Elder Dallin H. Oaks presided and gave the dedicatory prayer. I didn't know that he moved to his grandparents' farm in Payson after his father died when he was around 7 years old and he met his first wife at a football game at Payson high school. Of the temple, he said, "Standing adjacent to I-15, the major north-south artery in Utah, the Payson Utah Temple will be a dominant and visible influence on the millions who pass by here by day and by night."
It was so interesting that we sang two songs written by people who once lived in Payson. One was #147 Sweet Is the Work, with music by John J. McClellan, who was the mayor of Payson from 1887 to 1890. And then I think the other one was Ebenezer Beesley who wrote #5 "High on the Mountain Top". Who knew any songs in the hymn book were written by anyone who even heard of Payson, Utah? If you haven't lived in Utah, you probably have never heard of it.
It was a short ceremony, but there were a few different speakers. One was Elder Steven E. Snow. He said that when he and his wife were sealed in the temple, there were only 13 temples in the whole world and they thought it would be fun to have a goal to visit each one. Now there are 135 operating and many under construction and announced. So Elder Snow said that "President Hinckley and President Monson ruined" their plans.
(Artist's rendering below)
The Payson temple will be one of the bigger recently built temples, at 96,630 square feet. The Draper temple is 58,300 sq. feet and the Oquirrh Mountain temple just slightly larger than that at 60,000 sq. feet.
I don't know much about Payson, but we went down and found the future temple site and took photos. I plan to go with my children often during the construction process so we can take photos and see the progress and hopefully they will feel a little part of this temple and remember it always. It will be fun to do similar things with the Provo Tabernacle that will be turned into a temple. We already have some memories there.
While we were there, someone came and collected a bit of this dirt, which they "turned" during the groundbreaking.
We found a little friend popping out of his hole while we were there. Sabrina is very worried since he's about to lose his home.
I am grateful to be able to share such a beautiful thing with my children, step-by-step. I know that the covenants we make in the temple are sacred and meant to be eternal. Some people may not keep their promises, but all of our Heavenly Father's promises are true if we live up to our part. The promises made to us in the temple are so precious and worth all effort of sacrifice and obedience to live up to them.