Location: Cardston, about 140 miles south of Calgary in southern Alberta; 348 3rd St. West, Cardston, AB TOK OKO; phone: (403) 653-3552.
Site: In 1887, eight-acre site laid out and given to the Church by Charles Ora Card. It was then called the Tabernacle Block.
Exterior finish: White granite quarried near Kootenai Lakes in Nelson, B.C. Each stone was hand-hewn at the quarry or temple site. Additions of artificial precast granite.
Temple design: Octagonal design has Grecian massiveness and a Peruvian touch of Aztec influence with pyramid silhouette.
Architects: Hyrum C. Pope and Harold W. Burton of Salt Lake City.
Rooms: Approximately 40 in original structure; now 80, including baptistry, celestial, four ordinance, five sealing.
Total floor area: Originally 29,471 square feet, 81,700 square feet after remodeling.
Dimensions: 118 feet square, height, 85 feet; footprint 165 feet by 311 feet.
District: 21 stakes in central and southern Alberta, southeastern British Columbia, northern Montana.
Groundbreaking, site dedication: July 27, 1913, President Joseph F. Smith dedicated site. Ground broken Nov. 9, 1913, by Daniel Kent Greene of Glenwood, Alberta.
Rededicated after remodeling: July 2, 1962, by President Hugh B. Brown of the First Presidency; Rededicated by President Gordon B. Hinckley; 4 sessions.
Dedication: Aug. 26-29, 1923, by President Heber J. Grant; 11 sessions. Rededicated after remodeling July 2, 1962, by President Hugh B. Brown of the First Presidency; Rededicated by President Gordon B. Hinckley June 22-24, 1991; 12 sessions.
Done by President Gordon B. Hinckley
O God, our Eternal Father, we bow before thee with grateful hearts as we rededicate this thy holy house. We come unto thee in the name of thy beloved Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, the Savior and Redeemer of mankind.
We thank thee for the great and universal atonement wrought by the Lamb of God who came into the world to redeem the world that all might be saved from the bonds of death and through obedience obtain eternal life.We thank thee, our God, for the Prophet Joseph Smith, and for all of the gifts, powers, and keys restored through him in the opening of this great and final dispensation of the fullness of times.
Sixty-eight years ago, in 1923, thy servant President Heber J. Grant first dedicated this sacred structure, offering thanks unto thee for the strength of thy work in this nation and for the presence of thy house in this community where thy faithful people came as pioneers to a new land.
Hugh B. Brown, counselor in the First Presidency, in July of 1962, dedicated additions to the temple.
Now the entire structure has been renovated and renewed in an undertaking that makes it more efficient, more attractive and convenient than ever before.
We are pleased that in this renovation those ho have worked within these walls have been men and women worthy to enter thy holy temples. They have labored in a spirit of consecration, and the fruits of their labors are beautiful to behold.
The doors of thy house have again been opened to the public, and thousands of visitors have reverently walked through these sacred halls and rooms and expressed their appreciation.
Now these doors have closed anew to all but thy faithful saints so that in these precincts, again hallowed and sanctified, thy holy work may go forward.
Acting in the authority of the everlasting priesthood and in the name of our Redeemer, the Lord Jesus Christ, we now rededicate this, the Alberta Temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, to thee, our Eternal Father, and to thy divine Son Jesus Christ. We rededicate it as the House of the Lord, as thy dwelling place, and for the consummation of thy holy purposes.
We dedicate the grounds with their trees, shrubs, flowers and grass that provide a beautiful setting for this thy sacred house.
We dedicate the structure from the footings and foundation to the highest elevation of the roof that it may stand firm and immovable against any trembling of the earth and against the storms of nature that may beat upon these walls. We pray that thou wilt preserve it from desecration at the hands of any with evil intent.
We dedicate the new heating and cooling systems, the new electrical system and every other vital part that all may function properly for the comfort, the convenience, and well-being of those who attend here.
