Youth Shine at Phoenix Arizona Temple Cultural Celebration
Contributed By By Sarah Jane Weaver, Church News associate editor
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 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.”