Behind the scenes as Red Cliff Temple rises from the desert
The Open House for the Red Cliffs Temple currently being built in St. George has not been announced, but there are some virtual tours taking place. Elder and Sister Hughes from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints were called as construction missionaries when the temple was announced. They had a trailer on the East side of the temple where curious people who were passing by would come to get questions answered.
As the temple has neared completion, the trailer has been removed, but the Hughes are still traveling around giving presentations and answering questions. I joined them as they were discussing the building of the temple with a group of primary children.
They talked about the building of the foundation. How prayers were answered when a piece of equipment didn’t break down until the last shovel of dirt was moved. They described how pilings of rock were pounded into the red dirt to support the foundation and all the rebar and cement used to make it sure.
Elder and Sister Hughes described how the local plants and flowers were integrated into the designs throughout the building. The Indian Paint Brush, Bear Claw Poppy and the Cactus Flower are local plants used in the design of the walls and portrayed in the stained-glass windows.
At one point during construction, some of the workers, who are Navajo, were standing, looking up in the sky. Elder Hughes asked them what they were looking at. They told him how Red-tailed Hawks are revered by their people and one was flying overhead. They told him when one circles a place you know it is sacred. That same Red-tailed Hawk comes every day to the temple and can often be seen sitting on Moroni’s trumpet. As he told this story, the hawk flew in and did just that as we were watching.
Speaking of the statue Moroni that sits on the spire of the temple. They showed a video of when the statue arrived. Sister Hughes described how it is made from fiberglass and covered in gold leaf. It stands over 13 feet tall and weighs 400 pounds.
Elder and Sister Hughes travel around the area giving these presentations and they have done four this week. You can have them come and do the same by contacting Elder Hughes at (435) 229-1487.