Throughout the last two weeks of January and the first two weeks of February, people have accepted invitations to see a temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints from the inside. This is a privilege usually reserved for worthy Church members. But before a temple is dedicated for its sacred purposes, the public is invited to see what has been carefully prepared for the work of the Lord.
The newly completed temple, at 3301 S Greenfield Road in Gilbert, is the largest temple the Church has constructed in 17 years. Until now, the temple work in Southern Arizona has all been done at the Mesa Arizona Temple (dedicated in 1927) and the smaller Gila Valley Temple near Safford (dedicated in 2010). Another temple is under construction in Phoenix, and one has been announced for Tucson. (Northern Arizona is served by a temple in Snowflake.)
For members of the Church, temples are the holiest places on earth. They are not used for weekly worship services, as regular meetinghouses are, but are reserved for services that teach the eternal nature of our lives and bind families for time and all eternity.
Thousands of people invited their friends and families to join them on tours of the temple and the nearby meetinghouse. Judd Curtis, a Tucson realtor and Public Affairs Director for the Tucson Arizona Stake, took three of his friends on a tour reserved for community leaders. One of them, a Tucson businessman said, “I really enjoyed the tour of the Gilbert Temple. I was moved by the care and attention to exquisite detail with the interior design as a loving expression of the faith held by our gracious hosts.”
After their visit, Curtis’ guests were invited to a hospitality tent, where they met some of the other dignitaries attending the tour, including Senator Jeff Flake and Congressman Matt Salmon.
After the dedicatory services for the Gilbert Arizona Temple will be held Sunday, March 2, only Church members in good standing will have access to the temple. For those who may not have had the opportunity to attend the open house, they can still learn more about the Gilbert Arizona Temple at http://www.abc15.com/news/region-southeast-valley/gilbert/gilbert-mormon-temple-what-happens-inside-lds-temple, and about temples in general at http://www.ldschurchtemples.com/.