Spokane Washington Temple

Read the dedicatory prayer and information about the Spokane Washington Temple

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Announced: Aug. 13, 1998.

Location: 13710 East 40th Ave., Spokane, WA 99214-1420; phone: (509) 926-2824.

Site: 4.2 acres.

Exterior finish: Granite.

Temple design: Traditional.

Architect: Church A&E Services.

Project manager: Leon Rowley.

Contractor: Arnell-West Inc.

Rooms: Baptistry, celestial room, two ordinance rooms, two sealing rooms.

Total floor area: 10,700 square feet.

Dimensions: 149 feet by 77 feet.

District: 12 stakes in eastern Washington and parts of northern Idaho and western Montana.

Groundbreaking, site dedication: Oct. 10, 1998, by F. Melvin Hammond of the Seventy and president of the North America Northwest Area.

Dedication: Aug. 21, 1999, by President Gordon B. Hinckley; 11 sessions.

Dedicatory Prayer

Done by President Gordon B. Hinckley

Our beloved Father in heaven, in reverent prayer we bow before Thee. Thou art our Father and our God, the great Elohim, than whom there is none greater. We are met today in this beautiful new temple to dedicate it to Thee as Thy Holy House.

In the authority of the everlasting priesthood, Thy divine power delegated to us Thy servants, we dedicate and consecrate this the Spokane Washington Temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. We dedicate it unto Thee and unto Thy Beloved Son as Thy Holy House and pray that Thy Spirit may dwell here. We ask that Thou will accept it as the offering of Thy favored children.

We dedicate the ground on which it stands with the beautiful vegetation growing thereon. We dedicate the structure from the footings and foundation to the figure of Moroni which crowns its steeple.

We dedicate the baptistry, the facilities for the initiatory ordinances, the endowment rooms, the beautiful celestial room, the sealing rooms with their sacred altars, and all other areas and features of this hallowed edifice.

We bow in reverent wonder before Thee at the great and eternal plan Thou hast provided for Thy sons and daughters of all generations, that Thy children may go forward throughout eternity on the way that leads to immortality and eternal life.

We thank Thee for the Prophet Joseph Smith through whom this knowledge and its necessary authority have come. We thank Thee for faithful tithe payers throughout the Church whose consecrated contributions have made this possible. Bless them for their faith and faithfulness. Open the windows of heaven and shower down blessings upon them.

Touch the hearts of the people in this temple district that the spirit of Elijah may rest upon them, that their hearts may turn to their fathers, and that they may be motivated to search out their forebears and do a great vicarious work in their behalf. May they experience the joy of totally unselfish service as they so labor, emulating the great vicarious sacrifice of our Redeemer.

May those who go forth as missionaries to the nations here be empowered from on high to bear witness that Thou hast moved for the last time to bless all who come unto Thee and keep Thy commandments, thereby becoming worthy to receive those ordinances which will save and bless them in both time and all eternity.

Preserve this Thy Holy House from defilement of any kind, and may all who enter here be worthy in every way. May their thoughts be lifted to things of everlasting worth, and may this be a place of holiness to all who cross the threshold of its portals.

Preserve this sacred structure from the destructive forces of nature, from storms and earthquakes and all such destructive elements.

Now, dear Father, bless all who shall serve in this Thy sanctuary that Thy watchcare shall be over them and that their hearts may be filled with gladness. We pray for the temple presidency and for those who labor with them. We pray for all who have been called to serve in Thy kingdom, and in a particular way for those who labor, under Thy direction, at the head of this work in all the world. Strengthen them and stay the hand of the destroyer against them.

For these blessings we plead as we dedicate this Thy temple and invoke Thy blessing upon it and upon all who serve herein. We do so in the name of Him whom we love and worship as our Redeemer, even the Lord Jesus Christ, amen.

'Wonderful way' to make temple blessings possible

By Julie Dockstader

Church News staff writer

SPOKANE, Wash. — The new smaller temples of the Church are not small buildings, President Gordon B. Hinckley declared between dedicatory sessions of the Spokane Washington Temple Aug. 22.

Spokane Washington Temple | The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

"They are rather large buildings, and they are very well built of the finest materials. And we're very happy with them, and I think the people are very happy with them. They're just a wonderful way of making it possible for people in many areas of the world to have within a reasonable distance of where they live a temple in which they can work. All of the ordinances can be performed in these temples just the same as in any larger temple."

President Hinckley made these observations during a Church News interview between dedicatory sessions of the Church's 59th operating temple and the fourth of the smaller temples. The Church president dedicated the Spokane Washington Temple in 11 sessions Aug. 21-23. The first of the smaller temples was dedicated in Monticello, Utah, in July 1998; the second in Anchorage, Alaska, in January 1999; and the third in Colonia Juarez, Mexico, in March 1999. (See article on page 3.)

"This is a very important movement," the Church president explained, "because it is making it possible to extend the temples to many, many more people."

