Gil AZ Ded 0010

Being with the saints in Arizona was truly a powerful experience. They are an amazing group of people. I wanted to capture some of the power of their spirits in photographs as we gathered for the dedication of the Temple. I took hundreds of pictures-here I only share a few.

Some of the songs from the youth celebration stuck with me all weekend. In context one was about how the Mormon pioneers to arid Arizona had to leave such wonderful circumstances in the center of the main body of the saints in Utah and they HAD to come to Arizona. “Things just aren’t working out as I planned/I’m stuck for life here in this dusty, barren land. This just can’t be…the start of something good.”

Then they sang in another song: “I look at my life and I know that I belong. I’ve had the help of loved ones, from generations gone. They came to this valley, this parched desert land. What they went through I’ll never understand…The faith of our Fathers, these noble pioneers. Their courage and their sacrifice reach beyond the years. Their banners on Mount Zion are shining like the sun. We’re built upon their dreams-WE’RE THE LUCKY ONES.”

This photo essay is a view of those “lucky ones.” Click HERE to see these 33 photos.