Jewish Leaders Tour Church Welfare Operations and Jordan River Utah Mormon Temple

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For Saba Soomekh, a Jewish leader from California, seeing firsthand The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints’ welfare and temple operations is a way of practicing what she preaches to her university religious studies students.

To help them deepen their understanding of other faiths, she asks students to visit mosques, synagogues and other worship spaces.

“People just want to be understood,” said Soomekh, who teaches religious studies, women’s studies and Middle Eastern history at the University of California, Los Angeles. Soomekh, who is assistant director of interreligious and intercommunity affairs for the American Jewish Committee, was one of 11 Jewish leaders from Los Angeles and New York who visited with Latter-day Saint leaders Tuesday and Wednesday, touring the Church’s vast welfare facilities and the newly renovated Jordan River Utah Temple.

“It is so important to learn about other faiths, especially in the time that we’re living in today where there is so much misunderstanding and so much animosity,” she continued. “It is so important to really truly understand what people believe, how it’s not a threat to you and how you could work to better [the] community.”

This week’s visit is part of an ongoing series of relationship-building experiences between Latter-day Saints and Jews. In May 2017, Jewish leaders hosted Mormon leaders in New York City, and in October 2016, some members of this same Jewish delegation gathered in Jerusalem with Mormon leaders to commemorate the 175th anniversary of an early Mormon apostle’s journey to Jerusalem.

Mormon Helping Hands Clean out Flooded Homes in Louisiana

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More than 6,500 volunteers to date from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints are assisting with relief efforts in parts of Louisiana damaged by recent record flooding. At least 5,000 additional volunteers are expected to participate Labor Day weekend.

Mormon Temples: A Conversation with a Church Leader

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On 23 September 2012, President Boyd K. Packer dedicated the Brigham City Utah Temple, the Church’s 139th temple. A recently announced open house for the Calgary Alberta Canada Temple, the Church’s 140th temple, runs from 29 September through 20 October 2012. This video explains what Mormon temples are and how they differ from chapels, where weekly Sabbath worship takes place. See more information about the Brigham City Utah Temple: and the Calgary Alberta Canada Temple open house:

For more information on temples:

Public Open House to Begin at Idaho Falls Idaho Temple

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Latter-day Saints in southeastern Idaho are ready to host thousands of visitors to the newly renovated Idaho Falls Idaho Temple. Following more than two years of extensive interior renovation, a public open house is scheduled to begin at the historic temple, located on the picturesque banks of the Snake River. The temple closed in March 2015 for renovations.

Kevin Call is one of the many residents who grew up in the Upper Snake River Valley. “Our family has been in the valley since the turn of the century in the early 1900s. The temple has been a prominent thing for us, not only church wise but community wise. It’s been such a monument on the river, a beautiful place,” said Call.

The valley’s first Mormon settlers arrived with the railroad in 1879.

“The Idaho Falls Temple is this grand architectural statement about where the Church wanted [to] be in its next hundred years, as much as the Salt Lake Temple is a statement about where it had been for the last hundred years,” said Emily Utt, historic sites curator for the Church History Department. “We wanted this temple to still feel like it had been built in the 1940s. We didn’t want this to feel like a brand-new building.”

All the mechanical and electrical systems in the temple were upgraded. “The team spent lots of time reviewing the historical data that we had on the temple,” said Mark Berry, a project manager for the Church. “The architect and the design teams went back through and picked out the type of materials that [were] prevalent back in the original temple.”

Church Joins Utah Community Leaders in Call to Prevent Child Abuse

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The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and other Utah community faith leaders called on the entire state Wednesday to “join with us in protecting Utah’s children and making their safety and well-being one of our highest priorities.”

A joint statement was read and signed Wednesday morning at Primary Children’s Hospital by Elder LeGrand R. Curtis Jr. of the Seventy, Primary general president Sister Joy D. Jones, and other members of the Utah Faith Leaders Roundtable on Child Abuse Prevention.

The statement stresses the responsibility of all community members to prevent child abuse. Elder Curtis read the statement’s second principle of protecting children: “Religious communities are uniquely situated to provide critical support, guidance, counseling and love for their members, which fosters a long-term protective environment around children and families.” Read the full statement below.

President Eyring Dedicates Philadelphia Mormon Temple

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President Henry B. Eyring, first counselor in the First Presidency, dedicated Pennsylvania’s first temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints’ 152nd on Sunday, September 18, 2016.

“It has a feeling in it unlike any temple I’ve ever been in terms of its beauty and the spaciousness, and just the feeling of the house of the Lord. It’s really quite remarkable,” said President Erying.

Accompanying President Eyring to the dedicatory services were Elder D. Todd Christofferson of Quorum of the Twelve Apostles and Elders Gerrit W. Gong, Anthony D. Perkins and Larry Y. Wilson of the Seventy.

President Eyring directed the completion of the temple construction with the traditional cornerstone ceremony. He placed mortar around the cornerstone and invited others to do the same.

“It’s a wonderful moment in the dedication of this temple,” he said. “There is a stone prepared for us now to seal … it’s symbolic of the Lord Jesus Christ who is the Chief Cornerstone of the Church.”

The 61,000-square-foot temple will serve more than 40,000 Church members in parts of Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Maryland and all of Delaware.

President Eyring told those gathered at the brief ceremony that he was born in New Jersey and was baptized in Philadelphia. “So to me, this is especially significant,” said President Eyring, “that the Lord would have granted this wonderful house to you wonderful people in this part of Zion.”

Plans were announced for the Philadelphia Temple on October 4, 2008, and the Church broke ground September 17, 2011.

