Youth Shine at Phoenix Arizona Temple Cultural Celebration

Contributed By By Sarah Jane Weaver, Church News associate editor

  • 16 November 2014

Thousands of Latter-day Saint youth celebrated Arizona’s rich cultural history through music and dance November 15 in conjunction with the dedication of the Phoenix Arizona Temple on November 16.  Photo by Tyler Harris.

PHOENIX, ARIZONA

Thousands of Latter-day Saint youth celebrated Arizona’s rich cultural history through music and dance November 15.

The celebration was held in conjunction with the dedication of the Phoenix Arizona Temple, the Church’s 144th worldwide and fifth in Arizona. The temple was dedicated on Sunday, November 16.

President Thomas S. Monson raises his hands in greeting performers in the Phoenix Arizona youth celebration. At his right is his daughter, Ann M. Dibb; at left are President and Sister Dieter F. Uchtdorf. Photo by Sarah Jane Weaver.

President Dieter F. Uchtdorf, Second Counselor in the First Presidency, addresses youth during the Phoenix Arizona Youth Cultural Celebration on November 15. Photo by Sarah Jane Weaver.

President Thomas S. Monson presided at the cultural event, titled “Be a Light.” President Dieter F. Uchtdorf, Second Counselor in the First Presidency, briefly addressed the youth.

“You are indeed choice,” he told them. “You are children of the light.”

The celebration featured the local culture of the area, where a city was first built by the Hohokam Indians in 1 A.D. Because the Hohokams constructed irrigation canals from the Salt and Gila Rivers, the youth paid tribute to “the ancient inhabitants that brought life-giving water to the dry desert.”

They also celebrated, through music and dance, the pioneer Honeymoon Trail; Arizona’s five Cs—copper, cotton, cattle, citrus, and climate; and air conditioning. In addition, the teens paid tribute to those who have served in the military and to the “culture of service” shared by modern-day Latter-day Saints. The celebration ended as missionaries from the Phoenix Arizona Mission marched around the football field carrying the flags of many nations.

Orville Carnahan, 18, was the narrator of the production. He said the youth went away wanting “to be our best, to always show the true light of Christ in ourselves.”

Youth participate in the Phoenix Arizona Temple Youth Cultural Celebration on November 15. Photo by Sarah Jane Weaver.

Youth participate in the Phoenix Arizona Temple Youth Cultural Celebration on November 15. Photo by Sarah Jane Weaver.

Youth participate in the Phoenix Arizona Temple Youth Cultural Celebration on November 15. Photo by Sarah Jane Weaver.

Youth participate in the Phoenix Arizona Temple Youth Cultural Celebration on November 15. Photo by Tyler Harris.

Youth participate in the Phoenix Arizona Temple Youth Cultural Celebration on November 15. Photo by Sarah Jane Weaver.

Youth participate in the Phoenix Arizona Temple Youth Cultural Celebration on November 15. Photo by Sarah Jane Weaver.

President Thomas S. Monson, his daughter, Ann M. Dibb, and President and Sister Dieter F. Uchtdorf express appreciation for the performers. Photo by Tyler Harris.