One of the best things about the gospel of Jesus Christ is making connections from the past to the present. Temples are one of the best things to help us make those connections and Lucy Mack Smith has some connections to the Detroit Michigan Temple.
Lucy Mack Smith, the mother of the prophet Joseph Smith had a brother that lived in Michigan. In 1831, Lucy and her family traveled to visit her brother Colonel Stephen Mack. Colonel Stephen Mack was the founder of the town Pontiac, Michigan(I thought that was pretty cool).
Stephen Mack was the proprietor of a large mercantile in Detroit, Michigan. Stephen Mack ended up building a turnpike from Detroit to his farm in Pontiac at his own expense.
Stephen Macks Road Today
The road that Stephen Mack had made is now the road that runs in front of the Detroit Michigan Temple, the road is named Woodward Avenue. What are the chances that Lucy Mack Smith’s brother would have build the road that runs right next to the temple almost 200 years later. It is pretty fun to make the connections!
The Land Had Been Hidden; Waiting For The Right Time
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints bought the land that the Michigan Temple is on in 1956 for a Stake Center, it was a eight acre lot. The Stake Center did not need that much land, so much of that land was not being used. It was discussed that the rest of the land should be sold, but the Stake President at the time, George Romney felt strongly that the land should not be sold.
Fast forward a couple decades the Stake President, Thomas C. Bithell was in charge of finding a temple site he looked at a bunch of different properties and nothing felt right. He did not look at the lot the church already owned because he thought it would be too small for a temple. He decided to look again at the property next to the stake center. He had it measured and it was just perfect. He said ”The more I looked and contemplated, the more this seemed to be the right location. It was as if the land had been hidden; waiting to be discovered at the right time.”
The Land, Detroit Michigan Temple
From Lucy Mack’s brother, Stephen Mack, to the land being hidden from the world to have its purpose of having one the the Lord Temples on it, the Michigan Temple is a special place, saved and prepared for the Lords purpose. At the groundbreaking ceremony of the Michigan Temple President Bithell said: ”To the best of my knowledge, nothing has ever been built on this property. It is sacred ground, preserved for this very purpose.”
“Temples of the New Millennium” by Chad Hawkins