What is Guarding the New Red Cliffs Utah Temple?
The Open House for the Red Cliffs Temple takes place February 1st through March 2nd where anyone can take a self guided tour of the new temple in in St. George built by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. You can make a reservation here.
I talked with Dennis Hughes of St. George. He and his wife were called as construction missionaries when the temple was announced. They had a trailer on the East side of the temple to answer questions for people wondering about the building.
Elder Hughes told a story about a red tail hawk that came to visit during construction. The central spire on the temple has an opening on four sides that they were worried might become a place for birds to nest. Not that birds flying around aren't enjoyable, but the they could mar the exterior if it became too popular.
At one point during construction, some of the workers who are Navajo were standing, looking up in the sky. Elder Hughes asked them what they were looking at. They told him how red tail hawks are revered by their people and one was flying overhead. They told him when one circles a place you know it is sacred.
"I'm kind of a tease," said Hughes. "At first I wasn't sure if I should believe them as I teased them a little and they liked to tease me back." He said he later confirmed it with another Navajo friend he had grown close to during the process. "He said yeah, it means it's a special place," said Hughes.
That same red tail hawk comes almost every day to the temple and can be seen sitting on Moroni’s trumpet. "We've noticed even two pairs of them now," said Hughes. "They might be a whole family, I don't know what's going on."
Of course, with a family of red tail hawks patrolling the spire, no birds have moved into the open part. When you drive by the temple, see if you can spot one of the hawks perched on the trumpet keeping watch.
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