By Cecily Markland
President Monson Dedicates Phoenix Temple and Presides Over Cultural Celebration
President Thomas S. Monson directed the cornerstone ceremony and dedicated the Phoenix Temple in the first session Sunday, November 16 and presided over the cultural celebration Saturday, November 15. He was joined by President Dieter F. Uchtdorf, second counselor in the First Presidency, Elder Dallin H. Oaks of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles and Elders Richard J. Maynes and Lynn G. Robbins, of the Presidency of the Seventy.’
The cultural celebration, themed “Be a Light,” featured 4,300 youth who, through narration, song and dance, portrayed the Church’s history in Arizona, paying tribute to early Hohokam and Hispanic influences, the military and the LDS culture of talent and service. President Uchtdorf told the youth, “You are indeed choice. You are children of the light.”
For the cornerstone ceremony, President Monson and the General Authorities and their wives placed mortar on the cornerstone, signifying Jesus Christ “is the chief cornerstone in our Church,” said Kent F. Richards, executive director of the Temple Department.
The temple was then dedicated with thousands watching as three dedicatory sessions were broadcast via satellite feed to chapels across Arizona.