Announced: April 25, 1998.
Location: 3870 Gateway Blvd., Columbus, OH 43228; phone: (614) 351-5001; no clothing rental.
Site: 2.2 acres.
Exterior finish: Imperial Danby Vermont marble.
Temple design: Traditional.
Architects: Firestone Jaros Mullin.
Project manager: Bruce Catanzaro.
Contractor: Corna/Kokosing Construction Co.
Rooms: Celestial room, baptistry, two ordinance rooms, two sealing rooms.
Total floor area: 10,700 square feet.
Dimensions: 149 feet by 77 feet.
District: 11 stakes in northern and central Ohio, western West Virginia.
Groundbreaking, site dedication: Sept. 12, 1998, by Elder John K. Carmack of the Seventy and president of North America East Area.
Dedication: Sept. 4, 1999, by President Gordon B. Hinckley; 6 sessions.
Done by President Gordon B. Hinckley
O God our Eternal Father, Thou great Elohim, in the name of Thy Beloved Son, our divine Redeemer, we approach Thee in solemn prayer.
We are assembled to dedicate this Thy house. It is now 163 years since a temple was dedicated in the State of Ohio. We are reminded today of the dedication of the Kirtland Temple and of the prayer given on that occasion which Thy prophet declared was revealed unto him.
We, too, as Saints of this day, seek Thine inspiration in the words which we direct in prayer to Thee, our Father and our God.
Thou hast bestowed upon us Thy Holy Priesthood, and in this authority and in the name of Jesus Christ, we dedicate and consecrate to Thee and to Thy Son this, the Columbus Ohio Temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
It is our offering, freely given. Wilt Thou accept of it and cause Thy Holy Spirit to dwell here and influence all who enter as they seek to carry forward Thy glorious work.
We consecrate this sacred structure from the footings to the figure of Moroni. We dedicate the grounds which are adorned with the beauties of nature. We dedicate all of the internal facilities—the offices, the baptistry, the fittings for the initiatory ordinances, the endowment rooms, the beautiful Celestial Room, the sealing rooms with their sacred altars, together with all other parts of this Holy House.
May it be looked upon as the House of the Lord, with holiness to the Lord from all who shall see it and all who shall enter its portals. May it shed forth a beneficent influence upon this community and state.
May all who come within be worthy to enter Thy house as Thine invited guests. May they leave behind the cares of the world and here feast upon the things of eternity. May the living be sanctified in their service, and may the dead rejoice as a great vicarious work is carried forward in their behalf.
To quote from the Kirtland Temple Dedication Prayer:
"Put upon thy servants the testimony of the covenant, that when they go out [from this house] and proclaim thy word they may seal up the law, and prepare the hearts of thy Saints for all those judgments thou art about to send, in thy wrath, upon the inhabitants of the earth, because of their transgressions, that thy people may not faint in the day of trouble.
"Therefore, O Lord, deliver thy people from the calamity of the wicked; enable thy servants to seal up the law, and bind up the testimony, that they may be prepared against the day of burning….
"Remember all thy church, O Lord,…
"That thy church may come forth out of the wilderness of darkness, and shine forth fair as the moon, clear as the sun, and terrible as an army with banners;
"And be adorned as a bride for that day when thou shalt unveil the heavens, and cause the mountains to flow down at thy presence, and the valleys to be exalted, the rough places made smooth; that thy glory may fill the earth" (D&C 109:38, 46, 72-74).
Wilt Thou watch over this Thy House, that no unhallowed hand may injure it in any way. Stay the hand of any of evil intent who would deface it or vandalize it. May all who look upon it do so with respect.
We pray for those who will preside here and those who will serve here - the presidency of the temple, the matron and her assistants, and all those called to carry forward the work of this Thy house. May they not weary, but grow in faith and testimony concerning it and the ordinances herein administered.
We pray for Thy cause in all the earth. Bless the faithful tithe payers throughout the Church whose consecrated offerings have made this structure possible. Shower blessings upon them and increase their faith as they give of their means to the building of Thy kingdom. Dear Father, we thank Thee for every blessing Thou hast showered upon us.
