Manhattan New York Temple

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Announced: Aug. 7, 2002.

Location: Near Lincoln Center, 125 Columbus Ave., New York City, N.Y. 10023; between 65th and 66th. Temple comprises first, second, fifth and sixth floors; meetinghouse comprises third and fourth floors.

Site: Area occupied by former stake center.

Exterior finish: Light, variegated granite.

Architects: Frank Fernandez.

Contractors: East Coast Construction Group.

Project manager: Cory Karl.

Rooms: Two ordinance rooms, two sealing rooms, celestial room, baptistry.

Total floor area: 20,630 square feet.

District: Parts of New York, new Jersey and Connecticut.

Groundbreaking and site dedication: June 13, 2004, by President Gordon B. Hinckley; four sessions.

Dedicatory Prayer

Done by President Gordon B Hinckley

Lord God Omnipotent, Thou great Elohim, we bow before Thee this day with grateful hearts. We are met to dedicate this Thy sacred house. We exclaim with thanksgiving, "Holiness to the Lord."

Our thoughts reach back to that glorious day when Thou didst reveal Thyself and Thy Son to the boy Joseph. This marked the ushering in of the last and final dispensation of Thy work, the Dispensation of the Fulness of Times, gathering together in one magnificent whole all of the powers, authority, and keys of previous dispensations. We thank Thee that we have come forth in this season of history and that we are partakers of the blessings of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ.

We thank Thee for His atoning sacrifice. We thank Thee for the understanding Thou hast given us of the breadth and depth of the redemption wrought by Him in behalf of Thy sons and daughters of all generations. These temples, which now dot the earth, are necessary to the total fulfillment of the Savior's Atonement. Here, under the authority of the Holy Priesthood, will be administered those ordinances which lead not only to salvation, but also to eternal exaltation. Those who come worthily to this Thy holy house may receive these blessings for themselves, and may assist in extending the same to those who have passed beyond the veil of death. Here will be exercised the only authority under the heavens which reaches beyond to the realms of the dead. Therefore, those who serve within this house as proxies for the deceased will do so in the spirit of the incomparable vicarious service of Thy Son who gave His life for all mankind. And so, dear Father, our hearts overflow with gratitude on this glorious day.

Acting in the sacred name of Jesus Christ and under the authority of the Holy Priesthood, we dedicate and consecrate unto Thee and Thy Son this, the Manhattan New York Temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. We dedicate the structure within the walls of which it is built. We dedicate all of the rooms, hallways, offices, the baptistry, the facilities for the initiatory ordinances, the endowment rooms, the beautiful celestial room, the sealing rooms, and all other appurtenances and facilities which constitute this House of the Lord.

We offer them to Thee with faith and thanksgiving. Wilt Thou accept of them and cause Thy Holy Spirit to dwell here. We pray that within these hallowed walls there may be found peace and an environment of communion with Thee. May this temple be a place of quiet refuge in the midst of this great and noisy metropolis. May all who enter its portals feel they have stepped from the world into a place of Thy divine presence.

Preserve it, we ask Thee, by Thy power from any act of evil hands, and from any harmful manifestation of the forces of nature.

May none ever come here unworthily. May all come in a spirit of consecration and worship.

We pray for those who will serve here, the temple presidency, the matron and her assistants, and those who will assist them. May they do so in a spirit of love and kindness, reaching out to all who come as patrons.

We pray that as the youth enter the waters of baptism in behalf of those who have gone beyond, that they may experience within their own hearts an exhilarating feeling of sacred service. We pray that such service will build within them the strength to resist the evils of the world and to follow the pattern which Thou hast outlined for Thy children.

May all who participate in the endowment service, whether in their own behalf or in behalf of others, have impressed upon their minds the sanctity and the binding nature of those covenants which they will make with Thee. We pray that those who join hands in the sealing rooms, and who kneel at sacred altars, will sense with a great immediacy the binding nature of that which they do in Thy holy presence.

O God the Eternal Father, bless this Thy holy house. May Thy Spirit touch the hearts of all who come within these walls. May this place be hallowed unto each one. When they leave to return to their homes, may they carry with them something of the sweet and edifying experience which they have had here.

Father look down in mercy upon Thy people everywhere. Bless them as they walk in faith before Thee. Open the windows of heaven and shower Thy mercies upon them. May they grow in stature before their associates. May they be magnified in their various undertakings. May none lack the necessities of life, but may all be granted sustenance according to their needs.

