Thousands of Salt Lake Valley youths march to Mormon temple in South Jordan week before it is rededicated

(Courtesy LDS Church) Thousands of Mormon youths listen to a program after walking May 12, 2018, to the newly renovated Jordan River Temple in South Jordan.

Thousands of south Salt Lake Valley Mormon youths braved a soggy Saturday morning to walk up to six miles to the Jordan River Temple.

The march, followed by a brief musical program, was to celebrate the upcoming May 20 rededication of the renovated temple in South Jordan, according to a news release from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

The 148,236-square-foot structure originally opened in November 1981 and became one of the faith’s busiest temples.

It closed in February 2016 to undergo extensive upgrades both inside and out, including a major boost in energy efficiency. Tens of thousands of visitors saw the improvements firsthand in a recently completed open house.

LDS temples are considered houses of God, places where Mormons can participate in their religion’s highest ordinances, including eternal marriage. Only members in good standing are allowed to enter.