News Release

Arizona Governor Visits Mesa Arizona Temple

Senior Church leaders also host tours for Phoenix interfaith groups

“The renovation is just incredible,” said Arizona Governor Doug Ducey after touring the newly renovated Mesa Arizona Temple with Elder Ronald A. Rasband of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles on Tuesday, October 12, 2021. “The beauty, the craftsmanship, the materials, the feeling of peace and sacredness that you feel as you walk through the temple. It was my real privilege to be here today.”

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Governor Ducey expressed appreciation for the contributions that Latter-day Saints make in Arizona.

“What’s in the best interest of our children is something that this church is always leading on, and the faith-based community is their partner in that,” he said.

“You have six temples in the state of Arizona. I’ve been able to visit four of them, and it’s been my honor,” reflected the governor. “I think it just shows that the community that is here, the growth in the community and the Church … they are places of peace and holiness that people can retreat to. … It tells me where we’re bringing people that are going to have the best interests of their family, their businesses and the citizens of this state at heart.”

Leaders of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints continue to host invited guests for tours prior to the public open house.  

The public open house begins on Saturday, October 16, 2021, but invited guests are among the first this week to see the interior and exterior improvements that have been made to the almost 94-year-old iconic temple over the past three years.

Members of the Phoenix interfaith community also toured the temple on Tuesday, October 12, 2021.

“One of the things that I enjoyed [during] the tour is definitely the structure [which] definitely brings out the Renaissance classic design,” said Moe Madouh, a graduate student from Kuwait at Arizona State University. 

“I’m an art person and … [viewing] painting after painting, I was in deep contemplation of my faith and other faiths,” said Madouh, a member of the Islamic faith.

“I was baptized as a Roman Catholic and family before me. Certainly, I lived in that tradition,” said Dr. Fran Matera, an associate professor at Arizona State University who works with Muslim doctoral students attending the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication. “I was appreciative of the comments that were made, because then I was trying to apply them, quite frankly, to some of the traditions that I have grown up with.”

Matera added, “I think that we could learn much, probably, from what I heard today and slowing down to contemplate life and connection.”

“Just the time that we spent here today. It is relaxing. It puts your mind and soul in a different place. And that’s what you have to do sometimes to deal with the issues that we’re facing on a day-to-day basis,” added Fred Taylor, director of special programs for the Arizona Attorney General’s Office. Taylor works with faith communities to offer training and resources for opioid abuse.

About 30 people from the Somali American United Council of Arizona toured the temple on Tuesday afternoon.

“This is … a great opportunity … in our life. And we will never, never, never forget this,” said Dr. Mohamed Ali Abukar, president and CEO of the Somali American United Council of Arizona.

Abukar said many Latter-day Saint volunteers teach English as a second language to refugees at the council’s center in Phoenix.

The Mesa Arizona Temple open house runs through November 20, 2021. President Dallin H. Oaks of the First Presidency will rededicate the temple on Sunday, December 12, 2021.

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