Special to the AFRO
The open house, youth devotional and rededication of the Washington D.C. Temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (originally scheduled for last year but delayed because of COVID-19) will now take place in 2022.
This news was made Tuesday, July 20, 2021, in a letter from the First Presidency and shared during a media event at the Washington D.C. Temple Visitors’ Center.
A media day for the renovated temple will take place on April 18, 2022, followed by private tours for invited guests from April 19 to April 27. A two-month public open house will then begin on April 28 and go through June 4 (except for Sundays). Open house ticket information is available at dctemple.org.
The youth devotional will be held on June 18, followed by the temple rededication on June 19 in three sessions. The youth devotional and rededication will be broadcast for all congregations within the Washington D. C. Temple district.
“This is a great occasion for us to open the doors of the temple for our friends, members of the Washington, D.C., community, people and partners of all faiths and backgrounds to come and join us and to experience the beauty and peace that is the temple of the Lord,” said Aaron Sherinian, director of media for the temple open house committee.
The temple, which first opened in 1974, closed in March 2018 for a significant renovation. Mechanical, electrical, plumbing and lighting systems throughout the 160,000-square-foot structure have been refreshed, in addition to other work done to refurbish and renovate the temple.
At the news conference Maryland Secretary of State, John C. Wobensmith, presented a special citation on behalf of Maryland Governor Larry Hogan, recognizing the opportunity for “people from around the world to view this beautiful and sacred landmark” during the upcoming open house.
Dan Holt, project manager for the Washington D.C. Temple renovation project, said the inside of the temple maintains its same midcentury motif with an added “21st-century flair” to make it “more maintainable, more modern and really relevant for today.”
“Our hope,” Holt added, “is that both the design of the building and the materials and equipment that we put in are going to last another 50 to 100 years—and do so efficiently and effectively.”
“We’ve been waiting for the temple to be rebuilt and rededicated. We’re excited to be part of this community and to be part of this great opportunity to share with our neighbors,” said Lucy Lopez, a Church community outreach specialist.
“The temple building is absolutely beautiful,” remarked Kisha Wilson, area director of Church Communication, Northern Virginia. “If you look at the structure, if you look at the details of the building. What makes it even more special is we can invite everyone. This is a community gift. And so, we want everyone to participate in the open house, to have the opportunity to feel a special or close connection to God and to feel His love.”
“I hope when people come, they will feel the warmth of a place dedicated to God,” said Anne Golightly, chair of public affairs for the temple open house committee. “There is a light there. There’s a feeling of hope.”
The groundbreaking for the Washington D.C. Temple, located in Kensington, Maryland, was December 7, 1968. President Spencer W. Kimball dedicated the temple on November 19-22, 1974. The temple serves Latter-day Saints in Washington, D.C., Virginia, West Virginia, Maryland and Pennsylvania. The temple was opened to the public from September 17 to October 19, 1974, and more than 750,000 visitors toured the building.
The ceremonies within each temple teach the purpose of life and unite families, past and present. The mere presence of temples in communities around the globe reminds Latter-day Saints of the importance of faith in the common Father of all humanity, the need for constant improvement of the soul, the possibility of family relationships that reach beyond the grave and the salvation that comes only through the grace of Jesus Christ.
“I’m hoping that people will come to the temple and realize that even though we’ve been apart for the last year, the temple is something that reminds us that we’re all connected, we’re all together because we’re all children of God,” Sherinian said.
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