Discuss this article or ask questions at the LDS.net Forums.
Melbourne Australia Temple
The Melbourne Australia Temple is the 90th operating temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
On October 30, 1998 the First Presidency of the Mormon Church announced that a temple would be built in Melbourne, Australia. The Melbourne Australia Temple is one of five temples in Australia. The members in the area were overjoyed to hear that a temple would be so close. For the previous fifteen years members from the area had traveled twelve hours one-way to visit the Sydney Australia Temple.
The first Mormon missionaries arrived in Australia in 1840, but found few who were ready to hear the gospel. Those who did join during those early years of the Mormon Church in Australia for the most part decided to immigrate to the United States to be closer to the main body of the Church; a common practice in early Mormon history. Missionary work continued to be slow until the 1950's when the number of people joining the Church suddenly exploded. In 1955 there were 3,000 members in Australia, just five short years later there were almost 10,000. By 1970 the number of members more than tripled to 32,000. In 1980 it had jumped to 50,000. Today there are more than 100,000 members in Australia, making the Mormon Church the fastest growing Christian church in the country.
On March 20, 1999 a groundbreaking ceremony and site dedication was held presided over by P. Bruce Mitchell, a member of the Seventy. The site for the temple is 5.98 acres. A meetinghouse is on this site as well. The temple was open to the public for tours June 2-10, 2000. Those who toured the 10,700 square foot temple were able to see the stunning craftsmanship, the Celestial room, two sealing rooms, two ordinance rooms, baptistery, and learn more about Mormon beliefs.
President of the Mormon Church, Gordon B. Hinckley dedicated the Melbourne Australia Temple on June 16, 2000. Four dedicatory services were held to accommodate all the members that wanted to attend. The Melbourne Temple serves 18,000 members in eight stakes from Victoria, Tasmania, and Southern New South Wales.