Latter-day Saint President Thomas S. Monson announced the Tucson Arizona Temple on October 6, 2012, in General Conference. To say that the residents of Southern Arizona were excited to hear the news would be a gross understatement. The temple, located in the lush desert hills north of downtown Tucson, is progressing daily as construction continues.
As stated, residents in Tucson and in the surrounding areas and municipalities are ecstatic, emotional and grateful for its construction. A temple in Tucson has been the result of countless prayers, sacrifices and faith among the Saints residing in the newly-minted temple district, expected to serve ten stakes in the area.
The temple itself is hard to miss, as it is located on a piece of beautiful desert landscape on one of North Tucson’s busiest roads. As is the case with many temples being built worldwide, the construction of the Tucson Temple has created numerous missionary opportunities and has opened a positive dialogue between Latter-day Saints and residents of various faiths within the Southern Arizona region.
President Loren Somerville, Stake President of the Tucson Arizona West Stake, expressed his enthusiasm when he said, “There is a lot of excitement on what will be done there! There is a great visibility, and many have friends and family, who are not members of the Church, who have been speaking with each other regarding its construction.”
The neighborhood in which the Temple is located also has many neighbors curious. Jana Cherrington, a public relations spokesperson for the Church in Southern Arizona, expresses that while “it is unusual to have such a major construction project in a residential area, the neighbors have been patient, and we [the LDS Church] have good relationships with them. They are supportive of the Church, and many are looking forward to attending the open house.”
As the construction progresses, positive dialogue will expand between the members and residents, and the increase of missionary opportunities will continue.
The temple is making rapid progress in its construction. Many familiar and exciting stages of this construction are completed every month, one of which was the mounting of the Angel Moroni atop the temple dome.
The golden statue of the Angel Moroni is a signature of most LDS temples, and this temple’s statue was placed atop the Tucson Temple earlier in the summer on July 7. Although the mounting of the Angel Moroni statue is not an official event, the small group who witnessed this special chapter in the Tucson Temple’s construction showed great respect and care for every aspect of its creation. In fact, Debbie Weitzell, a regional Church spokesperson, noted that the members of the construction crew “always have a polite and caring attitude” while working on the temple.
It is clear that the Tucson Temple’s construction has already blessed residents, church members and Southern Arizona in general.
The dates are not yet scheduled for the Tucson Temple’s dedication or open house, although completion is expected sometime in 2017. Volunteer missionaries in the information center can answer additional questions about temples. The Tucson Temple construction site is located in the Catalina Foothills where East Ina Road turns into Skyline Drive.