Snowflake, Arizona

For film buffs and science fiction fans, Snowflake was immortalized in the critically acclaimed 1993 film Fire in the Sky. Directed by Robert Lieberman, written by Tracy Torme, and starring D.B. Sweeney and Robert Patrick, Fire in the Sky is based on a true story about some Arizona lumberjacks who claimed that they saw one of their crew (played by Sweeney) abducted by a UFO.

Much of the film takes place in Snowflake. At one point, one of the characters calls Snowflake a "stupid Mormon town" because the townfolks there don't believe their tales of alien abduction.

For a look at the real Snowflake, check out the documentary film "A Story of Faith: The Founding of Snowflake Arizona":

In 1873 Brigham Young, President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, sent 14 men to search Northern Arizona for suitable land for families to settle. After a long and difficult trip, the men returned and reported that the land was uninhabitable. Despite the unfavorable account, President Young called William Jordan Flake and several other families to return and settle the desert area. With faith in their prophet and in God, these families left prosperous homes and farms. The times to follow were not easy for these pioneers; they struggled against natural elements, hostile outsiders, and isolation. Through the bonds of family and community, the pioneers overcame these adversities and founded a town which has flourished in the desert - Snowflake, Arizona.

One of the preeminent figures in contemporary Latter-day Saint literature is Levi S. Peterson, who was born and raised in Snowflake. Peterson has received wide acclaim from both the East Coast establishment and the Mormon literary community for his writing, which includes books such as Aspen Marooney; The Backslider; The Canyons of Grace: Stories and Juanita Brooks: Mormon Woman Historian. He has awards from the Association for Mormon Letters, the BYU Center for the Study of Christian Values in Literature, the Mountain West Center for Regional Studies, and the Utah Arts Council.

Snowflake may be best known today as the location of one of the world's newest Latter-day Saint temples. President Gordon B. Hinckley, president of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, stunned this small community with his surprise announcement during the General Conference of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints that a temple would be built in Snowflake. Five other temples were announced at the same time during Pres. Hinckley's 2 April 2000 address, and these have come to be known as Snowflake's sister temples: Columbia River, Washington; Lubbock, Texas; Asuncion, Paraguay; Helsinki, Texas; and Aba, Nigeria.

The groundbreaking ceremony for the Snowflake Arizona Temple was held on September 23, 2000. The site is on a hill at the town's west end and has already become a focal point for the community. City leaders expect that the temple will be a key to the community's future growth and development, and expect Latter-day Saint retirees to flock to Snowflake, as has happened in other locations.


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