We dedicate the rooms and their furnishings, and pray for thy particular blessings upon those facilities and areas where are administered the sacred and eternal ordinances of thy house. May thy Holy Spirit dwell here and bring peace and love everlasting into the hearts of all who serve within this temple. May thy faithful saints come with gladness to participate in the holy ordinances of this house, and receive with worthiness their washings and anointings, their endowments and sealings. May the covenants they make at the holy altars never be forgotten. And may they, with dedication, make all of these ordinances available to those beyond the veil of death through a great and unselfish work of vicarious service.
Father, as we invoke thy blessings upon thy work to be done in this temple, we also invoke thy blessings upon the work that is done in all other temples throughout the world. Touch the hearts of thy people with the Spirit of Elijah the prophet, who restored the keys of the divine work of redemption of the dead. May the hearts of the children be turned to their fathers. May they seek the records of their forebears and labor to link them together for eternity through ordinances that are binding in the heavens as they are binding upon the earth. May thy Spirit move upon those of the nations who control family history resources that these may be opened to thy people, that they may accomplish the work thou hast required of them.
Bless this great nation of Canada where is found freedom of worship, freedom to assemble, and freedom of expression. May these long-established and cherished liberties be preserved for the blessing of all who live here, and as an example to the entire world.
Bless the Latter-day Saints of Canada that they may be good citizens of the nation, men and women of integrity worthy of the respect of the people of this nation, and contributing of their talents and strength to its well-being.
Bless thy work that it may prosper in this land, that the homes of the people may be opened to thy faithful servants who are called and sent forth to teach the gospel of salvation. May the missionaries wherever they labor be endowed with power from on high that they may speak with persuasion to the blessing of all who hear their testimonies.
Father, today we miss the presence of thy prophet, President Ezra Taft Benson. The infirmities of age limit his activities. May he know of the love and sustaining prayers of thy people. May thy blessings rest upon his counselors, the twelve apostles, the Seventy, the bishopric, and the leaders of the auxiliary organizations. Bless those who serve in stake and ward and mission capacities, and all who carry responsibility for thy work in all the world.
We invoke thy blessings upon the temple presidency, the matron and her assistants, and all who serve in this thy house.
Please, Father, smile upon thy faithful people everywhere. Open the windows of heaven and shower down blessings upon them that there shall not be room enough to receive them.
We love thee, Father. We love thy Son. We pray that we may express that love always through service to thy sons and daughters, both the living and the dead. May we ever be found true and faithful to the sacred covenants made in the House of the Lord.
May we leave thy house this day with a renewal of faith and with an added spirit of dedication unto thy work and that of thy Son.
Thou great Elohim, hear our prayers and look with favor upon us, we ask in the name of our divine Redeemer, the Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.
Temple wins beautification award
CARDSTON, Alberta — The town of Cardston recognized the Cardston Alberta Temple this fall with one of the city's annual beautification awards — the first time the temple has been honored in such a way.
Stan Johnson, former Cardston mayor and a counselor in the temple presidency, said the "Cardston Beautiful Annual Beautification Award 2003," is one indication of the "tremendous contribution that is made to the overall beautification of our community by the temple."
Temple dedicated in ‘hub of the north’
By Sarah Jane Weaver
Church News staff writer
EDMONTON, Alberta — The Edmonton Alberta Temple, dedicated by President Gordon B. Hinckley Dec. 11-12, has unified Church members living in and around this "hub of the north."
"We have become something we never thought we would become — a temple city," said temple Pres. Donald D. Salmon.
And as such, Edmonton is now a place where couples who traditionally would retire to southern Alberta are staying, where members living on the northern outskirts of the province are now renewing and forging friendships, and where Latter-day Saints are now reaching across branch, ward and stake boundaries as part of a larger temple district.
"The temple gives us the association with all members," explained Pres. Salmon. "We are coming together to work and serve."
The Church's 67th temple stands as a dominant part of Alberta's capital city. Located on 53rd Avenue, the temple can be seen from the Whitemud freeway. Impressions of Alberta's wild rose and wheat shaft, commonly farmed in the province's rich soil, grace the front of the edifice, constructed of granite quarried in Quebec.
The temple district serves some 14,800 members in five stakes, stretching hundreds of miles across the northern end of Alberta.
