Three LDS temples scheduled for renovations, closures in 2018

Credit: Intellectual Reserve, Inc.
Baton Rouge Louisiana Temple Credit: Intellectual Reserve, Inc.

The First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints announced plans to renovate three temples — the Baton Rouge Louisiana Temple, the Mesa Arizona Temple and the Raleigh North Carolina Temple. All three temples will close in 2018 and are expected to be complete in 2019 or 2020.

The Baton Rouge Louisiana Temple will close in February 2018 and is expected to be rededicated in 2019.

The First Presidency announced plans for the Baton Rouge Louisiana Temple on October 14, 1998, and construction for the 10,700-square-foot building began after a groundbreaking ceremony on May 8, 1999. President Gordon B. Hinckley dedicated the temple on July 16, 2000, making it the Church’s 94th temple.

Constructed in a picturesque area between the Baton Rouge stake center and a wetlands nature reserve, the temple stands at the bottom of a small hill that could be a centuries-old bank of the Mississippi River.

In the dedicatory prayer, President Hinckley said, “May they provide a shelter of peace from the noise and clamor of the world, a refuge in time of distress, a sanctuary where Thy sons and daughters may come to commune with Thee in sacred and solemn prayer.”

The temple serves members living in Louisiana and Mississippi.

The Mesa Arizona Temple will close for its second renovation beginning in May 2018 and will reopen in 2020 after needed upgrades and repairs are complete.

The Mesa temple is the Church’s seventh operating temple, and is the first of six temples either built or planned in the state of Arizona. Original plans for the temple were announced in October 1919 and a ground breaking was held on April 25, 1922. President Heber J. Grant dedicated the 120,000-square-foot building on October 23, 1927.

In February of 1974, the Mesa temple was closed for extensive remodeling. Ordinance rooms inside the temple were equipped to handle new technology, and a new entrance was also added. The renovation included an addition of 17,000 square feet, which increased the number of sealing rooms and provided temple patrons with larger dressing rooms. President Spencer W. Kimball rededicated the temple on April 16, 1975.

The Mesa Arizona Temple is built in a neoclassical style made to look like the ancient temple of Jerusalem. Every December, thousands of guests visit the temple for a Christmas light and nativity display.

The Raleigh North Carolina Temple will close in January 2018 and is expected to be completed and rededicated in 2019.

One of the Church’s small temples located throughout the world, the Raleigh North Carolina Temple was announced on Sept. 3, 1998. A groundbreaking ceremony was held on Feb 6, 1999, and later that year President Gordon B. Hinckley dedicated the temple just days before Christmas on Dec. 18, 1999.

It is the Church’s 68th temple.

“May all who come as patrons to this temple know that they are dealing with the things of eternity, and that the relationships here entered into are everlasting,” President Hinckley said in the dedicatory prayer. “Bless all who are here sealed in the bonds of eternal marriage that they may live together with love and respect for one another. Bless the fathers and mothers that they may rear their children as Thy children, in a spirit of kindness and encouragement, that the encircling hand of love may bind together the relationships of the family.”

Public open house and rededication information will be provided for the three temples as renovations near completion. @marianne_holman

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