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The City Journals

Murray LDS youth participate in ‘once-in-a-lifetime event’

May 07, 2018 04:32PM ● By Shaun Delliskave

Murray LDS youth will participate with 17,000 of their peers in the Jordan River Temple rededication. (Photo/Kelly Taeoalii)

By Shaun Delliskave | [email protected]

Murray area Latter-day Saint (LDS) youth will join with thousands of other Salt Lake Valley LDS youth to participate in a one-of-a-kind experience with the Jordan River Temple re-dedication. Murray LDS congregations are organized into stakes, which belong to a temple district—in this case, the Jordan River Temple district. The temple has been closed due to substantial renovation work and is scheduled to reopen in May.

Thirteen-year-old Allison Larsen stated, “This is so cool! I am really excited about the activities they have planned for us.”

The LDS Church is planning multiple activities for the youth to participate in up to the official rededication ceremony on May 20. When the LDS Church re-opens a renovated temple, a temple rededication is held, similar to the opening of a new temple, and the general public is invited to visit the building. After its rededication, only members of the LDS Church are able to enter its most-sacred structures.

Lola Bird, a youth leader in the Murray Parkway LDS Stake explained, “The youth of the Murray Parkway 15th Ward are very excited to be participating in the wide variety of Jordan River Temple Ready activities leading up to the temple dedication. Each week they look forward to a fun, new activity that they have the opportunity to be a part of. They have been patient during the temple renovation and are anxious for the temple to reopen so they can resume participating in baptisms for the dead at their temple.”

A full slate of activities for all the youth includes the temple open house, a treasure hunt, service project, temple walk, and concert. Many activities take place within the LDS wards and stakes, but in some cases, such as the concert and temple walk, all 17,000 youth residing in the Jordan River Temple District will participate as one.

“Things that I think will be memorable to the youth involved in these wonderful activities are the temple walk and the cultural celebration that will take place in mid-May. I think the sight of 17,000 youth and their leaders all walking to the temple at the same time will be an amazing experience,” noted Bird.

The temple walk will invite youth from throughout the temple district to gather and walk from designated church buildings to the temple. The area close to the temple will be designated as a silent area. When all groups have converged on the temple, on a cue from a youth conductor, they will sing the LDS hymn “I Believe in Christ.”

A concert with various LDS musical artists was held April 18 at the Salt Lake County Equestrian & Events Center. “The cultural celebration is the final culminating activity that will take place on the day before the temple dedication,” said Bird. The Youth Cultural Celebration event is planned for May 19 in the LDS Conference Center in Salt Lake City. 

The Jordan River Temple has been closed for renovations since February 2016. First opened in 1981, it is one of the highest capacity temples in the LDS church. The revamps included structural reinforcements, mechanical and electrical upgrades, hard-ceiling installations, a baptistry remodel and, uniquely, cogeneration power technology using natural gas turbines to supply electricity.

After attending an open house, Larsen stated, “The temple is so pretty. I am really excited to do baptisms for the dead.”

“I have noticed that the Jordan River Temple Ready activities are creating a special unity among the youth, both at the ward level as well as a stake level,” noted Bird. “For the youth involved in this once-in-a-lifetime event, it will be something that they will never forget.”