The Mesa Temple Christmas Lights are known for presenting a dazzling display of color and light, attracting thousands of visitors each year. This year, a new addition will help “make the displays as beautiful in the daytime as they are at night,” says Stacey Farr, director.
Sister Farr, of the Mountain Vista Ward, Skyline Stake, says some people don’t understand what the figures and various scenes represent. Now, display stands have been constructed. “Each has a scripture, a quote from the prophet, and a QR code, that can be scanned with a Smartphone or ipad and it goes directly to the Mormon Channel and teaches a little about the scene.”
“With this addition, the grounds will be very beautiful in the daytime as well,” Sister Farr says. “People who may be hesitant about driving at night will be delighted to enjoy this new feature during the day.”
These stands, created by Brad Algers, are “part of a whole new dynamic happening with the Mesa Temple Christmas Lights.”
“The temple lights were started as a gift to the community many years ago,” Sister Farr says. She says, as a committee, they’ve considered, “How else can we give?”
In that spirit, Stacey’s older brother, Keevin Willis, who is in charge of construction projects with the Mesa Temple Christmas Lights, found a way to involve other contractors in a special act of service. “Our dad, Ronald Willis, passed away a few years ago,” Sister Farr explains. “Over the years, he had taught many contractors how to build. As a tribute to him and all he did for them, 12 to 14 men have donated their time and materials to build a stage for the musical performances during the lights.”
On the newly constructed stage, 25-minute concerts will be held nightly at 7 p.m. between December 1 and 25.
“It has been the sweetest thing to see how these men have felt so honored to give this gift,” Sister Farr says.
Others, too, have taken to heart the idea of giving more through the Mesa Temple Christmas Lights. “The creativity has been phenomenal,” she says. “New lights have been built,” and, inside the newly renovated Visitors’ Center, Susan Fuller has come up with new ways to stage the nativity sets for this year’s exhibit.
“The ways they will be displayed is exciting and will complement the new Visitors’ Center displays and create a unique experience,” says Sister Fuller.
In addition, “Young single adults in all five missions in Arizona have truly given the gift of Christmas. By the time they get done with setting up and taking down, and helping with parking and in the Visitors’ Center, about 1,200 to 1,500 young single adults,” under the direction of Randy and Francis Grant, will have helped.
“The Mesa Temple Christmas Lights would not be as grand or as beautifully done without these young adults.”
Sister Farr adds it is heartwarming to see families serving together as well.
For example, like other families, Dale and Donna Barker and their extended family of 30 to 40 people, who put up all of the trees on the grass, “demonstrate the principle of ‘What can we give?’”
Sister Farr, says, for her personally, “It has been a choice experience to work with my assistant, my husband, Gary Farr. We have had a delightful working relationship through all this.”
The Mesa Temple Christmas Lights, on the grounds at 525 Main Street, are turned on between 5 and 10 p.m. each night from November 27 to December 31. For information, pictures, ways to share the Christmas lights, a list of concerts, and more, visit www.mesachristmaslights.com