Thursday, January 16, 2014

Open House To Begin At New LDS Temple In Gilbert, Arizona Prior To March 2nd Dedication; Fort Lauderdale Temple Next Up

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has completed its new temple on the southeast corner of Greenfield and Pecos Roads in Gilbert, Arizona, and is preparing to dedicate it on March 2nd, 2014, after which time it will be open only to Mormons possessing a temple recommend. But the general public will get an opportunity to tour the temple during the open house that will take place from Saturday January 18th through Saturday February 15th, 2014 (except for Sundays). Open house reservations are being accepted at; note that cameras will not be allowed inside the building during the tours. Among the VIPs getting special preliminary tours was Arizona Governor Jan Brewer, who characterized the temple as a beacon of hope, faith and love.

This temple has attracted more attention than most because at 85,000 square feet, it's the largest temple the Church has constructed in 17 years. In addition, with the spire reaching a height of 195 feet, it becomes the tallest building in the East Valley area of the Phoenix metroplex. Anticipating the additional construction of a chapel on the site within four years, the parking lot was wisely designed to accommodate 654 vehicles, which minimizes any traffic problems. Upon dedication, the Gilbert Temple will become the 142nd operating temple of the Church worldwide. It is one of four temples in Arizona, with others in Mesa, Snowflake and the Gila Valley. A fifth temple in Phoenix, which was delayed until the concerns of local residents were satisfactorily addressed, is under construction and a sixth, in Tucson, has been announced. There are an estimated 400,000 LDS members in Arizona.

If you cannot visit the Gilbert Temple in person, there are photostreams linked on the LDS website. In addition, here is a short video incorporating a number of still photos which alternate exterior views with pictures of the most significant interior rooms:

Temples are considered houses of the Lord where Christ’s teachings are reaffirmed through marriage, baptism and other ordinances that unite families for eternity. Inside, members learn more about the purpose of life and make promises to serve Jesus Christ and their fellow man. LDS members dress in white clothing during the services to symbolize purity, cleanliness and setting aside things from the outside world. Raising some occasional controversy is the fact that there have been periodic adjustments to the oaths and ceremonies in the temple, as described in this timeline, but these changes were made to keep the temple ceremonies consistent with changing doctrine. The most recent batch of changes took place in 1990 after a survey of Church members' feelings about the endowment. Changes in temple ceremonies do not impinge upon the authenticity of LDS Church doctrine. In the 15-minute video from 2012 embedded below, Elder William R. Walker, who heads up temple operations worldwide, gives a more detailed presentation about the value of temples and how they expand upon the normal worship services available in chapels:

And another temple will be opening soon as the First Presidency has announced open house and dedication dates for the Fort Lauderdale Florida Temple. The public is invited to visit the temple during an open house from Saturday March 29th through April 19th, 2014, excluding Sundays. Free reservations for the open house can be made through the website in the coming weeks. Local Florida media sources are already spreading the word.

1 comment:

Pam the Realtor said...

I took a tour of the Gilbert Temple last week and was very impressed. Beautiful building but more impressed on how the tour was handled and how organized everything was