South Jordan joined Provo on Sunday as the two Utah cities with a pair of operating Mormon temples after President Henry B. Eyring rededicated the Jordan River Temple.
The edifice, closed for an extensive makeover since February 2016, originally opened in 1981 and quickly became one of the busiest in the global Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
In a news release, Erying, second counselor in the faith’s governing First Presidency, referred to that earlier dedicatory prayer nearly four decades ago by then-LDS Church President Spencer W. Kimball, who talked about governments and the need for righteous leadership and unity.
Such counsel, Eyring said, is also “appropriate to our time.”
Besides Sunday’s three sessions for the rededication, some 17,000 LDS youths marked the temple’s return Saturday through song and dance during a celebration at the LDS Conference Center in downtown Salt Lake City.
The nearly 150,000-square-foot temple underwent 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.
In addition, thousands of LDS youths in the south Salt Lake Valley marched through the rain to the temple grounds May 12 as a warm-up to Sunday’s services.
South Jordan’s other LDS temple, the Oquirrh Mountain Temple, opened in 2009. Provo also has two LDS temples, while Utah has 17 in operation, with plans for two more, in Saratoga Springs and Layton.
Mormons consider temples Houses of the Lord, places where the devout participate in their faith’s highest ordinances, including eternal marriage.