A new Mesa Temple Visitors’ Center has been dedicated by Elder Ulisses Soares of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
“The objective for this new temple visitors’ center is to provide for our guests a new experience, through interactive multimedia, that immerses them in Mesa’s rich spiritual heritage and focuses on learning more about Jesus Christ,” said Elder Soares who dedicated the new center in Mesa, Arizona, on Thursday, August 12, 2021.
“The visitors’ center was designed to help young adults feel a spirit of belonging. A variety of comfortable spaces have been developed to provide opportunities for them to gather or have a private moment to meditate,” Elder Soares added.
The senior Church leader said the Mesa facility offers visitors a new experience unique among other Church visitors’ centers.
“The displays in this visitors’ center teach us that there is hope and an individual plan for everybody. We hope that every person who comes and sees will understand that our life has a purpose and come away hoping to fulfill his or her purpose,” he said.
The new visitors’ center is located on the southwest corner of LeSueur and Main Street, across the street from the temple grounds. The building is part of the Church’s efforts to redevelop 4.5 acres of land along the Main Street light rail corridor in Mesa.
Visitors’ Center Features
Individuals and families will be able to immerse themselves in the story of Mesa’s history, engage through interactive experiences to learn about the temple, and discover their families at the new visitors’ center.
Guests of all faiths are invited to select one of several Mesa Friends from Mesa’s early days to learn about the city’s diverse history and spiritual heritage built by Native Americans, Hispanic migrants, and Mormon pioneers. After learning about Mesa’s history, visitors may want to learn more about their own family heritage. Kiosks, computers, and trained volunteers are available to help community members see if they are connected to some of Mesa’s early residents, discover their family tree, and record their own stories.
“We spent time with young adults in Mesa to learn how to create a space that works for them,” explained Tanner Kay, the product manager and experience creator for the visitors’ center. “That’s why you see a variety of comfortable spaces here, like a kitchen to share food with friends, and individual quiet pods where you can have a private moment to meditate.”
There is something for everyone at the center, including play areas for children, a desert art wall begging to be colored and a chalk wall that invites guests to share their thoughts in response to different questions. Guests can also see a scale model of the temple with cutout views of each room.
Admission to the visitors’ center is free and open to the public. Experiences are available in both English and Spanish.
The original visitors’ center was dedicated in 1951 but was replaced by a larger building north of the temple in 1958. That building was later expanded, but it was torn down to make room for the new facility. The new location also provides a clear view of the temple from Main Street.
The visitors’ center will open to the public on Saturday, August 14, 2021. Hours are from 9 a.m. until 9 p.m. daily, including Sundays. For more information, visit MesaTemple.org.
Temple Open House and Dedication
The dedication of the new visitors’ center precedes the fall open house and December rededication of the Mesa Arizona Temple following extensive renovation. The 94-year-old temple has been closed since May 2018.
A public open house for the temple will be held from Saturday, October 16, through Saturday, November 20, except for Sundays.
The Mesa Arizona Temple will be rededicated in several sessions by President Dallin H. Oaks of the First Presidency on Sunday, December 12, 2021.
With more than 200 temples around the world announced or in use, the Mesa Arizona Temple is the Church’s seventh operating temple and the first temple in the state of Arizona.
Aleah is a graduate of Southern Virginia University, where she studied English, Creative Writing, and Dance. She now works full time as a marketing and product manager, writer, and editor. Aleah served a mission in California and loves baking, Lang Leav poetry, Gaynor Minden pointe shoes, and Bollywood movies.