Temple construction features classic Georgian architecture designed to blend with the historic Philadelphia architecture. The exterior is clad in granite from Maine, and the interior features stone from Egypt and Italy. The building includes original art glass and an oil-painting wall mural of landscapes important in both American and Church history, including the Susquehanna River and the Delaware River. The temple stands 208 feet tall and is crowned with a gilded statue of Moroni, a Book of Mormon prophet who is significant to Latter-day Saints for his role in the Restoration of the gospel of Jesus Christ.

140,000 people attended the nearly month-long open house including 4,000 civic, religious and government leaders.

One day before the temple was dedicated several hundred Latter-day Saint youth participated in a cultural celebration marking the completion of the temple with song and dance honoring the state’s heritage and the history of the Church in Pennsylvania. The performance was held at the Liacouras Center at Temple University in Philadelphia.

President Eyring told the performers, “This day is historic in your lives. You will always remember the feeling of celebration and faith as you prepared for this performance tonight. You will tell your children and perhaps your grandchildren that you were here and how you felt,” he said.

Latter-day Saint temples differ from the meetinghouses or chapels where members meet for Sunday worship services. Temples are considered “houses of the Lord,” where the teachings of Jesus Christ are reaffirmed through marriage, baptism and other ceremonies that unite families for eternity.

Phoenix Arizona Temple Dedicated by President Thomas S. Monson

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The Phoenix Arizona Temple was dedicated Sunday, November 16, 2014, in three sessions by President Thomas S. Monson of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

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Seven Temples Announced as April 2018 General Conference Closes

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As the final session of the Church’s 188th annual general conference came to a close, Russell M. Nelson, president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, announced plans to build seven new temples. These temples will be in the following locations: Salta, Argentina; Bengaluru, India; Managua Nicaragua; Cagayan de Oro, Philippines; Layton, Utah; Richmond, Virginia; and a major city yet to be determined in Russia.

“We want to bring temples closer to the expanding membership of the Church,” President Nelson said. “My dear brothers and sisters, construction of these temples may not change your life, but your time in the temple surely will. In that spirit, I bless you to identify those things you can set aside so you can spend more time in the temple. I bless you with greater harmony and love in your homes and a deeper desire to care for your eternal family relationships. I bless you with increased faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and a greater ability to follow Him as His true disciples.”

These seven announced temples bring the total number of operating temples (159) and temples announced or under construction (30) to 189 worldwide. There are two temples scheduled for dedication this year, including the Concepción Chile Temple (October 28) and the Barranquilla Colombia Temple (December 9). The Jordan River Utah Temple will be rededicated May 20, and the Houston Texas Temple, which needed interior repairs due to flooding last year, will be rededicated April 22. Nine temples are being renovated, including the Asunción Paraguay Temple, Baton Rouge Louisiana Temple, Frankfurt Germany Temple, Memphis Tennessee Temple, Oakland California Temple, Oklahoma City Oklahoma Temple, Raleigh North Carolina Temple, Tokyo Japan Temple and the Washington D.C. Temple. The Mesa Arizona and Hamilton New Zealand Temples are scheduled for closure this year for renovation. Temples under renovation are considered operating temples.

Latter-day Saint Women Leaders Visit America’s Heartland

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Several women leaders of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints traveled to four states in the Midwest in August to meet with community leaders and local members. The region of the United States, known as “America’s Heartland,” is also part of the historic Mormon Trail that took pioneers west to Utah from 1846 to 1868.

Brigham Young was sustained as the second president of the Church in the Kanesville Tabernacle in Council Bluffs, Iowa, located across the Missouri River from Winter Quarters. The area would serve as the temporary headquarters of the Church. Hundreds of Mormon pioneers died from illness due to the harsh conditions and are buried in local cemeteries.

Community Outreach

Sister Sharon Eubank, director of LDS Charities, the humanitarian arm of the Church, and first counselor in the Relief Society general presidency, joined local Latter-day Saint leaders in Omaha, Nebraska, for a meeting with Mayor Jean Stothert, Thursday, August 9, 2018.

The Church, in partnership with Lutheran Family Services of Nebraska, provides relief for Omaha’s large refugee population.

Local Latter-day Saint women are volunteering in the community to help these new residents become self-sufficient. They shared their experiences during a meeting with Stacy Martin, president and CEO of Lutheran Family Services, Friday, August 10.

Meridian Idaho Temple Tour

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Latter-day Saints in Idaho are ready to welcome visitors to the Meridian Idaho Temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The temple will be dedicated on November 19, 2017.

Church Donates to Child Abuse Prevention Organizations in Utah

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Women leaders of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints visited the Children’s Justice Center (CJC) in Salt Lake City on Wednesday, June 27, 2018, to deliver a $50,000 donation to help child abuse victims and their families. The money will be used to support Utah Children’s Justice Centers around the state.

The donation will be used to update interview recording equipment in five centers, continue a trial phase of an in-house forensic interviewer program in Salt Lake and Weber counties, support renovations in several centers and assist in establishing a victim advocate at the San Juan facility.

This is the fourth consecutive year that the Church has provided financial assistance to child abuse prevention organizations around the world. The Church is also providing a $25,000 donation to A Breeze of Hope Foundation in Bolivia, a nonprofit organization that provides services to victims of child sexual abuse.

Boise Idaho Temple Rededication

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The Boise Idaho Temple was rededicated Sunday, 18 November 2012 by Thomas S. Monson, president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, after receiving significant upgrades and modernizations.


October 2012 World Report: Kansas City Missouri Temple Dedication

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The Kansas City Missouri Temple was formally dedicated on 6 May 2012 in three sessions by President Thomas S. Monson of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.


Church Provides Donation to Children’s Justice Center in Utah

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Leaders of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints toured the Children’s Justice Center in Salt Lake City and provided the facility with a donation to help families affected by child abuse as part of National Child Abuse Awareness Month.