Youth Express Thanks for Hartford Connecticut Temple in Cultural Celebration

Contributed By Rachel Sterzer, Church News staff writer

  • 20 November 2016

Youth in the Hartford Connecticut Temple district expressed their gratitude for another temple in New England through an evening of song and dance.  Photo by Rachel Sterzer.

WALLINGFORD, CONNECTICUT

Autumn in New England is a time of great beauty—when the area's dense green foliage turns to vibrant shades of red, orange, and yellow. It's also a time associated with the harvest and giving thanks for its bounty.

On the Saturday prior to the national holiday of Thanksgiving, youth in the Hartford Connecticut Temple district expressed their gratitude in a special way.

Some 1,100 young men and young women from eight stakes showed their excitement for another temple in New England through an evening of song and dance.

The cultural celebration—held in the Toyota Oakdale Theater in nearby Wallingford—was titled “A Marvelous Work.” The production commemorated the heritage and culture of the area and “the marvelous work” resulting in a temple.

Youth celebrate the dedication of the Hartford Connecticut Temple through song and dance at the November 19 cultural celebration held in the Toyota Oakdale Theater in Wallingford, Connecticut. Photo by Rachel Sterzer.

Mary Singer, 13, Lily Hinckley, 12, and Rebecca Pack, 14, participate in the Hartford Connecticut Temple youth cultural celebration at the Toyota Oakdale Theater November 19. Photo by Rachel Sterzer.

President Henry B. Eyring, First Counselor in the First Presidency, said he was “overjoyed” to be given the invitation by President Thomas S. Monson to represent him at the dedication and cultural celebration.

President Eyring assured the youth “that this temple in Hartford is an important part of the marvelous work of Heavenly Father and His Beloved Son, Jesus Christ, to bring the light of the gospel into your lives and the lives of thousands of others. Our hope is that the memory you have felt as you prepared and performed words and music and dancing will never be dimmed by time or by darkness in the world.”

Bianca Infantas, 15, of the Hartford Connecticut Stake, said preparing and participating in the cultural celebration has been hard work but fun. “This is our way of showing Heavenly Father how thankful we are for the temple,” she said.

Also in attendance at the cultural celebration were Elder Jeffrey R. Holland of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles; Elder Gerrit W. Gong of the Presidency of the Seventy; Elder Larry Y. Wilson, General Authority Seventy and Executive Director of the Temple Department; and Elder Randall K. Bennett, also a General Authority Seventy. They were accompanied by their wives, Sister Patricia Holland, Sister Susan Gong, Sister Lynda Wilson, and Sister Shelley Bennett.

Youth celebrate the dedication of the Hartford Connecticut Temple through song and dance at the November 19 cultural celebration held in the Toyota Oakdale Theater in Wallingford, Connecticut. Photo by Rachel Sterzer.

Youth celebrate the dedication of the Hartford Connecticut Temple through song and dance at the November 19 cultural celebration held in the Toyota Oakdale Theater in Wallingford, Connecticut. Photo by Rachel Sterzer.

Youth celebrate the dedication of the Hartford Connecticut Temple through song and dance at the November 19 cultural celebration held in the Toyota Oakdale Theater in Wallingford, Connecticut. Photo by Rachel Sterzer.

Youth celebrate the dedication of the Hartford Connecticut Temple through song and dance at the November 19 cultural celebration held in the Toyota Oakdale Theater in Wallingford, Connecticut. Photo by Rachel Sterzer.

Youth celebrate the dedication of the Hartford Connecticut Temple through song and dance at the November 19 cultural celebration held in the Toyota Oakdale Theater in Wallingford, Connecticut. Photo by Rachel Sterzer.

Youth celebrate the dedication of the Hartford Connecticut Temple through song and dance at the November 19 cultural celebration held in the Toyota Oakdale Theater in Wallingford, Connecticut. Photo by Rachel Sterzer.

Youth celebrate the dedication of the Hartford Connecticut Temple through song and dance at the November 19 cultural celebration held in the Toyota Oakdale Theater in Wallingford, Connecticut. Photo by Rachel Sterzer.

Youth celebrate the dedication of the Hartford Connecticut Temple through song and dance at the November 19 cultural celebration held in the Toyota Oakdale Theater in Wallingford, Connecticut. Photo by Rachel Sterzer.

President Henry B. Eyring speaks to the youth at the November 19 cultural celebration held in the Toyota Oakdale Theater in Wallingford, Connecticut. Photo by Rachel Sterzer.

Youth celebrate the dedication of the Hartford Connecticut Temple through song and dance at the November 19 cultural celebration held in the Toyota Oakdale Theater in Wallingford, Connecticut. Photo by Rachel Sterzer.

Elder Jeffrey R. Holland, Sister Patricia Holland, and President Henry B. Eyring attend the November 19 cultural celebration held in the Toyota Oakdale Theater in Wallingford, Connecticut. Photo by Rachel Sterzer.

Youth celebrate the dedication of the Hartford Connecticut Temple through song and dance at the November 19 cultural celebration held in the Toyota Oakdale Theater in Wallingford, Connecticut. Photo by Rachel Sterzer.