March 20, 2024

The Gila Valley Arizona Temple Fun Facts

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The Gila Valley Arizona Temple is the 132nd temple dedicated of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

The Gila Valley Temple is the third temple built in Arizona, following the Mesa Arizona Temple(1927) and the Snowflake Arizona Temple(2002).

The Gila Valley Temple was announced in 2008 and dedicated in 2010.

The Gila Valley Temple sites on a 18 acre site and is 18,561 square feet.

President Thomas S. Monson jointly announced The Gila Valley Arizona Temple with the Gilbert Arizona Temple. This was President Monson's first temple announcements after becoming president of the Church.

When the Pioneers first settled in the Gila Valley in 1879 they were promised a temple would one day come to the Gila Valley. In 1973 President Spencer W. Kimball, again, talked about the coming of at temple to the Gila Valley saying "About 80 years ago approximately, one of the conference visitors from Salt Lake predicted that there would be a temple in The Gila Valley. In the many years that the stake has carried on but has not grown greatly and with the realization that one could hardly see any future that would bring a great population to The Gila Valley, yet if that prophecy was made by inspiration, then the Lord will find a way to do it."

The Gila Valley Temple is built on two of the four Church-owned baseball fields. When the leadership of the area was looking for land for the temple the last stop was at the baseball fields. The brethren walked the grounds and the Stake President, President Bryce said "A feeling fell on us, like a ton of bricks." The spirit was so strong it caused him to weep saying "This is the place, this is the right place!"

The foundation of The Gila Valley temple was done by a man named, Dennis Wilkins, a contractor from that area. The way the foundation needed to be poured was different then Dennis was used to and he was worried for weeks on how he would be able to do the job correctly. He said "One night I woke up as clear as a bell I knew what to do. It was one of the times in my life when I knew the Holy Ghost had taught me. I knew exactly what to do and exactly how to do it."

The groundbreaking ceremony for The Gila Valley Arizona Temple was held on the 97th anniversary of Arizona becoming a state. The shovels were specially arranged so that ground was broken at the location where the Celestial Room would stand.

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