We remember before Thee those who preside in other temples, those who preside in stakes and wards, in districts and branches, in missions, in the quorums of the priesthood, in the Relief Society and other organizations of Thy Church and kingdom. May all work with an eye single to Thy glory that light and truth and knowledge of things divine may crown their lives. We invoke Thy blessings upon those who preside in Thy Church. Watch over them and shelter and protect them, and lead them with revelation that will bless Thy people everywhere, that Thy work will be seen as a bright and shining star in a world oppressed with darkness.

Father, there is so much of evil in the world, of strife, of man's inhumanity to man. We pray that peace may come where there is war, that conciliation may come where there is conflict, that neighborliness and love may replace hatred and enmity.

Now, dear Father, accept of our petitions unto Thee. Hear our pleadings. Smile with love upon us as we reach out in love to Thee and Thy divine Son. As the Prophet Joseph prayed in Kirtland:

"Help us by the power of thy Spirit, that we may mingle our voices with those bright, shining seraphs around thy throne, with acclamations of praise, singing Hosanna to God and the Lamb!

"And let these, thine anointed ones, be clothed with salvation, and thy saints shout aloud for joy. Amen, and Amen" (Doctrine and Covenants 109:79-80).

We ask it all in the sacred name of Jesus Christ, our Lord, amen.

Madrid's temple square

By Gerry Avant

Church News editor

MADRID, Spain — "Wonderful," "marvelous," "magnificent," "inspirational."

Manhattan New York Temple
Manhattan New York Temple | The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Over and over, members of the Church used such descriptions when adequate words to express their feelings failed to come to their tongues during the days the Madrid Spain Temple was dedicated, from March 19-21.

Hard though they searched, they could not convey inward feelings through verbal expressions. Most, when asked about the sessions they attended, began to weep as they tried to respond.

A mingling of the languages of the Iberian Peninsula — principally Spanish, Portuguese and French — and English filled the plaza surrounding the temple after each session. Ever-courteous ushers' expertise in crowd control allowed for members to linger on the temple grounds after the dedicatory sessions.

The temple grounds, which some call "Temple Square of Madrid," also could have been called "Reunion Square." Long-time friends renewed associations, and numerous members from throughout the temple district had an opportunity to visit with missionaries who once served in Spain, Portugal and France.

Many entering the plaza at the main entrance to the temple property for the first time stood in silence, taking in the beauty of the edifice's exterior walls of gleaming white Italian marble and gazing upward to the statue of Angel Moroni atop the temple's sole spire.

The Dealba family — Fernando, father; Mari Carmen Leri, mother; Zuleika, 14, daugther, and Mario, 12, and Jairo, 8, sons — found the dedication one of the highlights of their lives.

"It's difficult to describe this day," said Brother Dealba, second counselor in the Madrid Spain East Stake presidency. " 'Awe' is the only word I can think of. Seeing the prophet, listening to the talks — it's all been an uplifting, wonderful family experience.

Carlos Terra, who directed the Porto Portugal South Stake's choir in one session, said: "It was very humbling to be part of this dedication. Most members of the choir have no knowledge of music, but we practiced many hours. We listened to recordings of the Tabernacle Choir for inspiration and bore our testimonies at each rehearsal. Everyone dedicated all they could to sing for the Lord."

Members of the stake spent most of the night traveling by bus to arrive for their assigned session on the afternoon of March 20. They began their return trip home within a few hours after the session had ended.

Thirty-nine years ago — before she knew about the Church — Amparo Salvador lived in the neighborhood where the temple now stands. She joined the Church in 1978, and has lived in the United States for a number of years.

"I was so surprised to read in the Church News that they were building a temple in my old neighborhood," she said. She has returned to Spain to serve a temple mission. Her companion, Juliana Eizaguerre, is French. "When I see this wonderful place, I think how blessed I am," Sister Salvador said.

Two of the first four missionaries to Spain, Clark Hinckley and Craig Ward, attended the dedication. The others were Robert Haws and Jose Luis Barcol.

"We came here in June 1969 as the first full-time missionaries," said Brother Hinckley. "There was a branch that had been organized a little over a year. All members were expatriates, with two exceptions that we knew of, Spanish members Jose Maria Oliviera, who was baptized in France in 1966, and Angel Herrero, who had been baptized by some BYU students who had been here about a month earlier on a semester abroad."

Brother Hinckley paid tribute to the expatriates who provided so much help to the missionaries.

