SOUTH JORDAN, Utah – The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints welcomed in thousands for the re-dedication of the 37-year-old Jordan River Temple Sunday.
Following a two-year closure for renovations, more than 7,500 church members attended three sessions for the long-awaited re-dedication of the Jordan River Temple.
Car by car and bus by bus, members filed onto the temple grounds for a day they would never forget.
“You can just feel the atmosphere, the love, the compassion of all the people,” said church traffic volunteer and member, Pam Bird, holding an orange flag and donning a bright orange and yellow construction vest.
“You’re good to go!” she said waving a car through to the street.
Pam was among those lucky enough to get a ticket to attend the re-dedication.
“Our prophet and the presidents of our church are here to dedicate this temple as a house of the lord,” smiled Pam, thinking of the upcoming re-dedication by President Henry B, Eyring, the second counselor in the First Presidency of the LDS Church.
But first, she’s spending her time directing the heavy flowing traffic in front of the temple.
“This is where I chose to be, to help people so they can be there,” Pam said.
This, is her ultimate happiness.
“When I myself was able to go through the temple to receive my own endowment, that’s what it compares to,” she said, describing how it made her feel to volunteer on such a special day.
And while the inside may look different than it did all those years ago, it will always be Pam’s temple.
“The hand of the lord is in every step of that temple, every inch of it is the hand of the lord,” she gleamed, describing the renovations.
So for Pam, this is just her small way of giving back, for everyone else.
“So they can get the spiritual lift that they need to get, because this is my spiritual lift right now,” she said.
“What a wait! but well worth the wait!” she laughed.
The Jordan River Temple will officially open Tuesday, May 22.
According to the LDS Church, the Jordan River Temple serves members from 66 stakes and is one of the busiest in the world.
The temple was first dedicated in 1981, and at that time it was the 20th operating temple of the church worldwide, and just the seventh to be built in Utah.
The Jordan River Temple is now one of 159 temples worldwide, 10 of which are currently being renovated. Construction is currently underway on an additional 10. The LDS Church has also announced an additional 20 new projects, bringing the total to 189 temples—including a recently announced temple that will be built in Layton.