Members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints from as far away as Utah attended a ground breaking ceremony in Farmington on Saturday for the first Mormon temple to be built in Connecticut.
The event was historic and the Connecticut temple has a deep significance to Mormons. The church's first president Joseph Smith’s maternal family, the Macks, lived and worked for generations in Old Lyme. The fourth president of the church, Wilford Woodruff, was born in Farmington, just a few miles away from the site of the new temple.
Connecticut is home to nearly 15,000 Mormons who gather at numerous chapels around the state for Sunday worship, but a temple is something different.
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, whose followers adhere to the Bible, as well as to the Book of Mormon, has 141 temples around the world. Several more are under construction including one in Rome, Italy.
The Connecticut temple is expected to be completed in two years and will draw worshipers from Rhode Island, Massachusetts, and New York.
The ground breaking ceremony drew hundreds and was presided over by Church President Thomas S. Monson, who flew in from Utah to dedicate the temple for God's purpose.
For Milewski, who lives in Chicopee, Mass having a temple so close to her in Connecticut temple is exciting. She currently attends the Boston temple in Belmont, Mass. ( Mormon temples are named after the capitol city of the state in which they are located.)
“Having a temple here, so close by will be incredible. It's the most scared place on earth,” she said.