Among the 60 or more people there for the service, the prevailing sentiment seemed to be that there is not a more lovely site anywhere for the location of the building, and a great sense of gratitude that a chapel would be built in their midst.
The vast majority of LDS church members belonging to the Mexican Hat Branch live in the Monument Valley area. So this will be a great blessing for them. Once the new building is dedicated, Mexican Hat Branch will close and move south to the Valley.
The groundbreaking services started with a welcome by Jim Dandy, President of the Mexican Hat Branch. The opening prayer was followed by a beautiful arrangement of “Because I Have Been Given Much/Nearer My God to Thee” performed by the Children of Lehi choir.
Darin Zwick, President of Zwick Construction, said that the chapel would be built with prayer and dedication to the Lord. The construction of this building has very special meaning to Zwick. Back in the early 1980’s, when Monument Valley High School was built, it was Zwick Construction that was the primary contractor and Darin Zwick’s father, W. Craig Zwick (currently serving as a member of the LDS Church First Quorum of Seventy) was president of the company. He remembers, as a young boy, spending a great deal of time with his father in the valley, playing in the sand and growing to love the area.
President Dandy grew up in Monument Valley and teaches at the high school. While he was growing up, he remembers wondering why there was not a church in the valley. He always dreamed of having a beautiful chapel close to where he lived. Now, his dream is coming true.
Mike Redd, President of the Blanding LDS Stake, noted that the timing and circumstances for building of the church came together just right for the chapel to be built. He said that this new chapel would be a great blessing to the people of Monument Valley.
Construction has already begun with site preparation and the laying of footers. Completion of the project is expected in about six months.