Dedication of the Columbia River Washington TempleElder Stephen A. West
, a General Authority Seventy who presided at the Columbia River Washington Temple groundbreaking, said
after the event, “Our homes are where we become prepared to go to the temple. Carved over the temple door is the phrase ‘the house of the Lord.’ Our houses should be homes where the Lord could be comfortable to visit. In the dedicatory prayer for the Kirtland Temple, it was said
, ... ‘establish a house, even a house of prayer, a house of fasting, a house of faith, a house of learning, a house of glory, a house of order, a house of God.’ May that be said of our homes as well.”
Following the groundbreaking, the work of construction immediately
began. Fred Mahaffey, a subcontractor for the temple construction, used a backhoe to start digging where the baptismal font would eventually be built, directly after the event was over.
Twelve months later, during the temple’s open-house period, a construction worker for the temple project said
, “I’ve worked in this profession for many years, but I have never worked on a site where so many people come and take pictures of a building before it’s completed.”
Elder Lowell Barber, an Area Seventy who led hundreds through the temple open house, said
that “those who have visited here have felt great peace, which they have been able to identify as being centered in the gospel of Jesus Christ. Not one person left the temple with a negative impression.”
A woman who was a part of the state legislature and toured the temple said
, “I’m going back to Olympia and telling those that I work with and everyone in my church congregation that they must come and see this temple for themselves. It is stunning.”President Gordon B. Hinckley
, Church President, dedicated the Columbia River Washington Temple on Nov. 18, 2001. He was accompanied by Elder Henry B. Eyring
of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles and Elder Quentin L. Cook
, a General Authority Seventy and president of the North America Northwest Area. Thousands of Church members in Washington and Oregon watched the dedication of the house of the Lord in person or in meetinghouses in the area. President Hinckley invited
members to use the temple to its full capacity, while he commended them for their devotion to temple work.Dedicatory prayer excerpt:
“May there come into their minds and hearts an indelible witness of the reality of Thy plan of salvation, under which the immortality of the human soul is assured and the blessings of eternal life are promised to all who walk in faithfulness to Thee and to Thy divine will. May those who come here to be married and who kneel at the sacred altars of this temple, have implanted within them an assurance of the eternal perpetuity of their union if they will honor and respect the covenants which they make before Thee.”Read the dedicatory prayer of the Columbia River Washington Temple here.
The Columbia River Washington Temple was announced on April 2, 2000, by President Gordon B. Hinckley
. The groundbreaking took place on Oct. 28, 2000, with Elder Stephen A. West
of the Seventy presiding. The open house went from Oct. 27 to Nov. 10, 2001, with over 64,500 people attending. President Hinckley dedicated the temple on Nov. 18, 2001, in four sessions.
Architecture and Design of the Columbia River Washington Temple
The Columbia River Washington Temple is 16,880 square feet on a 2.88-acre site. The exterior of the temple features shimmering Bethel white granite that was brought in from Vermont and Italy. A fountain stands on the temple grounds, offering a space outside the temple for visitors to sit and reflect.
The interior of the temple features cherry wood throughout the building and various pieces of art from around the world. The art-glass windows are from Germany, and the crystals for the chandeliers are from Czechoslovakia. A hand-tufted rug from Thailand also appears in the temple.