To quote again from the Kirtland Temple prayer:
"O Lord God Almighty, hear us in these our petitions, and answer us from heaven, thy holy habitation, where thou sittest enthroned, with glory, honor, power, majesty, might, dominion, truth, justice, judgment, mercy, and an infinity of fulness, from everlasting to everlasting" (D&C 109:77).
We thus lift our voices in supplication and prayer unto Thee in the name of Thy Beloved Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, amen.
Spiritual celebration — Columbus Ohio Temple dedicated
By Shaun Stahle Church News staff writer
Like the blessings that were showered upon the early saints who prepared themselves spiritually for the dedication of the Kirtland Temple in 1836, the dedication of the Columbus Ohio Temple on Sept. 4-5 was a spiritual celebration — a time of festive reverence for the second temple built in Ohio.
"Much has changed in the 163 years since the Kirtland Temple was dedicated," said President Gordon B. Hinckley, who presided over the dedication of the Church's 60th operating temple. "Our people are more accepted now. It is a new day of opportunity. The struggles of Kirtland are past. Today, we have large congregations."Kirtland, located in northeastern Ohio near Cleveland, is approximately 160 miles from Columbus. The Columbus Ohio Temple is located in western Columbus on property adjacent to the Columbus Ohio Stake Center.
Accompanying President Hinckley to the dedication were his wife, Marjorie; Elder L. Tom Perry of the Quorum of the Twelve and his wife, Barbara; and Elder Loren C. Dunn of the Seventy and president of the North America East Area and his wife, Sharon. For Elder Perry, this was a time to recall treasured memories of his service as a missionary many years ago in Columbus, like how he strengthened his testimony of the Book of Mormon while studying in a basement kitchen.
A misty-eyed sister — speaking to no one in particular — stood near the stake center, transfixed by the beauty of the white temple cast against the rich blue September sky. "We are very happy to have a temple," she said.
She was one of approximately 11,000 members who attended the dedication from the 10 stakes that comprise the temple district. Six dedicatory sessions were held during the two days. Proceedings were broadcast throughout the temple, and to the chapel and cultural hall in the adjacent stake center, and to a meetinghouse in nearby Dublin, Ohio.
Many members recalled President Hinckley's visit on April 25, 1998, when he addressed a capacity crowd and announced the construction of a temple in Columbus near the stake center.
As local members began researching the history of the property, they learned that the land had ownership ties to Julia Clapp Murdock, a devoted member of the Church who lived at the time of Joseph Smith in the Kirtland area.
On April 30, 1831, the same day that Emma Smith's twins were born and died, Julia died after giving birth to her twins. Julia's husband, John, who was among the first to join the Church in Kirtland, felt unable to rear the twins and asked the Prophet and Emma to care for them. The gesture somewhat softened Emma's sorrow. (One of the twins, Joseph, died a year later after being exposed to the cold on the night when the Prophet was dragged from the John Johnson home where he was residing, and beaten and tarred by a mob.)
Julia's father, Orris, was a member of Sidney Rigdon's congregation, but did not join the Church as many others in the congregation did after hearing Parley P. Pratt, Ziba Peterson, Oliver Cowdery and Peter Whitmer preach the gospel. Orris actually became embittered toward the Church.
About this time, the brother of Orris, Abner Clapp, followed his brother to Ohio from New York and took ownership of land in central Ohio that is now the temple site. Records show he was the first landowner to live on the land. As far as can be ascertained, Abner did not share his brother's animosity toward the Church.
"As far as we can tell," said David Martin, who researched property records, "good and honest people have always owned the land."
"The thing that always astounded me," said Pres. Don M. Mortensen, who served as president from 1973-80 when only one stake was organized in Columbus, "was that, as we projected ahead and envisioned where the stake should be, the Lord helped us accomplish our goals in half the time.
"The sacrifice and prayers of faithful Saints accomplished what's been done here," he said.
