Phoenix Arizona Temple Dedicated by President Thomas S. Monson

Temples — November 16, 2014

Salt Lake City — The Phoenix Arizona Temple was dedicated Sunday, November 16, 2014, in three sessions by President Thomas S. Monson of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Downloadable SOTs and B-roll of the Phoenix Arizona Temple Dedication

Downloadable HD 1080p video b-roll of temple aerials and exterior/interior for journalists

The president of the more than 15-million-member church was greeted by Latter-day Saints from Phoenix and surrounding areas. President Monson was joined by President Dieter F. Uchtdorf, second counselor in the First Presidency, and Elder Dallin H. Oaks of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles as he conducted the cornerstone ceremony, a Church tradition that symbolizes the temple’s completion. Following the cornerstone ceremony, President Monson presided over the dedication inside the temple, where hundreds of devout members of the Church attended, and thousands more watched by satellite feed at chapels across Arizona. Also attending were members of the temple presidency and the temple matron and her assistants.

Elder Kent F. Richards, executive director of the Church’s Temple Department, said the cornerstone ceremony is symbolic. “It brings to mind the Savior Jesus Christ being the chief cornerstone in our Church,” said Elder Richards.

“There is a box and it will contain artifacts and memorabilia that the dedication committee planned and brought together,” he explained. “On Friday, just two days ago, it was filled symbolically. Yesterday it was put into its place on the southeast corner and it will never be opened.”

Four choirs composed of Latter-day Saints from 16 stakes in the temple district provided music for the dedication. A choir for the cornerstone ceremony was made up of individuals selected from seven stakes. Three other choirs representing three congregations each were chosen for the three dedicatory sessions.

“I was able to sing in the cornerstone choir, and it was just a wonderful experience to be able to practice and prepare and to sing, celebrate this wonderful building that we have here so close to us,” said Jonathan Linford, who attended the cornerstone ceremony.

Maurine Linford was touched by the beauty of the temple. “We’re excited to have it near us so we can come and worship here,” said Linford.

“The temple for me is a very special place,” expressed Pilar Felix, who was at the cornerstone ceremony. “I love to come with my family. The temple is an opportunity to feel the love of Christ, to know that we can be families forever.”

Leah Felix was also in attendance. “I felt a warm feeling in my heart that it was a good thing I came here today to see the prophet and the temple.”

Sylvia Ramirez Ozaeta discussed what the temple means to her at the cornerstone ceremony. “It’s a refuge from the storm for me. I can just partake of the spirit of peace anytime.”

A cultural celebration with more than 4,300 Mormon youth participants (between the ages of 12 and 18) from 15 stakes was held on Saturday, November 15, prior to the dedication. President Monson presided at the event and gave his trademark “thumbs up” to the delight of the youth performers.

“When I saw the prophet I almost started crying,” said London Wheeler, a 16-year-old performer. “I was really happy. And I never thought I would actually get emotional about that kind of thing, but it was a really good experience to see him in person.”

The theme was “Be a Light,” and the celebration featured music and dance performed by youth from Phoenix and the surrounding communities of Buckeye, Cottonwood, Deer Valley, Glendale, Goodyear, Peoria, Prescott and Surprise. The program highlighted the diverse history of the area, including its five Cs: copper, cattle, cotton, citrus and climate. The youth also celebrated the Honeymoon Trail that connected the Saints in northern Arizona to the St. George Utah Temple, the Mormon Battalion and the Church’s involvement with the Good Samaritan Hospital. In addition, the culture of service among the youth was emphasized as hundreds of full-time missionaries took to the stage.

“You are indeed the strength of the youth,” President Uchtdorf told the participants. “In many ways you represent even more Cs, whether it’s caring, cheerful or courageous, and tonight you are also cool.”

“The theme, to be a light, is to kind of be an example in the world we live in today so we can try to be an example and lead people back to Jesus Christ,” said 17-year-old performer Samantha Hawker.

Tens of thousands of people toured the temple during a public open house in October and November that was hosted by Church volunteers. Arizona Governor Jan Brewer and other dignitaries were among the open house attendees.

The Phoenix Arizona Temple sits on just over five acres adjacent to an existing meetinghouse located at the intersection of Pinnacle Peak Road and 51st Avenue. It is a single-story building and has a footprint of 27,423 square feet, with a full basement and an 89-foot spire. The materials and workmanship are of the highest quality, and the grounds are created and maintained to bring a sense of peace and tranquility to visitors.

Ground was broken for the Phoenix Arizona Temple on June 4, 2011, in a ceremony that was presided over by Elder Ronald A. Rasband of the Presidency of the Seventy, who said the new building would be a “beautiful and magnificent temple” that will bless both Mormons and the Phoenix community.

The Phoenix Arizona Temple will be the 144th operating temple of the Church worldwide. It is one of five temples in Arizona, with others in MesaSnowflakeGila Valley and Gilbert. A sixth temple, in Tucson, has been announced.

