I know this is ancient news by now (I was otherwise busy over the weekend); however, on Saturday, 8/5/06 President Hinckley and other Church authorities broke ground for the Draper Temple. It will be Utah’s 12th temple and Salt Lake Valley’s third. While the construction of a new temple is always important news, what made this ground breaking even more significant was President Hinckely’s public appearance. In fact the entire First Presidency was in attendance. It was the first public appearnce by President Hinckely, that I can recall in recent memory–though admittedly he doesn’t disclose his schedule to the Messenger and Advocate (but I’m working on it).
The Deseret News reported:
“High on the Mountain Top” was an apt choice the opening song Saturday for the groundbreaking and site dedication of the Draper Temple: LDS Church leaders, city officials and residents sat thousands of feet high on the Corner Canyon site, looking over the Salt Lake Valley.
“You couldn’t have asked for a better location,” Draper Mayor Darrell Smith said after plunging a shovel into the ground with his City Council members. “I don’t think it’s any coincidence that we happened to preserve 1,025 acres here.”
The medium-size facility will sit on 12 acres at 1911 E. Gray Fox Drive (approximately 14000 South). It will tower above the 1,025 acres of open space in the canyon, habitat for deer, elk and other wildlife.
“This is a really remarkable time as we break ground for the 12th temple to be built in Utah, the third in this valley,” said President Gordon B. Hinckley of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. “We’re frequently asked, ‘Why so many temples in Utah?’ It is because we need them.” . . .
Cousins Alexa Tall, 11, and Tycee Macgillivray, 9, attended the groundbreaking with family members who live next door to the temple property. Both girls excitedly dug into the ground with their bare hands, filling up water bottles to save the dirt. “We thought we could keep memories of being here on this day,” said Tall, who plans to put the dirt in a scrapbook.
The construction is expected to take 18 months to two years. It will be interesting to see if President Hinckley’s comments about further Salt Lake Valley Temples come to fruition. It seems that three in Salt Lake Valley is a lot given that there are many, many places in the world where the saints still travel great distances to attend a temple.