The breathtaking view of the snow-dusted Wasatch mountains to the east was a fitting backdrop to celebrate the beginning stages of a worship space that will stand as a witness to the eternal possibilities of the soul.
A small handful of members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints gathered on the overcast, 40-degree morning of May 23, 2020, to break ground for the Layton Utah Temple. The group was limited in size because of COVID-19 precautions. The full recording of the event is now available.
“We are very grateful to join you from this impressive and beautiful site. The Layton Temple will be a large and beautiful temple,” said Utah Area President Elder Craig C. Christensen during the groundbreaking in the field at the corner of Oak Hills Drive and Rosewood Lane. The new temple will be a three-story, 87,000-square-foot structure. “Like every temple, it is the product of the faith of Latter-day Saints who live in this area, and around the world. It reflects our faith in Heavenly Father’s great plan of happiness, and in His Son Jesus Christ, including His Atonement and Resurrection.”
Both Elder Christensen and Elder Walter F. González, also of the Utah Area Presidency, spoke of the temple’s critical importance for families.
“The purpose of the temple is to bring joy, enduring joy, and the possibility of eternal life to all of Heavenly Father’s children,” Elder Christensen said. “It reflects faith in the eternal nature of families and faith that God’s work and glory is truly to bring about the immortality and eternal life of man.”
Elder González told Church media afterward that the temple centers lives and families in Jesus Christ. He directed his remarks to the local Latino population, for whom “families are so important.” The Uruguay native said the temple helps us see that although families may sometimes break up here on earth, the teachings and covenants found in the temple can help heal family bonds and even allow those relationships to bridge the chasm of death. “That feeling of family resonates in my soul,” he said.
In the dedicatory prayer, the first counselor in the Utah Area Presidency, Elder Randy D. Funk, asked that “this temple may be a beacon of light for the entire community and a blessing for all.” He concluded with an important expression of gratitude that describes the central purpose of all the Church’s temples. “We thank Thee for the infinite atonement of Thy Son, Jesus Christ,” Elder Funk said, “which makes possible our return to Thee, and for the covenants and ordinances of the temple, which give us hope and bring us joy during all seasons and in all circumstances of life.” The full prayer can be viewed at the 20-minute mark of the video of the groundbreaking.
Utah currently has 24 temples announced or in some stage of construction. Ground has not yet been broken for temples in Orem, Syracuse, Taylorsville, Tooele Valley, and Washington County.
Latter-day Saints consider temples to be the “house of the Lord” and the most sacred places of worship on the earth. Temples are not the same as the Church’s meetinghouses. All are welcome to attend Sunday worship services and other weekday activities in a meetinghouse. In temples, Latter-day Saints participate in sacred ceremonies, such as marriage, that unite families beyond death. Temples are closed on Sundays.
PRESS RELEASE FROM Church Newsroom