“President Hinckley Dedicates Snowflake Arizona Temple,” Ensign, May 2002, 109
President Gordon B. Hinckley dedicated the Snowflake temple—Arizona’s second and the Church’s 108th—in four sessions on 3 March.
“We are thankful for those who laid the foundations of this and other nearby communities,” said President Hinckley in his dedicatory prayer, referring to early Latter-day Saint settlers who came to the Snowflake area in 1878 as requested by President Brigham Young. “They struggled so desperately for so long against adversities of many kinds. Now their posterity enjoy the sweet fruits of their efforts, and crowning all is this magnificent and beautiful temple.”
Accompanying President Hinckley were Elder Neal A. Maxwell of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles and Elder Dale E. Miller of the Seventy, Second Counselor in the North America Southwest Area Presidency.
The new temple will serve some 35,000 Church members in 11 stakes in northeastern Arizona and a small portion of western New Mexico. The temple district includes members who live on Apache, Hopi, Navajo, and Zuni reservations; many Native American designs and furnishings have been included in the temple interior, items such as handcrafted rugs, baskets, and pottery.
More than 11,000 members attended the temple’s dedication. Although only 9,000 people reside in the Snowflake area, more than 94,000 attended the open house on 2–16 February. Temple president Leon T. Ballard, a native of Snowflake, said that many thousands of visitors came because of ancestral ties to the area. “And in their enthusiasm, they brought their friends,” he said. President Ballard said this enthusiasm for the new temple has not decreased since its dedication. “We offer 24 sessions a week, and nearly every one of them has been completely full.”