Freiberg Germany Temple
Plans to build a Mormon temple in Freiberg, Germany were announced on 9 October 1982. A historic building, the Freiberg Germany Temple was the first to be built in a Communist nation as well as the first temple built on German soil. The German Democratic Republic government actually suggested the building of the temple for the members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the country because the government wanted to reduce the amount of travel outside of its own country.
- 1 History of Mormons in Germany
- 2 Site Dedication and Ground Breaking Ceremony
- 3 Public Open House
- 4 Freiberg Germany Temple Dedication, Rededication, and Renovations
- 5 Closing and Renovations
- 6 A Picturesque Tour of the Freiberg Germany Temple
- 7 Open House and Cultural Celebration
- 8 The Freiberg Germany Temple is Rededicated
- 9 See also
- 10 External links
History of Mormons in Germany
Mormon history in Germany goes back to 1840 when members of The Church of Jesus Christ began moving there. A small branch was set up in Darmstadt, but it was not until 1852 when the first Mormon missionaries arrived in Germany. They brought with them the Book of Mormon in German. In 1939, with the onset of World War II, missionaries were evacuated from Germany and missionary work slowed. After the war, missionaries were only allowed to re-enter the Western part of Germany. It was not until March 1989 when Mormon missionaries were finally able to enter East Germany. In November of the same year, the Berlin wall came down. Today there are 36,000 members of the Church in Germany and 14 stakes. A second temple was built in Frankfurt in 1987.
Site Dedication and Ground Breaking Ceremony
A groundbreaking ceremony and site dedication were held for the Freiberg Germany Temple on 23 April 1983. Thomas S. Monson presided at the ceremony.
Public Open House
The site of the temple is one acre. The temple was open to the public for tours June 3-15, 1985. Those who attended the tours of the 14,125 square foot building were able to see the exterior and enjoy the beauty of the German influenced design of the temple with its Gothic style arches, as well as the interior with its one ordinance room, two sealing rooms, baptistery, Celestial room, and other facilities. More than 90,000 people visited the Freiberg Germany Temple during the open house.
Freiberg Germany Temple Dedication, Rededication, and Renovations
The temple was dedicated for official use on June 29-30, 1985 by Gordon B. Hinckley. When the temple was dedicated there were 29,900 members in Germany.
Since then, renovations were called for, because when the temple was originally built some of the best materials were not available, and the Church was not allowed to put a statue of the Angel Moroni on the spire. The renovations of the temple almost doubled the square footage and added twelve oxen to support the baptismal font, a waiting room for those not able to enter the temple, as well as an office for the Temple President. On 20 December 2001 an Angel Moroni statue was placed on top of the temple spire. A second open house was held August 17-31 2001. After renovations, Gordon B. Hinckley rededicated the Freiberg Germany Temple on 7 September 2002. The renovations were also needed because the temple, which before could only be used by Church members in the German Democratic Republic, is now open for use by members in Poland, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Bulgaria, Moldova, and Romania.
Closing and Renovations
The First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints announced that the Freiberg Germany Temple would be closed for extensive renovations commencing on 9 February 2015 through May 2016. This is the second time that the Freiberg Temple has been renovated. The first remodeling and re-dedication took place in 2002. Following the renovation, the temple will be re-dedicated.
The Frankfurt Germany Temple made preparations to accommodate members from the Freiberg Germany Temple district during the closure.
A Picturesque Tour of the Freiberg Germany Temple
Open House and Cultural Celebration
An open house for the Freiberg Germany Temple was conducted Friday, 12 August 2016 to Saturday, 27 August 2016. An open house was not be conducted on Sunday, 14 and 21 August. The temple serves members of the Church in eastern Germany, Czech Republic, Poland, Moldova, Romania, and Hungary. People come to the grounds to take wedding photos, sit on the benches, and stroll the walkways. A second Germany temple is located in Frankfurt.
The cultural celebration was held on Saturday, 3 September 2016.
The Freiberg Germany Temple is Rededicated
President Dieter F. Uchtdorf, Second Counselor in the First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, rededicated the Freiberg Germany Temple on Sunday, 4 September 2016. The temple was rededicated in three sessions, 9:00 a.m., 12:00 noon and 3:00 p.m. The services were broadcast to Church meetinghouses in Germany as well as to Latter-day Saints living in the Freiberg Germany Temple district. Elder David A. Bednar of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, as well as the Church’s European area presidency, Elders Patrick Kearon, Paul V. Johnson and Gary B. Sabin, accompanied President Uchtdorf for the three rededication sessions. Following the final dedicatory session, President Uchtdorf accompanied by his wife, Sister Harriet Uchtdorf, joined the members outside the temple in singing “Gott mit euch, bis wir uns wiedersehn” ("God Be with You Till We Meet Again").
- Official LDS Freiberg Germany Temple page
- Freiberg Germany Temple page
- Mormon Temple Worship - BBC Religion & Ethics
- Temples and Mormon Temples - Answers.com
- Early Christianity and Mormonism: The LDS Temple Endowment: An Introduction
- Mormon Missionary Work - Lightplanet
- Joseph Smith - American Prophet
- A video about the Freiberg Germany Temple