Alaska temple opens doors to the public

ANCHORAGE, Alaska — With a statue of the Angel Moroni newly perched on its steeple, the Anchorage Alaska Temple opened its doors to the public Dec. 29-31.

The 2 1/2-day open house, which was expected to draw more than 15,000 LDS and non-LDS visitors, introduced the Church's 54th operating temple and the first in Alaska to local members and the community.

"The general feeling is one of extreme excitement," said Gary Child, head usher for the open house. "We have a very beautiful temple."

Speaking of the members' feelings and excitement, Brother Child of the Anchorage 11th Ward, Anchorage Alaska North Stake, noted that some 600 local members are serving as ushers in shifts, 120 are serving as parking lot attendants, and 40 are serving as security.

"At any one time," Brother Child added, "we have 40 ushers per shift and they work a 2 1/2-hour shift."

The 7,000-square-foot edifice, one of the smaller-scale temples, will serve 24,000 Latter-day Saints in Alaska, and in the Yukon and Northwest Territories of Canada. — Julie A. Dockstader

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