The governor of Arizona and local interfaith groups have been among the invited guests who toured the Mesa Arizona Temple this week as part of its public open house, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints said Thursday in a news release.
Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey toured the newly renovated Mesa Arizona Temple with Elder Ronald A. Rasband, of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, on Tuesday, Oct. 12.
“The renovation is just incredible,” Ducey said in a news release. “The beauty, the craftsmanship, the materials, the feeling of peace and sacredness that you feel as you walk through the temple. It was my real privilege to be here today.”
Ducey said he has visited four of the church’s six temples in Arizona. He expressed appreciation for the church and its members’ contributions to the Grand Canyon State.
“What’s in the best interest of our children is something that this church is always leading on, and the faith-based community is their partner in that,” the governor said. “I think it just shows that the community that is here, the growth in the community and the church … they are places of peace and holiness that people can retreat to. … It tells me where we’re bringing people that are going to have the best interests of their family, their businesses and the citizens of this state at heart.”
Members of the Phoenix interfaith community also toured the temple on the same day.
Here’s what some of them said following the tour:
- Mo Madouh, a member of the Islamic faith and a graduate student from Kuwait at Arizona State University: “One of the things that I enjoyed (during) the tour is definitely the structure (which) definitely brings out the Renaissance classic design. ... I’m an art person and … (viewing) painting after painting, I was in deep contemplation of my faith and other faiths.”
- Fran Matera, an Arizona State University professor who works with Muslim doctoral students: “I was baptized as a Roman Catholic and family before me. Certainly, I lived in that tradition. I was appreciative of the comments that were made, because then I was trying to apply them, quite frankly, to some of the traditions that I have grown up with. ... I think that we could learn much, probably, from what I heard today and slowing down to contemplate life and connection.”
- Fred Taylor, director of special programs for the Arizona Attorney General’s Office who also works with faith communities to offer training and resources for opioid abuse: “Just the time that we spent here today. It is relaxing. It puts your mind and soul in a different place. And that’s what you have to do sometimes to deal with the issues that we’re facing on a day-to-day basis.”
About 30 people from the Somali American United Council of Arizona also toured the temple on Tuesday afternoon.
“This is … a great opportunity … in our life. And we will never, never, never forget this,” said Mohamed Ali Abukar, president and CEO of the Somali American United Council of Arizona.
One of the former stars of “The Bachelor” also toured the Mesa Arizona Temple this week.
The Mesa Arizona Temple open house runs through Nov. 20.
President Dallin H. Oaks of the church’s First Presidency will rededicate the temple on Sunday, Dec. 12.