More than 90,000 Church and community members participated in the public open house for the Indianapolis Indiana Temple — the first temple in the Hoosier State and the 148th worldwide.
However, it was not the number of people that toured the temple — from Friday, July 17, through Saturday, Aug. 8 — that made the temple open house a success, said Elder Paul Sinclair, an Area Seventy and chairman of the local temple committee. It was the lives of the individuals touched by the temple that made the event successful, he said.
“The level of excitement is really unmatched,” he said.
For example, a 7-year-old boy visited the temple on the first day of the public open house. “He came through with his mother and filled out a comment card at the end. He wrote, ‘I was so happy I thought my heart would pop.’ ”
President Thomas S. Monson announced that the Church would build the temple, which will serve 25,000 Latter-day Saints, in October of 2010.
Elder Sinclair said everyone was thrilled when they learned the Church would build a temple in Indiana. However, no one anticipated the impact the temple would have on the lives of members or on the community.
“In every aspect [the temple] built people,” he said. “That is what I will always remember.”
Elder Sinclair said he watched as a contractor who had worked on the temple showed his work to his family. “He said to them, ‘This is the best, the finest work I have ever done in my life.’ ”
A woman, who identified herself as Christian, wrote on a comment card: “I knew this was a place of God, because it was a place of peace,” reported Elder Sinclair.
Scott Sauder, who serves on the temple committee, estimates that at least 60 percent of the guests who visited the temple were members of other faiths. The open house allowed “the community to see what the Church is all about,” he said. “It was wonderful to share the gospel through this event,” he said.
Elder Sinclair said the open house was also a wonderful experience for the many Church members who volunteered their time for the temple.
Some 3,387 Latter-day Saints served as volunteers during the open house — directing parking, weeding gardens, giving tours or cleaning the building, said Brother Sauder.
“When we had so many more people than expected turn out as guests, we had to reach out,” Elder Sinclair recounted.
Every time the temple committee asked for additional volunteers, members responded. “People wanted to be part of it,” he said. “It was successful on every measure.”