Enthusiasm high as temple open house, dedication draw near

Members are "in very high spirits" as they prepare for the open house and dedication of the Las Vegas Nevada Temple, said James K. Seastrand, temple committee chairman.

Their enthusiasm has led hundreds to volunteer to help prepare for the open house, and to serve as hosts as the public tours the sacred edifice."At our last host training at two stake centers, both buildings had as many or more people as at stake conference," he said. "There was standing room only."

Members are already doing volunteer work at the temple, cleaning in preparation for the large crowds expected to take the silent tours. After a particular cleaning shift was finished, Elder Seastrand noted, "the brothers and sisters were so excited about cleaning they didn't want to leave the temple."

The Las Vegas Temple open house will begin with private tours for specially invited guests Nov. 13-15. The general public is invited to attend Nov. 16-Dec. 9. During the open house, the temple will be open from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., except on Mondays, when it will close at 6 p.m. The temple will be open Thanksgiving Day, but closed on Sundays. Dedicatory services for members of the temple district will be held Dec. 16-18.

Non-members are also looking forward to the temple opening, according to Elder Melvin Wilcox, public communications missionary at the Nevada Las Vegas Mission.

In Las Vegas, all the major television stations aired favorable features about the Church the week before the temple open house.

Temple workers are organized to keep the lines short and to move rapidly so everyone who comes will have a pleasant experience in the temple. "We are preparing to move the line at 1,000 people an hour," said Elder Wilcox. Some 200 to 240 volunteers will serve the public during each of three daily shifts.

The mornings and the early afternoons will be the best times for visitors to come to the temple. "We are encouraging people to visit during the open times and assuring them they can get right in." He said a 10- or 15-minute wait in line will be normal much of the time.

A 12-acre parcel adjacent to the temple has been graded and prepared as a parking lot. Accommodations are being made for people with special needs, such as those in wheelchairs, to be taken on special tours that will not require as much waiting, he said.

"It is a major, major effort," said Elder Wilcox.