My family and I were able to score some tickets to attend the groundbreaking of Provo Temple 2.0, the Provo City Center Temple. The weather could not have been more perfect, and while part of me was annoyed at the shameless intrusion by a hot-air balloon (at one point, with just the right gust of wind, we could have had a disaster), I ended up thankful that my kids had something colorful to look at during the beginning of the proceedings.
Elder Jeffrey R. Holland presided, and we heard from Elders William R. Walker, Cecil O. Samuelson, and L. Whitney Clayton, as well as Sister Patricia T. Holland before hearing Elder Holland’s remarks and dedicatory prayer. The speakers told of the history of not only the Provo Tabernacle but also of Provo itself, and those pioneers who worked so diligently to build the city and its Tabernacle. Nice things were also said of the (current) Provo Temple, and it was noted that if those in Provo weren’t faithful temple attendees, this (the new temple) wouldn’t be happening. There was also some talk which sounded to me like a commercial for BYU, but as a firm believer that BYU is not Provo, I let that stuff roll right off my back.
I remember the day the Tabernacle caught on fire. I’m pretty sure I learned about it via Twitter, and I could see the smoke from my house. For weeks, the morning carpool kids would beg me to take the two-block detour so they could get a good look. I didn’t grow up in Provo, but I still felt some of the devastation. That building was where Elder Holland had presented my own husband’s name for a sustaining vote; we’d never meet there for another church meeting again.
I also remember when it was announced that the Tabernacle would become Provo’s second Temple. It felt so right; in fact, I remember thinking, “Of COURSE that’s what it will become.” It seems it’s what that building was meant for. I also wondered if they’d name it the Provo Hipster Temple.
The dedicatory prayer was offered by Elder Holland, who blessed, “this already sacred ground.” My favorite part of the day was when Elder Holland said, “Sometimes we are so close to history, we don’t realize we are making it.” Well, that, and when Sister Holland mentioned that she also loves UVU.
The Temple will serve 8 Provo Stakes and 8 Springville Stakes, and is one of 29 Temples which have been announced by President Monson since he’s been prophet.