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Here’s Your First Look Inside the Renovated Columbus Ohio Temple

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An open house for the Columbus Ohio Temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is underway following an extensive renovation. Invited guests are taking walking tours inside the temple Monday through Friday, April 24-28, 2023. A public open house for the House of the Lord begins on Saturday, April 29, and will last through Saturday, May 13, except for Sundays.

Ohio Governor Mike DeWine joined Elder Allen D. Haynie and Elder Vaiangina Sikahema of the Church’s North America Northeast Area Presidency during media day at the temple, held Monday, April 24. Elder Kevin R. Duncan, executive director of the Temple Department, and Elder Kevin W. Birch, an Area Seventy, also participated.

 

“It’s a very, very peaceful place,” Governor DeWine told the media following his first-time tour of a temple of the Church.

“I’m very grateful to have the opportunity to go through the temple and have the explanation of the different rooms,” said Governor DeWine.

“I think the emphasis on family is so very important,” added the governor. Governor DeWine and his wife, Fran, are the parents of eight children and have 26 grandchildren. Their 27th grandchild is due in June.

“One of the great blessings of an open house is we’re able to share that with the community, and they have a chance to feel the things that we feel when we enter temples,” said Elder Allen D. Haynie, president of the North America Northeast Area Presidency.

“When leaders from our community can come and participate and understand a little bit more about what this structure means to us and how we worship, we love to share that message with others outside of our faith,” remarked local leader Susan Hunter.

“Temples for us are a refuge,” explained Elder Kevin R. Duncan, executive director of the Temple Department. “We don’t come to the temple to escape the world. We come to the temple to receive the strength to get through the challenges of mortality. And so, for members of our faith, it’s very meaningful. It’s a place of peace. It’s a house of hope that strengthens us.”

The public can go online to make complimentary reservations to visit the temple in Ohio’s capital city during the two-week open house.

The Columbus Ohio Temple will be rededicated on Sunday, June 4, 2023, in two sessions (10 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time). President M. Russell Ballard, Acting President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, will preside at the rededication. The sessions will be broadcast to all units in the Columbus Ohio Temple district. The temple will serve about 57,000 Latter-day Saints in congregations throughout parts of Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia.

Temple Features

 

The Columbus Ohio Temple is 11,745 square feet and sits on five acres in central Ohio. The single-story structure is 77 feet high, including a statue of Book of Mormon prophet Moroni atop the temple.

In reverence to God, the finest materials and workmanship have gone into the renovation of the Columbus Ohio Temple, with finishes designed to enhance the experience for those who come to worship and learn of their divine origin in this sacred house of the Lord. The temple incorporates a magnolia blossom, which symbolizes purity, throughout the decor, inspired by the surrounding landscape.

The granite and marble on the temple’s exterior come from Spain. Climate control improvements have been made to the exterior to make the temple more energy efficient. Building acoustics have also been improved to create a more reverent and peaceful atmosphere within the building. Natural light has been introduced to some of the rooms, and other windows have been enlarged to provide greater access to natural light and make room for additional art glass.

The landscape on the temple grounds invites the spirit of the Lord and consists of plants native to the Columbus area. Trees and shrubs include Eastern redbud, Red Sunset maple, magnolias, junipers and boxwoods. The renovations provide additional circulation space for patrons, with a walkway around the temple and larger plaza areas for group gatherings.

Inside the temple, the beige and gold flooring consists of Turkish stone, with accents of stone from Pakistan. The rugs feature warm, geometric lacework patterns on cool background colors. Carpet carvings include similar patterns to the exterior art glass lattice and magnolia blossom.

Decorative painting can be found on the walls and ceilings, consistent with the Regency style of the interior. Patterns and motifs of the door hardware include the magnolia flower and the diamond lattice found in the temple’s art glass and floor patterns. Interior art glass is found in the baptistry and the main entry areas.

Sacred artwork throughout the temple illustrates the life of the Savior, stories found in scripture and scenes from nature.

 

Temples in Ohio

Former Church President Gordon B. Hinckley announced the Columbus Ohio Temple in April 1998. The temple in Columbus was originally built as part of an effort led by President Hinckley to bring smaller temples closer to the members of the Church.

The Columbus temple became the 60th operating temple of the Church when it was dedicated in 1999. The temple operated for more than 20 years before renovation began in August 2020. The Church currently has 315 temples dedicated, under construction or announced worldwide.

While the Columbus Ohio Temple was under renovation, the closest temples were in Indianapolis, Indiana, and Louisville, Kentucky. Members in the temple district have traveled to Indianapolis for the past several years to participate in sacred ordinances.

Latter-day Saints in the temple district are looking forward to the return of their temple.

“Two and a half years seems like an eternity for them, but now their temple is back better than ever,” said Elder Vaiangina Sikahema of the North America Northeast Area Presidency. “It’s gorgeous, but as beautiful as it is, we just have to keep remembering that it’s the ordinances. It’s the Savior. That’s the reason why we come to temples.”

Astrid Kron and her husband are looking forward to serving in the temple again when it reopens.

“Beyond the beauty and beyond the gold in the beautiful chandeliers and the beautiful art, I think that it’s amazing that even though it has not been dedicated yet, it still feels that is the house of the Lord,” concluded Kron.

There will soon be a second operating temple in Ohio. President Russell M. Nelson announced the Cleveland Ohio Temple in April 2022. The location of the Cleveland temple was released in December. The groundbreaking date has not been announced yet.

The headquarters of the Church of Jesus Christ was in Kirtland, Ohio, in the 1830s, following the establishment of the Church in New York. Kirtland remains a historically significant location for Latter-day Saints. The faith’s first temple was built in Kirtland, but the early Saints were forced to abandon it about two years after its completion in 1836. The Community of Christ currently owns and operates the Kirtland Temple.

Ohio is home to more than 63,000 Latter-day Saints in nearly 130 congregations.

Temples differ from the Church’s meetinghouses. All are welcome to attend weekly Sunday worship services and other weekday activities at meetinghouses. The primary purpose of temples is for Latter-day Saints to take part in sacred ceremonies, such as marriages, which unite families forever, and proxy baptisms on behalf of deceased ancestors who did not have the opportunity to be baptized while living.

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