Writing a book can be quite a feat, especially when you are relying on experiences of individuals in the community to complete your project. But, that is exactly what one Spanish Fork woman is doing after being asked by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to write a history book about the Payson Utah Temple.
The building of the Payson Utah Temple was announced on Jan. 25, 2010 by Church President Thomas S. Monson. Ground was broken on Oct. 8, 2011, to begin construction on the temple.
“I don’t know why they asked me,” Janene Baadsgaard, a mother of 10 children and 25 grandchildren said. “I am not being paid to do this. I am volunteering my time. It is a rare privilege to have this opportunity.”
The book will be used for official church history and will not be for sale.
“Only four copies will be made,” Baadsgaard said, “one for the cornerstone box, one for the Church History Department, one for the Temple Department and one for the temple.”
Baadsgaard said that the Church has someone write a history book for each new temple.
Baadsgaard has been a freelance writer for 40 years. She graduated from BYU in communications with a journalism emphasis.
“I’ve published hundreds of newspaper columns, features and magazine articles,” Baadsgaard said. “I’ve also written 15 books and contributed to 15 others. I felt surprised, excited and overwhelmed when I was asked to write this book. I’ve written lots of books, but I’ve never been asked to write one in such a short amount of time. ”
Baadsgaard is seeking the community’s help to write the book. She is looking for personal stories and experiences from individuals who have had an experience with the Payson Temple.
“This may be someone who helped with the construction, a neighbor who brought food over for the workers, a young women’s group who hiked to the temple, someone who drives by the temple each day to work, the architect or designer for the temple, people who had ancestors who settled the area or someone who was there at the groundbreaking,” Baadsgaard said. “I want to know what you experienced and how you felt. What did you feel when you heard that the Payson Temple would be built? Did you see the angel Moroni being placed or watch the lights come on? Have you visited the temple site with your family?”
“There is no experience that is insignificant,” Baadsgaard said. “You don’t have to write well. Each personal experience is valuable to me. Facts and dates are important, but personal stories are much more interesting.”
Baadsgaard needs material for the book that will be placed in the cornerstone by Feb. 15, 2016.
A free public open house for the Payson Utah Temple will be April 24 through May 23. The cultural celebration will be June 6, and the temple will be dedicated in three sessions on June 7.
“There is no experience that is insignificant. You don’t have to write well. Each personal experience is valuable to me. Facts and dates are important, but personal stories are much more interesting.” —Janene Baadsgaard, Writer
“After the open house, cultural celebration and dedication have taken place, I would like personal stories and experiences that members of the community have had at those events also,” Baadsgaard said. “I will be able to accept these stories through June, when I write the final version of the history of the Payson Temple 2010–2015.”
Baadsgaard will be covering a variety of topics in the book. These topics include Church history of the Payson Temple District; temple site history and acquisition; temple announcement; groundbreaking; general authorities from temple district; temple design; construction; artisan work; Church unit/community involvement; personal stories/testimonies; local temple committee; open house; cultural celebration; cornerstone ceremony; dedication; new temple presidency; and the open and functioning temple.
“I love receiving the personal stories and adding them to the book,” Baadsgaard said. “They are so beautiful and really touch my heart.”