"We didn't build this temple with our hands like the Saints in Kirtland did," said Pauli Morello, regional public affairs director. "We built this temple with our hearts." Sister Morello celebrated her 24th wedding anniversary by scurrying around the temple grounds caring for the media, while her husband, Mike Morello, stood some distance away orchestrating the steady flow of patrons for each session.
"Everyone has been focused on this temple," she continued. "I don't know anyone who hasn't done something."
"I could tell countless stories of young people helping," said Neil C. Farr, second counselor in the temple presidency. "One evening, during the open house, we had some young women cleaning the celestial room after tours that day. Gradually, all the young women left except one. When she came out, tears were streaming down her cheeks. She simply said, 'I can't wait to attend the temple.' "
The night before President Hinckley arrived, little girls dressed in Sunday clothes helped their mothers carefully tie plastic booties around the feet of approximately 125 metal chairs to prevent damage to the carpets.
Using a pocket knife, another young woman gingerly scraped smudges from the mirrors used in two windows that were specially built to look like the windows crafted by Truman O. Angell in the Kirtland Temple. Brent Harris, of the Cambridge Branch, Columbus Ohio East Stake, built the two windows for the Columbus temple.
With his parents working inside the temple, 9-year-old Daniel Christofferson strolled up and down the grounds outside the temple for several hours, peering under shrubs and looking around bushes for debris. "No one asked me to [clean]," he said. "I just wanted to."
Clyde and Doris Stewart, a missionary couple from the Rexburg Idaho Stake called as project supervisors, understood their role to be more than merely overseeing construction workers. They looked for ways to share their testimony of the temple — from one generation to another — by speaking at youth firesides.
"We learned that the Lord was interested in this temple," said Sister Stewart. "At times, Clyde would wake up at night feeling there was a problem with the construction. He would arise early the next day and would find those errors just as he had felt."
"This has been a Zion-like project," said Ed Hammond, who assisted with the operational details of preparing the temple. "People would come to the door and say with excitement, 'I'm here to clean, what can I do?'
"All the way down the line, we had the right people willing to help, like Erik and Lois Mars who are landscapers. They worked late at night landscaping the grounds while their baby slept in the carriage. Randy and Michelle Franklin uprooted trees that were on the temple site and planted them around the grounds prior to construction. They came each day to water the trees to see that they took root. Kevin Clawson built a handrail to help steady people as they pulled booties over their shoes during the open house.
"We told him what we needed," continued Brother Hammond, "and in two days, he built a 2-foot wide, 8-foot long stand with handrails. It worked so well, it's being sent to the Detroit temple to be used during the open house there."
Shannon Allen of the Beavercreek Ward, Dayton Ohio East Stake, wanted to record her feelings of the dedication before leaving the temple grounds. Standing beside her car, she held a video camera at arm's length and, speaking into the microphone, counted the blessings that have filled her life since joining the Church nearly two years ago.
"I'm so happy now that I have the gospel in my life. People outside the Church don't know what they are missing," she said.
Pres. Jerry N. Martin of the Columbus Ohio Temple said he never considered the eight-hour drive to the Washington D.C. Temple to be a sacrifice. "He's always loved the temple," said his son, David. "He'd take weeklong vacations to Washington, D.C., with my mother and only attend the temple, not the other sites."
Pres. Martin's participation in the dedicatory sessions was limited because of debilitating complications following surgery. "To be able to attend three sessions, when the day before the dedication it looked doubtful that he would attend any, I feel he was sustained," said David.
The weather during the two days of the dedicatory events was unseasonably warm, with temperatures in the 90s. Members often stood in line, with beads of perspiration forming on foreheads, gazing at the lightly variegated white marble of the temple as it glistened against the deep, azure blue skies.
"It's a sight I'll never tire of," said one woman to her husband.
Firmly entrenched: The pall that settled over Ohio after 1840 is giving way to growth
History by Ernie Shannon and Ralph Henricks
COLUMBUS, Ohio — Breaking ground on a new stake center in the Columbus Ohio Stake July 7 symbolically affirmed that the Church in Ohio — once driven from the state in mass exodus — grows more firmly entrenched.