"People like Bill Fotheringham, who had been sent here by the Kodak Company, helped us so much. He picked us up at the airport, rented a place for us, even put a map of Madrid on the wall. He was very instrumental in getting the Church legally recognized in Spain. He took very good care of us. He and Jose Maria were our two primary sources of help."

Brother Ward said that he and the early missionaries often thought of the promise of wards and stakes in the prayer that Elder Marion G. Romney of the Quorum of the Twelve offered on May 20, 1969, in dedicating the land of Spain for the preaching of the gospel.

"We knew in our hearts that this promise would be fulfilled some day, but never thought that it would be realized for many, many years. Not only are there wards and stakes here but there is now a temple of the Lord."

World looks at New York temple

Soundproof shell protects inner temple from city's bustle

By Shaun D. Stahle

Church News staff writer

The ripple effect of a temple dedication in a major news capital like New York is reaching across the world. It's hard for a tree to fall in this forest of international activity and not be noticed by most major media.

Since doors opened in early May for the open house, members of the media and leaders in the community have lined up to view the Manhattan New York Temple. In this city strung high with excitement and noise, the temple open house — in a very peaceful and soothing way — is creating its own spiritual fervor, a contrast of solemnity to the horn honking of the big city.

Something "unusual" is happening, said President Brent Belnap of the New York New York Stake and coordinator of the local temple committee who has watched the dynamic growth of the Church in the past few years. "There has never been so much interest in the Church, as broadly and as favorably, as there has been during the open house. People say the temple is exceeding expectations.

"It has captured the attention of the local press, as well as the national and international press," he said. "It's so interesting, the media doesn't cover the open house once, but repeatedly. It's not a one-time story."

He told how a news crew from CNN spent the morning touring the temple and interviewing members and other visitors for their reaction, then returned that afternoon to gather more material. Many news crews from the major networks and newspapers, as well as reporters from German, Australian and Chinese newspapers, attended the media open house that began May 3. Several newspaper accounts spoke of the open house as an opportunity to "demystify" the Church.

President Belnap told of a seasoned, Jewish newspaper reporter who covered crime stories for a major West Coast newspaper. During his personal tour, the man sat down in the celestial room. "He sat for a long time, showing no interest in leaving, even with the next tour group coming. After he stood and walked into the hallway, he said he hadn't felt such peace in 20 years, and that he didn't want to leave.

"Without exception," continued President Belnap, "everyone is touched; some are touched with strong impressions."

He spoke of another tour he conducted that included a woman from the neighborhood. She told how she had walked by the Church property since 1975 when it was dedicated as a meetinghouse by President Spencer W. Kimball. She began the tour, President Belnap said, a little "hard-edged." But she soon warmed to the feelings of the temple and by the end of the tour, "she was effusive in her appreciation and gratitude."

The highlight of the first week of the open house came during the VIP reception May 7. Held in the cultural hall of the meetinghouse, "where a basketball court was transformed into a spring garden," major political leaders such as U.S. Sen. Charles E. Schumer from New York and other leaders of industry were greeted by U.S. Sens. Harry Reid from Nevada, Gordon Smith from Oregon and Rep. Eni FH Faleomavaega from American Samoa, who are members of the Church, as well as Elder Earl C. Tingey of the Presidency of the Seventy.

Mike Wallace, the famed CBS news broadcaster who kindled a friendship with President Gordon B. Hinckley in the mid-1990s after an extensive interview for a 60 Minutes segment on the Church, was greeted by Sheri Dew, president and CEO of Deseret Book Co.

Mr. Wallace expressed his pleasure in the evening and seemed in no hurry to leave, according to President Belnap.

Located in midtown Manhattan, the temple is situated in a predominately Jewish area. Many rabbis have attended the open house. Most, said President Belnap, were intrigued with the similarities in the symbolism. They recognized the baptismal font as a place of purification and parallels of 12 oxen.

Comment cards filled out by visitors following their tours are "uniformly favorable," said President Belnap. "They almost read alike. They speak of a tangible feeling of peace and are appreciative of the opportunity to see such a beautiful building."

The temple, located at 125 Columbus Avenue across from Lincoln Center, is the first in the New York metro region. It will serve more than 42,000 members in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut.

The Manhattan temple was built in an existing building owned by the Church. It is six stories high in an urban setting one block west of Central Park. The temple occupies four of the building's levels. The other two levels house a chapel, classrooms and Church offices.

An estimated 56,000 people are expected to attend the open house before it closes June 5.


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