ST. GEORGE – The 28 senior missionaries and 22 young sister missionaries currently serving at the St. George Temple Visitors’ Center welcomed their new Director and his wife to Dixie on Saturday, January 15. Judd Delahay Morgan and Pauline Thornton Morgan will wear the name tags of “Elder and Sister Morgan” for the next two years.
Their call to serve as Temple Visitors’ Center Directors came from President Thomas S. Monson, President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. When he asked the Morgans to serve as Visitors’ Center Directors in St. George, Sister Morgan said they were both delighted.
Elder Morgan’s mother was a Judd and he is proud to say that he has roots in the red soil of Dixie. They have vacationed in St. George for years and love our pleasant climate and vibrant landscape. Elder and Sister Morgan are extremely grateful for the warm welcome they have received since their arrival and look forward to meeting many wonderful families as they make this their “home away from home.”
Leaving their residence of ten years in Draper, Utah, the Morgans also left behind many friends and family. They are not novices to adventure as he (accompanied by his wife) served as Mission President of the Canada Winnipeg Mission from 2006 – 2009. Sister Morgan shared that their five children and eighteen grandchildren are very supportive of their desire and commitment to serve the Lord and look forward to coming south for a visit.
Born and raised in Nephi, Utah, to Fred Delahay Morgan and Ora Lucille Judd Morgan, Elder Morgan served an LDS mission to the Brazil South Mission. He spent his career in education, as the Vice President in Student Services and as Interim President of Salt Lake Community College. Elder Morgan enjoys fly fishing, sunsets, and carving wood. He has built beautiful pieces of furniture for his family.
Sister Morgan was born in Salt Lake City, Utah, to Virl William and Vera Maxine Poulsen Thornton. She served as a volunteer with the International Rescue Committee. She assisted refugees in establishing themselves in the community through finding employment, learning English, and learning to drive. Her hobbies are reading, cooking, and spending time with grandchildren. Together they enjoy spending time at their cabin in Heber.
Elder and Sister Morgan think the greatest thing about serving here is to work in the shadows of the beautiful St. George Temple. With the temple always in sight, they feel the peace and serenity that accompanies them to the Center each morning as they come to serve.
Impressed with the operation and success at the Visitors’ Center, the new Directors plan to keep things running pretty much business as usual for now. They are looking into hosting future art exhibits at the Visitors’ Center and possibly adding more evening programs at the Tabernacle. “With such a beautiful, grand building,” commented Sister Morgan, “We would love to offer programs to the community as often as possible.”
The Morgans invite the public to drop by the Visitor’s Center daily from 9 -9, enjoy a tour, watch a movie, or visit any of our lovely displays. For a special treat, visit the Historic Sites: The St. George Tabernacle, Brigham Young’s Winter Home, and Jacob Hamblin’s Pioneer Home daily from 10 – 5. Tours are free and dress is casual. Learn the history of the early settlers to Dixie, see artifacts and furnishings from the period, and feel the sweet spirit as you hear stories of the faithful, hard-working pioneers who “made the desert blossom as a rose”. We currently host free, weekly performances at the Tabernacle on Wednesdays at 7 p.m. and free organ/piano recitals on Saturdays at 12:15 p.m.
With joyful smiles on their faces, the Morgans jumped right in as they toured the historic sites in the first week. They attended the Wednesday evening performance at the Tabernacle, enjoying the lovely music of Tim Farr and Flutations. Anxious to learn their new duties and get acquainted with the missionaries, the Morgans said unpacking their suitcases can wait – they will get to that soon enough.