Latter-day Saint temples differ from meetinghouses or chapels where members meet for Sunday worship services. Temples are considered “houses of the Lord” where Jesus Christ’s teachings are reaffirmed through ordinances such as baptism, marriage and other ordinances that unite families for eternity. Inside, members learn more about the purpose of life and make covenants to serve Jesus Christ and their fellowman.

Download Photos »
  • “From time to time, societies need to be challenged, corrected and improved. And it is often religious voices that awaken our better selves and act as the conscience of society.”

    Commentary, “The Voice of Religious Conscience”

  • Film & Video

    Feature Film ‘Meet the Mormons’ Makes National Debut

    Learn why for the first time, a documentary-style movie, “Meet the Mormons, was produced by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Discover another first for the Church and who turned out to the film’s Utah premiere.

  • Commentaries

    The Voice of Religious Conscience

    Learn how society is better served when we are allowed to pursue our religious conscience.

  • "Charity is more than aid."

    Sharon Eubank, director of Humanitarian Services and LDS Charities

  • Missionary

    Church Expands Use of Digital Devices for Missionary Work

    The Church announces in July that more of its missionaries would use digital devices as they preach the gospel. What missions will go digital and when the implementation will begin.

  • Beliefs & Practices

    Church Provides Context for Recent Media Coverage on Gospel Topics Pages

    See the full list of in-depth essays on points of Church history that gained public and media interest over the past year.

  • Global Church

    Mormonism Online: In Your Own Words (Blog Feature)

    Lindsey Stirling participates in #LDSFace2Face, a live Facebook event for youth around the world. Find out what the world-famous violinist had to say about life’s challenges, her dreams and her faith.

  • “[Recent] court decisions … will have no effect on the doctrinal position or practice of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, which is that only marriage between a man and a woman is acceptable to God.”

    Official Church Statement Summarized, October. 6, 2014

  • Global Church

    Church Making Strides Preserving African Family Histories

    Genealogy experts from Africa spoke at this year’s RootsTech, the largest genealogy conference of its kind in the world, on collecting oral histories as family historians grow old. Why they say it’s a race against time.

  • “231 of our volunteers worked a combined total of 645 hours painting, mulching, tree trimming, cleaning, organizing and more at Palmetto Elementary for #MakeaDifference day!”

    Posted on Instagram

  • Interfaith Outreach

    Church Leaders Participate in Historic Vatican Summit

    Religious leaders and scholars representing 14 faith traditions from 23 countries assembled at the Vatican November 17-19. A member of the Church’s First Presidency joined Pope Francis and other faith leaders at the summit. Learn what they said.

  • Beliefs & Practices

    Getting It Right (Blog Feature)

    How does the Mormon Tabernacle Choir do what it does with an all-volunteer ensemble? Rodger Dean Duncan of Forbes provides several reasons, one of which illustrates the ethos of commitment and volunteerism common in the lives of Mormons.

  • Church & Society

    Church Responds to Supreme Court Announcement

    See the response to an October U.S. Supreme Court ruling on same-sex marriage by the Church. Read what Church leaders encouraged members to do.

  • Beliefs & Practices

    Mormonism in Pictures: Temple Square Dressed for Christmas

    This photo essay shows millions of multicolored lights on display, crèches and a live Nativity that mark the Christmas season on Temple Square in Salt Lake City, Utah. See the splendor captured by creative photographers.

  • Beliefs & Practices

    Exhibit Highlights Women in the Scriptures

    View artist Kathleen Peterson’s paintings illustrating significant roles of women in the Old and New Testaments such as Esther, Deborah and Mary, the mother of Jesus. Learn where the original paintings are on display.

  • Humanitarian

    Humanitarian Efforts at the UN

    The United Nations invites Church representatives to a first-of-its-kind meeting. What the director of Humanitarian Services and LDS Charities presented at the Focus on Faith event.

  • Beliefs & Practices

    Temple Garments

    People of faith throughout the centuries have used particular symbols or vestments to draw closer to God. Learn how the temple garment is a physical expression to Mormons of their devotion to God.

  • "We believe that the young people of this Church will continue to say yes to missionary service."

    Elder David F. Evans, First Quorum of the Seventy and executive director of the Church’s Missionary Department

  • Beliefs & Practices

    Mormonism in Pictures: Preparing for a Worldwide General Conference

    What does it take to prepare for more than 100,000 Mormons who attend general conference in Salt Lake City, Utah? This photo essay shows the tremendous planning effort for the worldwide two-day broadcast.

  • Temples

    The Process of Building a Mormon Temple

    View the video and infographic that follows the painstaking step-by-step process of building a Mormon temple, from the decision to build to finding the appropriate land to hiring the best craftsmen and tradesmen to completion.

  • Global Church

    Apostle Calls for Uplifting Social Media Messages to Sweep the Earth

    Find out more about a Mormon apostle’s call to “sweep the earth” with uplifting messages and the flood of people using the #sharegoodness hashtag on social media.

VIEW MORE