In addition, he explained, the smaller temples can be built rather quickly. "[Construction of] the average [smaller] building is about 10-12 months, and that's in contrast with two or three years for a larger temple. We build them in connection with stake centers wherever we can and thereby benefit from having one single parking lot that will accommodate the temple patrons during the week and the membership of the Church on Sundays. In areas where it snows, we have to clear the snow from only one lot instead of two lots.

"Furthermore, these temples are manned by a presidency who serve in a double capacity. The counselors do. One serves as temple recorder. The other serves as temple engineer so we don't have to have those posts filled by others."

Speaking of members' reception of the concept of a smaller temple — minus laundry and clothing facilities, and a cafeteria — President Hinckley said he's pleased with the enthusiasm shown by members of all ages. Through these smaller temples, many more youth of the Church can participate in baptisms for the dead. "We're hopeful that will keep them closer to the Church, as I believe it will."

11,000 attend first two days of temple open house

SPOKANE, Wash. — More than 11,000 people toured the new Spokane Washington Temple the first weekend of a public open house, Aug. 6-7.

From throughout the temple district, which includes parts of northern Idaho, members and others came, including government, civic and religious leaders for VIP tours Aug. 5.

Emotions were varied, but people were excited as they left the temple. Non-LDS visitors looked very pleased and expressed their appreciation for being able to see the sacred edifice, which will be dedicated Aug. 21-23 in 11 sessions and opened for ordinance work Aug. 24. The new temple is adjacent to the Spokane Washington East Stake center. A softball field east of the stake center was used for the temple site. The property surrounding the temple includes well-kept lawns accented with trees.

Mayor John Talbott expressed his thanks for being able to attend and said what a wonderful experience it was for him and his wife to visit the new edifice. "You could almost sense the spiritual component of the progression [through the temple]," he said.

Among many others attending the VIP tours were the Rev. Robert Spitzer, president of Gonzaga University; Jim Lorenzen of the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints; Pastor John Shaffer of the Manito United Methodist Church; and the Rev. Roger LaChance of the St. Pious Catholic Church. Also present were many members of the media.

Hosting the VIP tours were Elder F. Melvin Hammond of the Seventy and president of the North America Northwest Area, and Elder Gordon G. Conger, a counselor in the area presidency and an Area Authority Seventy. Also present were temple Pres. Frank Wagstaff and Matron Jane Wagstaff. Elders Hammond and Conger alternated in giving a short introduction and then presenting a temple video. Representatives of the media were given an opportunity to ask questions. Then, they were given personalized tours of the temple during which each room was thoroughly explained and questions were addressed.

Following each VIP tour, a reception was held. A beautifully boxed compact disc by the Tabernacle Choir was given as a gift to those who attended.

Also hosted for VIP tours were members of the surrounding neighborhood. Neighbors began to arrive prior to 6:30 p.m., and by the time the tour was to begin, the room where the video was shown was filled. Some 164 people took advantage of this tour opportunity.

Media coverage of the new temple has been positive. This also reflects the community response. A recent article in the Spokesman-Review, Sunday, Aug. 1, brought many people to see the temple. KREM-TV had a positive two-minute news report that was broadcast throughout the Northwest.

Some visitors from the Seattle area attended the public open house. One woman, Lois Baker, and her son, Kao, flew in from the Seattle area. "I had to wipe my mom's tears," Kao said, commenting on the temple video shown prior to the tour.

There was a group from Kent, Wash., near Seattle, who attended with 50 youth, as well as a youth group from Federal Way, Wash., who arrived early the morning of their tour and helped set up for the public. About 50 members from a Spanish-speaking branch from Toppenish, Wash., arrived around noon on Aug. 7. They had traveled all morning to see and tour the new edifice.

When youth were asked how they felt about the temple, the expressions were varied, including "pretty," "beautiful," "elegant," and "spiritual. I want to go there when I grow up."

One young man, 15-year-old Gary Sabrin, said, "It was a good trade for a softball field."

Bishop Glenn Birch and his wife, Shirley, of the Spokane 11th Ward, were overwhelmed with the temple. The only thing Sister Birch could say was "exquisite."

Speaking of the open house and upcoming dedication, Anne Reading, an assistant matron, said: "This is such a marvelous experience for the people in this area to have an open house and temple dedication. It's a small, comfortable temple, and we have to remember that it is the Lord's House and not ours."

Concerning his feelings about the new temple, Garth Briggs, second counselor in the temple presidency, said: "Spokane a few months ago went through a very severe windstorm in which trees were blown down. I felt concerned about my own property because some of the houses close by were destroyed, so I asked an expert to check my trees. He said, 'You don't have to worry because your trees have deep tap roots.'

"I thought about this in relationship to our temple in which the tap roots have been a part of my life and my family's life. It's a comfort to come and see the rooms similar to where our children were sealed to us and give them a greater appreciation of the temple and have them look forward to attending the temple themselves."

Member and non-member alike shared tender experiences. One woman attending the open house brought a friend who is sight-impaired. Since not many people were going through the temple at that time, it was possible to stand in each of the rooms and quietly describe what each room looked like and tell what took place in each room.

One non-LDS visitor was overheard saying, "There are pictures of Jesus everywhere. Maybe they do believe in Jesus."

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