Yea, and from that time even until now, I have labored without ceasing, that I might bring souls unto repentance; that I might bring them to taste of exceeding joy of which I taste; that they might also be born of God, and be filled with the Holy Ghost. ~ Alma 36:24

Monday, January 21, 2013

Mesa Temple Tour

Announcement: 3 October 1919

Site Dedication: 28 November 1921 by Heber J. Grant

Groundbreaking: 25 April 1922 by Heber J. Grant

Public Open House: Tours offered during the last two years of construction

Dedication: 23–26 October 1927 by Heber J. Grant

Public Open House: 19 March–3 April 1975

Rededication: 15–16 April 1975 by Spencer W. Kimball

Site: 20 acres.

Exterior Finish: Concrete reinforced with 130 tons of steel. Exterior is faced with glazed egg-shell colored terra cotta tiles.

Ordinance Rooms: Four ordinance rooms (stationary) and seven sealing.

Total Floor Area: 113,916 square feet.

Temple Locale:
Located just east of the original Mesa Town site, settled by Mormon pioneers, the Mesa Arizona Temple anchors a historic district, which has predominantly retained its residential character. A public visitor's center shares the meticulously manicured grounds of the temple, which feature a cactus garden and large reflection pools. The Easter season brings thousands of guests to the temple grounds every year to watch Jesus the Christ, the largest annual outdoor Easter pageant in the world. At Christmas time, the grounds are converted to an exquisite Nativity display accented by hundreds of thousands of Christmas lights.

Temple Facts:
  • The Mesa Arizona Temple was the first temple built in Arizona.
  • The Mesa Arizona Temple was the first temple to present the endowment in a language other than English. (The first non-English session was presented in Spanish in 1945.)
  • The Mesa Arizona Temple was the first temple to reopen to the public for an open house prior to a rededication.
  • The Mesa Arizona Temple was originally named the Arizona Temple.
  • Before the Mesa Arizona Temple was constructed, Arizona members performed temple ordinances in the St. George Utah Temple. Because of the numerous bridal parties that traveled the wagon road between St. George and Arizona, the well-trod path became known as the Honeymoon Trail.
  • The architects chosen for the Mesa Arizona Temple had recently designed the Utah Capitol Building.
  • The Mesa Arizona Temple was designed around a grand staircase that leads to the Celestial Room, occupying the highest level of the temple.
  • The Mesa Arizona Temple is one of three temples built with no towers or spires. (The others are the Laie Hawaii Temple and the Cardston Alberta Temple.)
  • Carved friezes decorate each corner of the top of the temple, depicting the fulfillment of Isaiah's prophecy that the Lord would gather His people in the last days from the four corners of the earth.
  • The Mesa Arizona Temple features murals on the walls of its originally progressive-style ordinance rooms.
  • Instead of a formal open house, tours were offered during the last two years of construction of the Mesa Arizona Temple to any interested visitors.
  • The Mesa Arizona Temple was closed in February 1974, for extensive remodeling that equipped the ordinance rooms for motion-picture presentation of the endowment and that added a new entrance and an additional 17,000 square feet, providing much larger dressing rooms and increasing the number of sealing rooms.
  • For many years, the Mesa Arizona Temple was known as the "Lamanite Temple," as it was the destination of annual temple excursions for Hispanic and Native American members of the Church, especially the Mexican Saints.

"Just as our Redeemer gave His life as a vicarious sacrifice for all men, and in so doing became our Savior, even so we, in a small measure, when we engage in proxy work in the temple, become as saviors to those on the other side."
—Gordon B. Hinckley

"To you who are worthy and able to attend the temple, I would admonish you to go often. The temple is a place where we can find peace. There we receive a renewed dedication to the gospel and a strengthened resolve to keep the commandments."
—Thomas S. Monson

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