After developing a thriving community in Kirtland, Ohio, in the early and mid-1830s, violence against the Church escalated to the point that it was no longer safe for members to remain.
The Prophet Joseph Smith, warned by the Spirit, moved immediately to Missouri. Members followed, leaving behind their comfortable homes, their cherished possessions, and their beloved temple built commandingly atop the hill in their extreme poverty.
During the next 3 1/2 decades, little if anything is heard of the Church in Ohio. In 1876, an Elder Niles Romney wrote in letters to the Deseret News that while passing through Ohio, preaching every night in one town after another, the Marion County Branch was formed, the first in Ohio after Kirtland.
"It seems as if a pall settled over Ohio in 1840, leaving it barren of gospel influence," wrote Ernie Shannon, Columbus stake historian in a newly published history, Heritage and Legacy of the Saints.
By the 1920s a branch was established in Columbus that served much of the central Ohio area. But the saints had no place to call their own in which to meet, holding meetings in members' homes and in rented facilities.
That was the case until 1929, when Archie Brown spearheaded the building of the stone meetinghouse that stands today at the corner of Indianola and Ninth Avenue, near the Ohio State University campus, as a monument to the perseverance and dedication of the Latter-day Saints of that era.
When Church President Heber J. Grant dedicated the meetinghouse on Feb. 16, 1930, Church membership in all of Ohio was estimated to be just less than 700 members.
The Indianola meetinghouse served the members of the Church in Columbus for almost 30 years.
During these years, missionaries baptized one member here, and another member there, many of whom soon immigrated to Utah. But in time, larger numbers of newly baptized members remained in Ohio, forming a basis for the Church to grow.
In 1962, the Columbus Ohio Stake was organized with Jim Mortensen as president. It was the first stake in Ohio. During the next 14 months, members said President Mortensen rarely stopped to rest, as if he intuitively knew his days were numbered.
While he was returning from a welfare meeting in Cincinnati in May of 1963, a car swerved into his lane and hit head-on. President Mortensen died the next morning. Stake members were devastated by his death. For some, the tragedy was a trial of faith.
A few years later, in May 1969, Elder Gordon B. Hinckley, then of the Quorum of the Twelve, was sent to Columbus to preside over stake conference. Weeks prior to the conference, Don Mortensen (who was not related to President Mortensen) had been called to serve as the bishop of the Columbus 2nd Ward.
His ordination and setting apart was to occur following stake conference.
During the Saturday evening session of stake conference, it was announced that the new bishops were to gather in the stake office behind the old Olentangy Chapel in Columbus, Brother Mortensen remembered.
"When it was my turn, I sat in the middle of the room with my wife sitting across from me. Elder Hinckley stood behind me with his hands on my shoulders.
"He said, 'Brother Mortensen, we're going to set you apart as the bishop of the Columbus 2nd Ward, is that right?'
"'Yes sir,' I said.
"'Well, we're not going to do that,' he said.
"My wife looked at me with dismay and said, 'What did you do?"' Brother Mortensen said.
"After what seemed like an eternity, Elder Hinckley said, 'We're going to set you apart as the second counselor in the Columbus Ohio Stake presidency."'
A decade later in the late 1970s, a number of young, active families moved into the region, setting the stage for the creation of the Columbus East stake in 1976, and the Columbus North stake in 1986.
During these years, members demonstrated a resiliency and determination to attend the Washington D. C. Temple, preparatory to the day in September 1999 when the Columbus Ohio Temple was dedicated.
Dear to the members are President Hinckley's comments during the dedication of that temple.
In November 2004, continued growth of the Church in central Ohio required the creation of a fourth stake, the Columbus South. Each stake has roughly the same number of members as did the original Columbus Ohio Stake.
Today, more than 13,000 members reside among the four stakes in central Ohio.
"When one considers the work, the sacrifice, and the faith of central Ohio Church members for the past 130 years, it is inspiring and humbling," said Brother Shannon.
— History by Ernie Shannon and Ralph Henricks