Recently, the Priest Quorum in the Campo Verde Ward of the Gilbert Arizona Williamsfield Stake completed one hundred and forty-eight baptisms and confirmations in all six Arizona temples – Snowflake, Gila Valley, Tucson, Phoenix, Mesa and Gilbert – in twenty-two hours and fifty-five minutes.
The idea came about as a way to get more members of the quorum to attend an overnight activity. Aaron Burnham, First Assistant to the Bishop suggested, “I have heard of wards doing every temple in a year, summer or month. Let’s do it in twenty-four hours!”
The journey began on Friday, March 2, 2018 when Brothers Gus Schultz and Craig LeBaron drove the young men to the Snowflake Temple. There they visited with Snowflake Temple President Thomas L. Palmer who instructed them on the sanctity of the temple and temple work.
From Snowflake, the young men drove to Thatcher where Gary Sorensen, Sr. and Bettie Sorensen graciously provided a comfortable place for the group to sleep. The group woke up at 4:30 AM and headed to the Gila Valley Temple to perform ordinances for the dead. From there the quorum drove to Tucson. After a wonderful experience in Tucson, they drove to Phoenix. The Phoenix Temple was one of the favorites of journey. From Phoenix the quorum headed to the Mesa Temple where the workers congratulated them on the endeavor with hugs and pats on the back. After each
temple visit, the excitement mounted as pictures were posted on social media for Campo Verde Ward members to see. The adventure ended when the quorum finished performing baptism number one hundred and forty-eight in the Gilbert Temple, their home temple.
Robbie Hughes a member of the Priest Quorum stated, “Doing this work gave me a deeper appreciation of the saving ordinances performed in the temples.” Shawn McGarvin Jr. added, “It was a rocking spiritual and temporal accomplishment! I am grateful that we took on and completed our goal, which helped so many of our brothers and sisters.” When asked what his favorite thing about the trip was, John Burton shared, “For twenty-four hours we were the closest thing to missionaries that one can be.”
“It was wonderful to see a group of priests so excited to attend the temple. They were the impetus to make this trip happen,” explained Brother Rick Burton, the quorum’s Young Men’s President. Bishop Larry Flake added, “We are so proud of these young men and grateful for their leaders who put in the time to make such a wonderful activity together.”
It was truly an adventure of service.
By Guest Writer, Yasser Sanchez