RELIGION

Old story of temple guard dog recalled during rededication weekend for Washington D.C. Temple

Aug 14, 2022, 12:38 PM | Updated: 3:43 pm

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Washington D.C. Temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has been closed for the last four years because of a renovation and then the pandemic.

The First Presidency traveled to our nation’s capitol this weekend to rededicate the temple.

President Russell M. Nelson toured the newly renovated temple Saturday with Presiding Bishopric Bishop Gerald Causse Bishop.

It is tradition after completion of a new temple or renovation of an older one for the presiding bishopric to turn the temple back over to the First Presidency making Saturday another historic day for the Washington D. C. Temple.

There are many interesting stories that are part of the history of this temple, including one about a self-proclaimed guard dog.

Construction of the Washington, D.C. temple took place in the early 1970s. During that time, workers discovered some vandalism on the site. One day, a german shepherd showed up and refused to leave. He acted like a guard dog so they decided to keep him.

Judy Emily Cox worked as the office secretary. Her boss made a request.  “And he said, ‘We want a name. We want a short, masculine. And we’d like it to be from the Bible.’ So they said, ‘We want you to come up with the name.’ And it just popped in my head, Zacharias. And I said you can call him Zach for short. And so they said, ‘that’s it!’

She remembered Zacharias the temple priest, the father of John the Baptist.

Zach, the temple guard dog, slept under the superintendent’s desk during the day and patrolled the grounds at night. One evening, he refused to leave the Annex Building.

“And so when he went back in to check, they discovered a fire. If Zach hadn’t smelled it, I guess, and kept telling there’s something the matter in there that it could have been a lot worse,” Cox said.

John Howell, the assistant construction foreman lived in a trailer on the temple property with his wife, Ida, and daughter Serena, who made a film about her experience there with Zach.

“He became a faithful companion to the temple watchman and chased away trespassers. He must have seemed very ferocious to them but Zach and I were great friends,” Serena narrated in the film. “I think Zach knew this was a holy place, too.”

When workers completed construction on the temple, Zach disappeared but Cox knew what happened to him. “I know one of the fellows from the crew had said he was going to take him home with him. So, he went to a good home from somebody that had worked on the temple site.”

Zach the temple guard dog is a part of the history of this temple.

Sunday it will be the site of more history when President Nelson, President Dallin H. Oaks and President Henry B. Eyring rededicate the Washington, D.C. Temple.

You can see that story from the 52-acre property in Kensington, Maryland coming up Sunday on KSL TV at 10 p.m.

KSL 5 TV Live

Top Stories

Religion

Follow @KSL_AlexCabrero...
Alex Cabrero

BYU premieres documentary ‘The Black 14: Healing Hearts and Feeding Souls’

There's a lot of history with BYU football. Saturday’s game against Wyoming in Provo will bring some of that history back. It's a story many people might not know, which is why BYU journalism students did a documentary on it, called The Black 14.
2 days ago
An artist's rendering of the Heber Valley Temple. (Intellectual Reserve, Inc.)...
Madison Swenson

Church announces sites for two US temples

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints announced the location for two U.S. temples, as well as a groundbreaking date for the Heber Valley Utah Temple.
6 days ago
Religious devotion looks different for everyone, and yet some at Brigham Young University have foun...
Erin Cox

Artists share works of religious devotion in new exhibit at the BYU museum of art

Religious devotion looks different for everyone, and yet some at Brigham Young University have found common themes throughout centuries of art.
7 days ago
...
Erin Cox

Utah governor wraps up trade, diplomatic mission to Israel

Friday wraps up a week-long trip to Israel and the United Arab Emirates for Gov. Spencer Cox and other state leaders. KSL's Erin Cox spoke with both religious and business leaders who joined the governor on this trip.
9 days ago
Bishop Scott Hayashi, the leader of Utah's Episcopal Diocese (Episcopal Diocese of Utah)...
Carole Mikita

Utah’s Episcopal Diocese leader is retiring after 12 years of leadership

Bishop Scott Hayashi, the leader of Utah's Episcopal Diocese, is retiring after years of providing a voice of calm and friendship in interfaith relationships.
11 days ago
Pope Francis leads the holy Mass with the new Cardinals, on August 30, 2022 in Vatican City, Vatica...
NICOLE WINFIELD, Associated Press

How many must die? Pope blasts Russia war, appeals for peace

Pope Francis told the Russian Orthodox hierarchy and other faith leaders Wednesday that religion must never be used to justify the “evil” of war, and asked at an outdoor Mass in Kazakhstan, “How many deaths will it take?” for peace to prevail in Ukraine.
11 days ago

Sponsored Articles

young woman with stickers on laptop computer...
Les Olson

7 ways print marketing materials can boost your business

Custom print marketing materials are a great way to leave an impression on clients or customers. Read for a few ideas to spread the word about your product or company.
young woman throwing clothes to organize a walk in closet...
Lighting Design

How to organize your walk-in closet | 7 easy tips to streamline your storage today

Read our tips to learn how to organize your walk-in closet for more storage space. These seven easy tips can help you get the most out of your space.
Types of Computer Malware and Examples...
PC Laptops

5 Nasty Types of Computer Malware and Examples | Everything You Need to Know to Keep Your Computer and Family Safe

Here are the different types of computer malware and examples that could potentially infect your computer.
tips how to quit smoking...

7 Tips How to Quit Smoking | Quitting Smoking Might be One of the Hardest Things You Ever Do but Here’s Where You Can Start

Quitting smoking cigarettes can be incredibly difficult. Here are 7 tips how to quit smoking to help you on your quitting journey.
Photo: Storyblocks...
Blue Stakes of Utah 811

Blue Stakes of Utah 811: 5 Reasons To Call 811 Before You Dig When Working in Your Yard

Call before you dig. Even at home, you could end up with serious injuries or broken utilities just because you didn't call Blue Stakes of Utah 811.
Days of...
Days of '47 Rodeo

TRIVIA: How well do you know your rodeo? Take this quiz before you go to the Days of ’47!

The Utah Days of ’47 Rodeo presented by Zions Bank is a one-of-a-kind Gold Medal Rodeo being held July 20-23, 25 at 7:30 PM. The Days of ’47 Rodeo How well do you know your rodeo trivia? Take the quiz to test your know-all before heading out to the Days of ’47 Rodeo at the […]
Old story of temple guard dog recalled during rededication weekend for Washington D.C. Temple