As a General Authority for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, President Jeffrey R. Holland has circled the globe more than once—seeing the modern wonders of the world, living in distant lands, and knowing wonderful people.
Still, his identity is inseparable with the geology and terrain of southern Utah—his boyhood home—where more than 150 years ago early settlers overcame the harshest of elements to build a temple. As a child, he played in the temple’s shadow and was baptized in its font at age 8—children at the time were baptized in the temple, which had the only font in the area—without understanding that a house of the Lord did not anchor the lives of Latter-day Saints in every city everywhere.
Returning this week, President Holland, Acting President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, rededicated the St. George Utah Temple on Sunday, Dec. 10. The longest operating temple in the Church and the first completed in Utah, the edifice stands as a tribute to the past and a beacon to the future, he said.
“I consider this one of the sweetest and most rewarding assignments I have had in my 34 years as a General Authority,” he said.
Also participating in the rededication were Elder Matthew S. Holland, a General Authority Seventy and President Holland’s son; Elder Brian K. Taylor, a General Authority Seventy and a member of the Utah Area presidency; Elder Kevin R. Duncan, a General Authority Seventy and executive director of the Temple Department; and Presiding Bishop Gérald Caussé.
Quoting Henry VanDyke, President Holland explained, “It’s sweet to dream in Venice, and it’s great to study Rome; but when it comes to living, there is no place [quite] like home.”
Of St. George and its temple, President Holland added, “I couldn’t love any other spiritual home more than I love this one.”
You can read the full story and more about the rededication on Church News here.