The Fort Worth Texas Temple has entered its construction phase, following the Saturday, Oct. 28, groundbreaking services held for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints’ second of three houses of the Lord in Texas’ Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington metro area.
Elder Jose L. Alonso, a General Authority Seventy and first counselor in the Church’s North America Southwest Area presidency, presided at the event, offering remarks and a dedicatory prayer over the temple site in suburban Burleson and the construction process.
“Our hearts are full of appreciation for the treasured gift of Thy Beloved Son, Jesus Christ,” prayed Elder Alonso. “His divine mission provides hope and purpose. Through His Atonement, we find solace during trials, and through His grace, we are fortified with strength and encouragement to serve our neighbors.”
Elder Alonso also asked for blessings upon the surrounding community and youth in the area: “We pray Thy blessings upon all our beloved neighbors, wishing them peace and solace as they unite in the pursuit of joy and hope. … Loving Father, bless the youth of this area, igniting within them a fervent desire for goodness, unity and truth.”
Local faith, government and community leaders joined Latter-day Saints in attending the groundbreaking services, which were held inside due to the morning’s rainy weather.
Elder Alonso proclaimed the day as one of celebration, gratitude and unity, reported the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. “As we break the ground symbolically, we are breaking not only the ground beneath our feet but also the barriers that may separate us in our hearts. In this gathering, we see the beauty of unity and diversity,” he said in his remarks.
“We also aspire to break the fear that sometimes divides us. We seek to break the animosity, to replace it with understanding. We aim to break the sadness with the hope that comes from knowing God loves us. We desire to break discouragement and replace it with the knowledge that in Christ there is always a path forward.”
The Fort Worth temple’s background
President Nelson announced a temple for Fort Worth, Texas, in October 2021 general conference.
The site location and exterior rendering for the Fort Worth Texas Temple were both released on Oct. 31, 2022. Plans call for a single-story building of approximately 30,000 square feet on a 9.37-acre site southeast of SW Hulen Street and Greenridge Drive in Burleson, just south of the Fort Worth city limits.
Texas is home to eight houses of the Lord, including five dedicated and operating temples in Dallas, San Antonio, Houston, Lubbock and McAllen, the latter dedicated earlier this month by Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles.
The Church in Texas and the area
Missionaries first visited Texas in 1843. In 1898, about 300 Church members settled on land purchased by the Church in northeast Texas that would become the colony of Kelsey, about 110 miles east of Dallas.
Church membership in Texas has grown rapidly in recent decades — from 132,000 Latter-day Saints in 1985 to just over 210,000 in 2000 and now more than 378,000 Latter-day Saints comprising nearly 750 congregations.
Membership in the Dallas-Fort Worth area alone is 83,000 strong.