1985 Dedication of the Chicago Illinois Temple
The building of the Chicago Illinois Temple marked the first time a temple stood in the U.S. state of Illinois since the original Nauvoo Temple
was burned down after Saints were forced to leave.Elder Russell M. Nelson
of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles spoke about the original Nauvoo Temple during the dedication of the Chicago Illinois Temple. “In less than six months from its dedication, its builders had all departed, leaving their beloved building as a symbol of their faith and sacrifice.” The house of the Lord was later destroyed by arson.
Those who toured the Chicago Illinois Temple during the public open house shared their feelings such as, “I felt it was a holy place,” “It has a serene feeling,” “I knew I was in God’s house” and “I felt the hand of God.”
Heads of major business companies in Chicago relayed their experiences when they went through the house of the Lord on the first day of the open house. One said, “I was interested in the unusual structure and its singular beauty. It was interesting and intriguing. I was not prepared for what we were to see inside. I must say it is absolutely breathtaking in its beauty.”President Spencer W. Kimball
, President of the Church, said during the dedication, “The blessings of the house of the Lord are eternal. They are of the highest importance too, because in the temples we obtain God’s greatest blessings pertaining to eternal life. Temples are really the gateways to heaven.”President Gordon B. Hinckley
, second counselor in the First Presidency, dedicated the Chicago temple on Aug. 9, 1985. He testified of the importance and power of the temple. “We live after death. Every ordinance of this house carries the essentials of immortality. What happens here is for eternity, for ourselves and in behalf of the dead. This house is the link between this life and the life beyond.”Dedicatory prayer excerpt:
“Almighty God, wilt Thou hallow it and sanctify it. May Thy presence be felt here, and may Thy Holy Spirit abide constantly within its walls. May all who enter feel of that Spirit and know that they are in holy precincts. May it be a place of refuge from the cares of the world, a house of peace and love. May its rooms and halls be hallowed to those who shall walk here. May faith increase in the hearts of all who come, and may knowledge of Thine eternal plan grow in the minds of those who here serve, be they workers, or patrons.”Read the dedicatory prayer of the Chicago Illinois Temple here.
1989 Rededication of the Chicago Illinois Temple
The Chicago Illinois Temple was closed for renovations on Sept. 3, 1988. The renovations of the temple
included adding a fifth instruction room and a significantly larger sealing room, with increased office space and laundry facilities. A cafeteria and maintenance facility were built. The renovations added 17,000 square feet, making the house of the Lord 34,000 square feet.
Even though the space in the temple was greatly increased, the outside appearance of the temple remained largely the same. An addition was added around one of the stand-alone spires, which is now attached to the temple, with much of the new space being underground. The majority of the temple was untouched by the construction and was not rededicated.President Gordon B. Hinckley
, then first counselor in the First Presidency, dedicated the addition to the temple on Oct. 8, 1989, with a group of approximately 600 people in attendance. President Hinckley spoke about the steadfastness and faith of the members. “What a marvelous thing a temple recommend is — a holder is certified as one who knows the Lord and seeks to do His will,” said President Hinckley.Dedicatory prayer excerpt:
“May the spirit of this hour of dedication rest upon us and abide with us and constantly prompt us to live up to the pattern Thou hast set for the blessing and joy of Thy saints. May the rooms and halls of this new addition as well as the main structure be hallowed to all who enter. May testimony of Thy reality and divinity and of that of Thy Son grow in the hearts and minds of Thy people and may Thy work spread over the earth for the blessing of Thy sons and daughters wherever they may be found.”Read the rededication prayer of the Chicago Illinois Temple here.
The Chicago Illinois Temple was announced April 1, 1981, by President Spencer W. Kimball
. A groundbreaking ceremony was held two years later, on Aug. 13, 1983, with President Gordon B. Hinckley
presiding. After an open house from July 15 to Aug. 3, 1985, President Hinckley dedicated the temple Aug. 9, 1985.
Construction on a new addition to the temple started after the building’s closure on Sept. 3, 1988. When renovations were completed, President Hinckley dedicated the addition on Oct. 8, 1989.
Architecture and Design of the Chicago Illinois Temple
The six-spired temple stands on a 13-acre property just under 7 miles from Lake Michigan. The exterior of the house of the Lord is gray buff marble, with gray slate roofing. The property has a fountain, with trees, shrubs and other plants adorning the property.Originally 17,850 square feet
, the temple was expanded to an area of 37,062 square feet after renovations. A statue of the angel Moroni stands at 7 feet tall and reaches 112 feet high atop a spire. The temple has a baptistry, a celestial room, five instruction rooms and three sealing rooms.