An estimated 6,879 Church members attended one of seven dedicatory sessions for the new temple, the fifth operating in Canada. President Hinckley, accompanied by his wife, Marjorie, presided over the dedication. Also in attendance were Elder Neal A. Maxwell of the Quorum of the Twelve and his wife, Colleen; Elder Hugh W. Pinnock of the Seventy and president of the North America Central Area, and his wife, Anne; and Elder Blair S. Bennett, Area Authority Seventy, and his wife, Jane.
Vinyl tents and enclosed walkways to the new temple protected members from outside temperatures, which traditionally drop each December to minus 30 or 40 degrees Celsius. However, milder temperatures, hovering around zero degree Celsius, prompted numerous local Latter-day Saints to declare that this winter they were experiencing "temple weather."
A tent also enclosed a small area for the cornerstone ceremony, attended by members of a choir directed by Viola Wallbank of the Edmonton Alberta Riverbend Stake and six children, dressed in their Sunday best. Others viewed the ceremony via video transmitted live into the temple and adjoining stake center.
President Hinckley placed mortar on the top edge of the cornerstone before inviting others in his traveling party, members of the temple presidency and the children to participate.
The Church has a rich history in Edmonton — a city known for the world's biggest mall and Wayne Gretzki, the world's greatest hockey player.
Although LDS university students and government leaders lived in Edmonton as early as 1920, the first recorded Church meeting was not held in this city until 1933. Then in 1935, N. Eldon Tanner (later a counselor in the First Presidency) moved to northern Alberta, where he served during the next 16 years in Church leadership positions. In 1951 the first Church building in the city was dedicated on Whyte Avenue and the first stake was organized Nov. 15, 1960.
LeRoy Rollins, called as president of that stake, could not be happier to see the dreams of Edmonton's pioneer generation fulfilled with the dedication of the temple.
"I imagined it. I worked toward it. I knew we would have a temple in Edmonton, it had to be," said Brother Rollins, now director of the family history center in the Alberta Bonnie Doon Stake. "It marks a status we have not had before. It will cause even greater growth in this city."
Pres. Salmon, who moved to Edmonton in 1951, also expects the temple to escalate Church growth in Edmonton. It will unite the current Church members in northern Alberta, as well, he said.
"Over the years we have seen the Church grow and divide [as new wards and stakes are created]. This is a time for coming back together. The temple will eliminate phrases such as 'I live in this stake or that stake.' We will be in the temple with people from all stakes."
Like many others, Pres. Salmon and his wife, Joyce, had after retirement planned to leave the harsh Edmonton winters and move to southern Alberta, nearer the Cardston Alberta Temple. Then came the Aug. 11, 1998, announcement of the Edmonton temple that changed their lives. "We are staying and many others are staying, too," he said.
Some are even returning.
After the temple announcement, Calvin G. and Verona Harker Merkley sold their home in Lethbridge, Alberta, — where they had planned to spend their retirement years closer to a temple — and returned to their home ward in Edmonton.
"We are coming home to family and the temple; we can't beat that," said Sister Merkley.
Now members of the River Valley Ward, Edmonton Alberta Riverbend Stake, the Merkleys contemplate the miracle of the temple. "The influence of the temple will be felt," Brother Merkley said.
Gordon L. Strate, and his wife, Myrna, have already witnessed the influence of the temple, even though they live eight hours from Edmonton in Fort St. John. While attending the temple dedication, the couple renewed old friendships and forged new ones. "It is the best place in the world we can go for peace, tranquility and happiness," explained Brother Strate, the son of early Church pioneers in Edmonton.
Elder Bennett explained that Church members, divided by hundreds of miles, now feel united by the temple.
The Edmonton Bonnie Doon Stake is comprised of 15 units, with the furthest unit located 300 miles north, he said. In the Grande Prairie Alberta Stake there are members who will drive between five to eight hours to get to their stake center. Church members in Yellow Knife, he added, live near the Arctic Circle, an estimated 15 hours north of Edmonton.
"To have a temple located here is going to bless lives in ways we really don't even understand yet," he said. "This has literally been a fulfillment of the hopes and dreams and aspirations of a generation that has lived and served in Edmonton."