Student ordinance workers prepare for Provo Temple opening

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The Provo City Center Temple stands out because of its history and architecture. It’s also unique because the temple district has a high concentration of young adults who will make up a large percentage of the new temple’s patrons and ordinance workers.

Ari Davis
Tira Bacon, a young single adult and UVU student, will serve as an ordinance worker in the Provo City Center Temple. The new temple’s ordinance workers are all members living in the temple district. (Ari Davis)

More than 77,000 members from 28 Provo and Springville stakes belong to the new temple district. Eleven of those stakes are made up of young single adults, and one is married students.

Ordinance workers assist patrons with temple work; often, these workers are retired or elderly. However, many young adults serve as ordinance workers in the Provo Temple, and that will also be the case in  Provo’s newest temple, which will be dedicated in three sessions on Sunday, March 20. The Provo City Center Temple will open for live ordinances and proxy work on Tuesday, March 22.

Tira Bacon, a UVU senior studying elementary education, will be a worker at the Provo City Center Temple. She heard in sacrament meeting the temple needed ordinance workers and met with her bishop to learn more.

“Even at the orientation meeting, there were so many young single adults there,” Bacon said. “We’re still outnumbered by older people, but it was cool to see how many YSAs there were, definitely not half and half, but there were a lot of us.”

Bacon said she hopes temple patrons, including BYU and UVU students, will be touched by the example of young single adults serving as ordinance workers.

“I think it’ll be cool to show not only the world but also the church that working in the temple is important to us,” Bacon said. “Being there is important to us.”

Richard Holzapfel, president of the Provo Utah YSA 1st Stake, said his stake members are excited about the new temple. He said hundreds of them volunteered at the open house and are now looking forward to the dedication.

“It’s been a perfect storm of encouraging people to think about the temple and to go as often as possible,” Holzapfel said. “We don’t count temple attendance because it’s personal. We simply use the phrase ‘Go to the temple as often as possible.'”

Ari Davis
The Provo City Center Temple will be dedicated on Sunday, March 20, and will open for live ordinances and proxy work on Tuesday, March 22. (Ari Davis)

Forty-three members of his stake have already been called and set apart as ordinance workers and the stake has a roughly equal number of members who are still being called.

Ordinance work is an uplifting experience for young adults, said Drusilla Small, a shift coordinator overseeing ordinance workers in the Provo City Center Temple. Small has also served as a shift coordinator in the Provo Temple.

“The young single adults may have some concerns about their future and about if they would get married or if they’re going to be able to get the job they want,” Small said. “As they serve in the temple, the spirit blesses them with confidence in their future. They become more confident in themselves, especially in their spiritual selves.”

It takes about four weeks of training to become an ordinance worker in the Provo Temple, Small said. Ordinance workers in the Provo City Center Temple won’t have that luxury because they had to train before the dedication.

But most young adults learn quickly, Small said, perhaps because of study skills they acquire as students. She said ordinance workers can refer to note cards during their first shifts at the new temple.

Experienced ordinance workers provide good support to first-time young adult workers too, Small said, and don’t mind helping them.

“They tell the YSA how grateful they are for them and they express love for them, and if they have any questions, the experienced (workers) are more than willing to answer,” Small said. “They just show a lot of love, and the young single adults feel that love. And it helps them.”

The Provo City Center Temple will be the 150th operating temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

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