President Spencer W. Kimball rededicated the Arizona Temple at Mesa April 15 and 16, noting in his rededicatory address that for the original dedication in 1927 he sang on the roof of the temple with the St. Joseph Stake Choir:
The rededication service was repeated seven times in the two days, each time to a capacity crowd of 4,600 in the temple, visitors center, and nearby tri-stake center. All members of the Council of the Twelve were in attendance and spoke except Elder Mark E. Petersen, whose wife passed away on April 15. Several other General Authorities were also present. In addition, temple president C. Bryant Whiting spoke, as well as Emil B. Fetzer, Church architect, and Fred A. Baker, director of the Church Building Department.
A year of extensive remodeling preceded the rededication. During public tours conducted just a few weeks before the services, an estimated 205,000 persons toured the temple.
Reviewing the history of the temple, President Kimball noted that it had been 48 years since President Heber J. Grant first dedicated it. He reviewed the great changes that have come since then, recalling the difficulty in traveling to that original service. He said he traveled in a car from Gila Valley to Mesa on primitive roads and that all the passengers got out and pushed the car up steep inclines. At that time President Kimball was clerk of the St. Joseph Stake.
President Kimball also spoke of the significance of temples, noting that the newly announced Brazil Temple will bring to 17 the number operated by the Church. He reminded the Saints that prophets have said the day will come when hundreds of temples will be found throughout the world. He urged all members to live worthily, according to the standards of the Church, to have family prayer and family home evening, “and above all, obey the commandments of Jesus Christ.”