BRIGHAM CITY -- The pride of many Brigham City residents and their heritage is displayed prominently in the new temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints there.
"It's very much, architecturally, a pioneer historic temple," said Elder William R. Walker during a media tour of the building Tuesday.
He noted the similarity of the church's 139th temple to the Salt Lake City, Manti and early pioneer temples in Kirtland, Ohio, and Nauvoo, Ill.
Constructed of steel and covered in precast concrete, the building is made to last, Walker said.
"It looks like some of the old temples, but this will stand forever," he said.
Walker, a member of the church's First Quorum of Seventy and the executive director of the church's temple department, spoke of the Box Elder County residents' extreme pride in the new temple.
"This community is 160 years old," Walker said. "It is a well-known LDS community. They probably thought for many years that they never would get a temple."
Walker explained that the community is known for its peaches, and that the temple displays a prominent peach theme throughout, with peach blossoms intricately carved in carpets in the temple's celestial room and painted on the ceilings in the sealing rooms.
An oil painting of a woman picking peaches in an orchard is prominently displayed at the temple's main entrance, and peach trees are planted on the temple grounds. Stained-glass windows have peach and green colors, and peach blossoms are portrayed.
"The designers asked if they could use peach blossoms as a recurring theme," said Walker, noting that pristine materials used in construction came from all over the world.
Also unique to the temple are paintings of deceased presidents of the LDS Church.
Walker said it is unusual for temples to have such paintings, but a waiting room for wedding parties displays both Brigham Young, the second president of the church, for which Brigham City is named, and another of Lorenzo Snow.
Snow went on to become the fifth president of the church, but he served as stake president of the Brigham City stake at the same time that he served as a general authority of the church before becoming president.
Currently, the grounds of the Brigham City tabernacle across the street from the temple are under construction. Walker said the work is scheduled to be complete by Saturday.
"There will be nice planter features," Walker said. "It will kind of mirror the front of the temple."
The temple opens for public tours of the building Saturday.
Tickets are available online at templeopenhouse.lds.org or by calling 1-855-537-2000. A maximum of 20 reservations may be made at one time for individuals.
Church officials anticipated giving out 325,000 tickets for the public tours.
Walker said 300,000 tickets have already been requested.
"It's greatly anticipated," Walker said. "I think everyone who comes will be greatly pleased with this beautiful, magnificent temple."
Included in the tour is a 12-minute video in which church authorities describe temple ceremonies and the personal meaning the ceremonies have added to their lives. Also included in the video is some Brigham City pioneer history.
The temple is scheduled for dedication Sept. 23.
In honor of his Brigham City background, Walker said, President Boyd K. Packer will officiate at the dedication. Packer is the president of the church's Quorum of the Twelve Apostles.
"President Thomas S. Monson has asked President Boyd K. Packer to dedicate the temple," Walker said. "This is a wonderful, kind and generous gesture. I think it's a wonderful thing within itself."
Walker said regular church meetings throughout the state will be canceled on the day the temple is dedicated, in order for faithful members to attend the temple dedication. It will be broadcast live into their respective stake meeting houses.
For a short time after the temple opens, Walker said, members will only be able to attend temple sessions by appointment in order to keep long lines from forming.
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