President Eyring Dedicates Utah’s 15th LDS Temple in Payson

Contributed By Marianne Holman Prescott, Church News staff writer

  • 7 June 2015

President Henry B. Eyring and Elder Kent F. Richards prepare to mortar the cornerstone during the Payson Utah Temple cornerstone ceremony in Payson on Sunday, June 7, 2015.  Photo by Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News.

PAYSON, UTAH

After three dedicatory sessions on June 7, the Payson Utah Temple—the Church’s 146th temple and the 15th temple in Utah—is ready for patron use.

During the traditional cornerstone ceremony at the beginning of the first session, President Henry B. Eyring waved to a choir and Church members gathered outside the temple. Elder Kent F. Richards of the Seventy and the Executive Director of the Church’s Temple Department welcomed guests to the event and shared a few remarks about the symbolism of setting a cornerstone. Drawing from ancient times, Elder Richards taught about the “foundation stone” of the temple.

Elder Quentin L. Cook and President Henry B. Eyring prepare to mortar the cornerstone during the Payson Utah Temple cornerstone ceremony in Payson on Sunday, June 7, 2015. Photo by Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News.

The Payson Utah Temple in Payson on Sunday, June 7, 2015. Photo by Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News.

Disney Lee, 5, places mortar in the cornerstone at the Payson Utah Temple cornerstone ceremony in Payson on Sunday, June 7, 2015. Photo by Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News.

“In ancient days the cornerstone was the foundation stone upon which the building was built,” he said. “Now it’s merely symbolic.”


Elder Richards invited President Eyring; Elder Quentin L. Cook of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles and his wife, Sister Mary Cook; the new temple presidency and their wives; and his own wife, Sister Marsha Richards, to add mortar to the cornerstone.


“The mortar … is symbolic of the finalization of the building of the temple,” Elder Richards said.


After the Church leaders returned to the temple to finish the dedicatory service, children and youth were invited to add mortar to the cornerstone.


“I liked it because I am helping build part of the temple, and it is the house of the Lord,” said Aubry Grant, 9, from Payson.


The new temple will serve approximately 93,000 members from 27 stakes in the area from Spanish Fork to Nephi. The large, 96,630-square-foot temple sits on a 10.63-acre site and is one of the larger temples in the Church. Prior to the dedication, thousands of people toured the temple during an open house, allowing people of all faiths and ages to enter.


Announced by President Thomas S. Monson more than five years ago, the construction and progress—and now completion—of the Payson Utah Temple has become a beacon for members in Payson and the surrounding communities.

For Lynette Neff and other descendants of the original settlers of Payson, the dedication of the temple feels very personal. Sister Neff’s great-grandfather planted the apple orchards blanketing the benches of the mountains cradling the mostly agricultural community.

“Our whole family grew up picking and pruning and spraying and sorting and packing apples our whole lives. The apples were such a legacy for us,” she said.

Which is why she was excited to see the apple blossom motif woven throughout the new temple’s design: “It became my temple,” she said.

President Eyring offered the dedicatory prayer for the first two sessions, and Elder Neil L. Andersen of the Quorum of the Twelve offered the prayer for the final session. 

Other General Authorities and auxiliary leaders participating included Elder Russell M. Nelson, Elder Dallin H. Oaks, and Elder Cook, all of the Quorum of the Twelve; Elder Donald L. Hallstrom and Elder Ulisses Soares of the Presidency of the Seventy; Bishop Gerald Causse of the Presiding Bishopric; Carol F. McConkie of the Young Women general presidency; and Cheryl A. Esplin of the Primary general presidency.

Speakers also included the new temple presidency and their wives: President W. Blake Sonne and Sister Elizabeth K. Sonne, President Richard B Roach and Sister Kristee M. Roach, and President Brent R. Laker and Sister Janelle R. Laker.

The Payson Utah Temple in Payson on Sunday, June 7, 2015. Photo by Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News.

A choir sings during the Payson Utah Temple cornerstone ceremony in Payson on Sunday, June 7, 2015. Photo by Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News.

The Payson Utah Temple in Payson on Sunday, June 7, 2015. Photo by Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News.

Vincent Grant, 12, places mortar in the cornerstone at the Payson Utah Temple cornerstone ceremony in Payson on Sunday, June 7, 2015. Photo by Jeffrey D. Allred. Deseret News.

Youth place mortar in the cornerstone at the Payson Utah Temple cornerstone ceremony in Payson on Sunday, June 7, 2015. Photo by Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News.

Payson Utah Temple cornerstone ceremony and dedication in Payson on Sunday, June 7, 2015. Photo by Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News.

Attendees enter the Payson Utah Temple for the dedication in Payson on Sunday, June 7, 2015. Photo by Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News.

Attendees enter the Payson Utah Temple for the dedication in Payson Sunday, June 7, 2015. Photo by Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News.

The Payson Utah Temple in Payson on Sunday, June 7, 2015. Photo by Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News.