announcement to the most recent dedication news, “has been a blessing beyond measure,” said Miami Lakes Florida Stake President James Robinson.
A Florida native, President Robinson said he has seen unprecedented growth in his stake as members witnessed each step of construction of what will be the Church’s 143rd temple.
“We now have more temple recommend holders than at any time in the history of the stake,” he said.
Even as the adults have accepted challenges to prepare for recommends, the youth have answered calls to prepare names for temple work.
“We are holding [youth devotionals] to talk about the importance of the temple,” said Miami Florida South Stake President Mark Brown. “We are challenging the youth to get involved in family history.”
The impact of the Fort Lauderdale Temple has been felt beyond the local membership. Temples are sometimes called the world’s best missionaries. That’s already proven true in south Florida.
Missionaries and members have worked together to ensure their investigators, friends, neighbors, and relatives know the purpose of the stately edifice being built on 154th Avenue.
Interest in the temple building project has prompted countless questions and discussions about the Church, eternal families, and family history work.
“Last year was the most successful year for missionary work that we’ve ever had,” said President Robinson.
Further blessings await. President Brown said the Fort Lauderdale Florida Temple will allow scores of members to work and worship in the temple each week.
“I have seen members in my stake who were dealing with struggles find happiness while serving in the temple,” said President Brown. “Temple work completely transforms their lives.”
A public open house at the Church’s newest temple will begin Saturday, March 29, and run through April 19, 2014, excluding Sundays. Free reservations for the open house can be made through the fortlauderdalemormontemple.org website or on LDS.org at templeopenhouse.lds.org/tickets in the coming weeks.
Youth throughout the new temple district are also rehearsing for a cultural event of local music and dance to be held on Saturday, May 3.
The temple will be dedicated the next day, May 4, in three sessions. The 9:00 a.m., 12:00 noon, and 3:00 p.m. dedicatory sessions will be broadcast to all stakes and districts in Florida.
The temple will then be open for ordinances on May 6.