After eight weeks of rehearsals and preparations, the big night came for the Youth Cultural Celebration on the eve of the Calgary Temple Dedication. When it was announced that we would have a cultural celebration, I think we made several jokes about what culture? But it was more than that. It was a blend of Calgary culture and history as well as local church history. For all the corniness, I was touched by the spirit and strength of our youth.
There were many references to our cowboy heritage. At the beginning the youth filled the hockey arena in the shape of the classic Calgary white Stetson hat.
President Monson stayed home on Saturday to celebrate his wife's 85th birthday. Carmen was a little disappointed considering she had the prime spot of performing directly in front of the visiting general authorities of the church.
If any of you know the contact information for Sister Christensen (who is watching Carmen here), please tell me! Carmen says Sister Christensen took a photo of her, and I would love one from the front.
Steven was one of the hockey players for the Good Old Hockey Game number.
I got better photos of my nieces than I did of my own kids. Marissa barrel racing a stick horse.
Erica line dancing.
I think here Emma is working as eye candy behind the rodeo judges?
I took a few photos of the big screens during the celebration. I loved this aerial view of the temple.
President Ballard (and others) were presented with their white hats at the end of the evening. (I learned that this Calgary civic tradition was initiated by an LDS mayor, Donald Hugh MacKay, in the 1950's.)
Then this morning President Monson flew in to Calgary and presided over and dedicated our temple. He arrived full of humor and high spirits. We attended the first dedication session from our stake centre where we were also able to watch the cornerstone ceremony - President Monson was full of jokes and fun. I'm sure the children who joined him will never forget! As for me, I appreciated the dedicatory prayer and the blessings invoked on us by a prophet of God, as well as joining in singing The Spirit of God. Hosanna and amen.